In the “new” norm, it might be daunting to start off a creative career, whether you’re in Malaysia or anywhere in the world. Ever since the pandemic hit, there has been talk about what constitutes “essential” and “non-essential” work. As the media shed light and attention on creatives on this distinction, there was definitely a disparity between how creatives are treated as opposed to “essential” workers.
These days, Malaysians are finding success because they innovate and create new ideas to find solutions to problems, or bring their own stories in their work. In early September the government announced that eight creative industry sectors were allowed to start and it was also much-needed.
So now that the economy’s opening up, what does it mean for creatives? We’ll look at the stats and the issues that currently stands affect the creative industry.
The creative industry in Malaysia -- How it’s structured
The creative industries in Malaysia are divided into three categories: multimedia, the cultural arts, and the cultural heritage. Multimedia is the biggest with exports of USD3.9 billion, followed by audiovisuals with a total of USD944.5 million and new media with USD805 million.
Here, the creative industry for employment accounted for 859,900 people in 2019 of a total employment population of 15.1 million people. Now, Malaysia’s creative industry contributes about 2 per cent to GDP and employs around 1 million people. This lends to a huge socio-economic impact as it contributes about RM92billion a year.
This number has increased from 0.2% five years ago to 2%. However, Malaysia is behind in its contribution to GDP compared to other countries in the region. There is a lot to catch up when we see our neighbouring countries showing 5% to 7%.
Where do our talents go from here?
On that note, there are concerns that Malaysian creatives are not progressing and will be left behind. For one the authorities are not very well-versed in the intricacies of creative pursuits. The local arts scene is often hampered by conservative moral and cultural interpretations and sensitivities.
Going to the earlier about being essential, there has been a long-standing stigma that those who choose a creative profession may face discrimination from family members and friends because creativity is not as highly valued as work in other sectors like law or medicine.
The authorities have seen that creativity can improve a country's GDP, but do not seem to fully understand how to go about encouraging more people to become involved in it.
There are many issues that affect the creative industry, especially in Malaysia. One of the most pertinent is copyright. Copyright protects works of art or creativity from being copied without permission. The notion of intellectual property rights is a relatively new concept in the 21st century, and while it would seem that most have accepted the idea as part of life in a technologically-driven society, some believe there are still many grey areas.
A disrupted eco-system as a jumpstart
It's apparent that there is a lot of potential -- surely there must be something that can be done to jump start those numbers into something larger. That's why the focus on creatives and the future of creativity is on you -- the creative.
On the Cult Creative app, you will be able to brand yourself, and make your profile so you can stand by your work and showcase your portfolios. From there, you are able to apply to jobs, reach out to fellow creatives and create your own creative network right there.
Bumped into us for the first time? Cult Creative is a digital platform and professional networking app for ambitious creative individuals to find work, network and showcase their work.
Are you creative looking for a thriving community to stay inspired and empowered? Or looking for opportunities to develop your career in the creative industry? Download our app today and get the full Cult Creative experience by clicking here. Or, discover more about our app by heading here.