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National Creative Industry Policy (DIKN)

In a heartbeat

The National Creative Industry Policy (NCIP) serves as a framework of government guidelines to maintain a constant focus on the arts. The framework is based on a) how local industry experts perceive the problems and b) what should be done to solve them. It is an original document that takes into account the unique makeup and history of Malaysia to ensure it serves our very specific creative community.

A closer examination

Launched in 1971 by The National Department for Culture and Arts, The National Creative Industry Policy (NCIP) is a social contract regularly updated with the input of those in the industry itself. Recent amendments to the policy have been heavily influenced by the goals set by the “Vision 2020”; a set of aims for the country set during the Sixth Malaysia Plan in 1991.

The most recent amendment of the policy took shape in 2009. It came as the result of a conference to investigate the problems faced by the creative industry, to devise solutions, as well as to create a national directive focused on developing different creative sectors. The policy outlines the needs of the creative industry, while supporting its growth in order to achieve a higher quality of creative work. The policy divides the creative industry into three major scopes; multimedia, cultural arts, and cultural heritage. Under the policy, critical aspects have been identified, key strategies were enforced, and non-government organisations were brought to help stimulate the local creative industry.

The contract takes into account the standing of the creative industry in a Malaysian context.  As such, the policy was written to ensure respect and consideration of the various races, religions (while noting the country’s official religion of Islam, and its influence on the evolvement of many creative fields), the constitution, as well as laws and history.

In a heartbeat

The National Creative Industry Policy divides the creative industry into three categories – creative multimedia, creative arts and culture, and creative cultural heritage – and tailors its solutions, grants, workshops and focus to each accordingly.

A closer examination

Groundwork for the National Creative Industry Policy included examining policies of countries noted for their governmental support of the arts, including the United Kingdom, Singapore, South Korea, New Zealand, and Australia. The UNESCO definitions, were also examined. This research led to the new broader definition of the Malaysian Creative Industry as any industries that

a)     involve creative individuals

b)     identify, encourage and showcase talent (on an individual or group level)

c)     use technology for innovation aimed at economic success contributing to the National Domestic Product

d)     focus on work and intellectual property in line with the cultures and values of the various races in Malaysia

The Malaysian creative industry is divided into three categories:

Creative multimedia

This category includes:

i.       Film and television productions

ii.      Advertising

iii.     Design arts

iv.      Animation and digital content

Creative arts And culture

This category includes:

i.      Crafts

ii.     Visual arts

iii.    Music

iv.     Performing arts

v.      Creative writing

vi.     Fashion and textiles

Creative cultural heritage

Covers national heritage including museums, archives, restoration and conservation.

In a heartbeat

The National Creative Industry Policy was created in response to concern over the many obstacles faced by those in the creative industry and a belief the industry has potential to grow and succeed both locally and globally. The objectives list out very definite point the policy is focusing on achieving; contributing to a better working environment for individuals and companies, as well as lifting and prioritising the industry as a whole.

A closer examination

NCIP goals

The National Creative Industry Policy aims to encourage a Malaysian creative industry that rivals those of other nations while contributing to the growth of the nation’s economy and upholding Malaysia’s cultures.

NCIP objectives

The National Creative Industry Policy seeks to have a comprehensive direction for the creative industry:

i.         To become a dynamic creative sector contributing to the nation’s economy, playing its part to help Malaysia become a high-income nation;

ii.         To support the development of the creative industry into one that is competitive, advanced and sustainable at a national and international level;

iii.         To prepare the facilities, infrastructure, and create a conducive environment to encourage the growth of the local creative industry;

iv.         To spur on the growth and recognition of intellectual property in the creative industry through training programmes and accreditation;

v.         To develop and harness technology as a catalyst for industrial growth;

vi.         To grow information sources, focus on local cultural symbolism, and national identity in the creative industry on a global level.

In a heartbeat

Beyond growing the creative industry itself, the policy also takes into account the trickle-down effects that this will have on creative individuals. These effects include more (and better) job opportunities, chances to develop skills within your field, international opportunities, and greater recognition for your work.

A closer examination

A nation’s Creative Industry Policy functions as a way to boost the economy and socio-cultural sector of a country. Both of these elements have the potential to:

i.         Generate wealth for a nation, create job opportunities, harness creative content and raise intellectual property;

ii.         Unearth and support talent, develop skills and creativity within the industry;

iii.         Promote the country by exporting national creative products to the world;

iv.         Increase societal awareness regarding the outcomes of the creative industry in order to expand both the local and international markets.


In a heartbeat

The government took several steps to achieve the goals outlined in the NCIP. They included keeping the NCIP updated, relevant and supported as well as increasing the opportunities for loans and grants.

A closer examination

Under the policy, the government outlined a three-step approach to developing the creative industry of Malaysia, these steps were also summarised in the National Budget of 2010.

Step One:

Amending the National Creative Industry Policy to make it more comprehensive and therefore more useful as a functional foundation to support and accelerate the growth of the industry.

Step Two:

Allocating grants and loans (in the amount of RM200 million) to fund creative activities including producing film and drama, music, animation, advertisements, and generally increasing the output of local content. Bank Simpanan Nasional offered these loans (to specific companies and projects) with a simplified process and low interest rate, so as to ease the financial burden on recipients.

Step Three:

A Welfare Fund for Arts Practitioners was created to ensure the wellbeing of those in the arts. Under this Fund, RM3 million was set aside as seed grant funding. However, it is uncertain whether these grants will be continued.