Sabah Entrepreneurs Speak

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By June Ramli

DailyStraits.com recently spoke to two Sabah-based entrepreneurs asking them about their craft and what the state government can do in order to make tourists purchase more Sabah-made items, the next time they visit the state. Here is what they had to say:

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Here is an exclusive interview we did with one of the Sabahan entrepreneurs whom we had met at the World Tourism Conference in #Sabah #Malaysia #thisistheirstory #tourismtalks #DailyStraits #interviews

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Emily Jeneble of Kampung Lunguyan of Sabah, Malaysia speaks exclusively to DailyStraits.com.

“I am the general manager of my company and we produce traditional bags using leaves and other materials from the environment. I am now heading a community of 10 on how to make an item from a to z which includes going to the forest and getting the goods and finding people to make these crafts.
In a month we can make 1,000 to 2,000 products or as the orders come in. The bags that we produce using the earthly produce can last for about three years if it’s looked after properly and it cannot get wet, if it does get wet, you will need to use the hair dryer to dry it.
Our products have travelled far and wide and most of our bags are very popular among tourist and government agencies. Each bag is handmade and takes about two weeks to be made but if there is a need for urgent delivery, we can also complete the order within a week. “ – Emily Jeneble of Kampung Lunguyan on making traditional Sabahan handicraft bags.

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Check out our interview with Sabah-born Binjai, a former Ujang cartoonist now residing in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. We met him at the sidelines of the recently concluded World Tourism Conference in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. #Sabah #Malaysia #KK #KotaKinabalu #WTC2022 #Malaysiancartoonist #dailystraits

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Jaini Abdul Ghani (Binjai) from Kota Kinabalu speaks to DailyStraits.com.

“I used to be a cartoonist for Ujang and lived in Shah Alam for 23 years. I returned to Sabah recently as a way to give back to the artist here through knowledge sharing.
Many Sabahan artists are very talented but are not exposed to the international world. They don’t have as much opportunity given to them (as opposed to the Peninsular artiste).

A painting produced by a Sabahan artist. Pic by June Ramli.


But since returning to Sabah I see a lot of Sabahan artists with great potential that need greater exposure.
As for the market, I think Sabahan artists need to up the ante on their web presence and many artists here are in the dark when it comes to NFT (non-fungible tokens) and there needs to be more educational effort put forth here. 
As for the National Gallery, they have helped a lot since the Movement Control Order by registering us and placing us on their website.

A painting produced by a Sabahan artist. Pic by June Ramli.


For tourists visiting Sabah and wanting to take back Sabahan artwork as a momento to remember their visit, they can go to the local national gallery in Sabah and find relevant artworks there.
I also see there are many artists these days transferring their artwork into merchandise like T-shirts.
Sabahan artists are also very affordable in comparison to KL-based artists.
I am now fully into educating young artists in Sabah and how they can become successful artists as there are plenty of things here that can inspire their artwork.” – Jaini Abdul Ghani (Binjai) from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah on why you should buy Sabahan artwork.

About the author: June Ramli is the editor of DailyStraits.com. June’s trip to Sabah held from Nov 27 till Dec 3 was partially sponsored by the Sabah Tourism Board. 

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