18 Malaysian Textile Artisans Recognised at the Prestigious Hasanah Gold Threads Awards 2023

Kuching, 15 September 2023 – The Hasanah Gold Threads Awards Ceremony, held at the prestigious Borneo Cultures Museum in Kuching, Sarawak marked a historic stride in the world of Malaysian textiles. Presented by Yayasan Hasanah and the Ministry of Finance (MOF), in collaboration with Tanoti and ASEAN Handicraft Promotion & Development Association (AHPADA), the awards ceremony was an exquisite celebration of textile artistry, culture, and innovation – a momentous leap towards preserving our rich heritage.

The inaugural Hasanah Gold Threads Awards stands as a beacon for recognition for excellence in textiles and craftsmanship, an initiative driven by the shared vision of preserving and sustaining the crafts passed down through generations. This Awards not only acknowledge outstanding artisans but also celebrates the resilience and cultural contributions of communities across Malaysia. 

Among award recipients: Davis Mering who wowed the crowd with his innovative design in Supplementary Weft

Dato’ Shahira Ahmed Bazari, Trustee and Managing Director of Yayasan Hasanah shared, “At present, many of our textile traditions have faded into the fabrics of history – some precious heritage motifs have gone extinct, and legacy weaving techniques have already been lost across the generations. Recognising this crucial gap, Yayasan Hasanah has been working tirelessly with our expert textile partners in this niche space, through initiatives such as preserving original Malaysian legacy motifs via digital documentation and intellectual property (IP) protection, capacity development training among the youths in heritage textile arts like Kelingkan, Keringkam, Songket and Telepuk, as well as developing an experiential centre of heritage textiles.”

“Today, our journey has birthed The Hasanah Gold Threads  Awards, our recent brainchild where preservation meets innovation. These will empower local textile producers across Malaysia to innovate and push the boundaries in their crafts, from using alternative materials to elevating their production capabilities. Together, through meaningful initiatives like this, we can preserve our precious arts, heritage, and culture that are at risk of being forgotten, while sustainably boosting the local creative economy,” added Shahira.

Among award recipients: Honouring the incredible Ngot Bi, a 91-year-old practitioner in traditional plaiting

The awards recognised excellence in six unique categories, and after much deliberation, 18 exceptional textile artisans emerged as the cusps of excellence, and showcased  their extraordinary craftsmanship across categories of Beadwork, Drawing and Stamping, Embroidery and Embellishment, Ikat, Plaiting, and Supplementary Weft. Each category presents two awards – Best Traditional and Best Innovative – each carrying a cash prize of RM25,000. Commendable efforts are also recognised with the Special Mention Awards in each category, each accompanied by a RM10,000 cash prize.

The awards ceremony featured and honoured the participating artisans, as well as a distinguished panel of judges — experts with keen discernment who meticulously evaluated an impressive total of 168 submissions from textile artisans across the country.  Facilitated by Mr. Edric Ong, Honorary President of AHPADA, the esteemed panel included YM Raja Datin Paduka Fuziah Raja Sri Tun Uda, Advisor of AHPADA, Puan Irma Murni Ismail, Senior Lecturer at UiTM, Mr. Noorizal bin Ramly, Head of the Kraftangan Malaysia Craft Excellence Center and Dato’ Shahira Ahmed Bazari, Trustee and Managing Director of Yayasan Hasanah.

The pinnacle of the evening’s celebration was the Hasanah Gold Award “Patron of Malaysia’s Heritage Textiles” presented to Her Majesty Kebawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Seri Paduka Baginda Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah binti Almarhum Al-Mutawakkil Alallah Sultan Iskandar Al-Haj.

In the prestigious award ceremony, the award presentation honoured Her Royal Majesty’s important contributions, dedication and unwavering influence over the years in the realm of Malaysian textiles. Her Majesty has encouraged and opened more opportunities for the youth to learn Pahang Weaving that today, has given birth to hundreds of weavers for the Pahang Weaving craft. Her Majesty has also ideated the proposal to develop Perkampungan Al-Sultan Abdullah  in Pekan, Pahang where it will be a centre to accommodate trained Pahang weavers including inmates who have been and will be released. In fact, Her Majesty is also the Patron of the Yayasan Tenun Pahang Diraja that creates unique and interesting designs to be woven by selected weavers. Among Her Majesty’s countless contributions was also the Tenun Pahang DiRaja, a Malaysian pride that has ensured the art of Tenun Pahang is not only preserved as a traditional wear, but elevated as a national cultural heritage craft to be passed down across generations. In 2022, Her Majesty’s delegation to London Craft Week featured 300 Tenun Pahang DiRaja collection, among which are weaved by trained Pahang inmates, as well as Her Majesty’s personal collection of Tarikan Tenun Pahang Diraja that have been graced with the visit of the British Royals delegates.

The esteemed Guest of Honour Yang Amat Berbahagia Puan Sri Dato Hajjah Fatimah Binti Haji Mohd Iskandar graced the Hasanah Gold Threads Awards Ceremony, adding a touch of prestige to this celebration of cultural wealth. Present alongside the Guest of Honour was Datu Dr Rashidah Bt Hj Bolhassan, Special Administrative Officer of the Ministry of Tourism, Creative Industry & Performing Arts Sarawak and Yang Berhormat Dato Sri Hajah Nancy Haji Shukri, Menteri Pembangunan Wanita, Keluarga, dan Masyarakat Malaysia.

The winning submissions, along with the Special Mentions art pieces, will be displayed at the Mezzanine Floor of the Borneo Cultures Museum Shop from 15th to 17th September 2023. Additionally, a Discovery Exhibition will be hosted in the Function Room at Borneo Cultures Museum, open to the public from 12th to 20th September 2023. For a deeper dive into the vibrant world of the Hasanah Gold Threads Awards and to celebrate the heart and soul of Malaysia’s rich cultural heritage, visit their website at  www.hasanahgoldthreads.com or follow their social media accounts on Facebook and Instagram.

The complete list of winners for each category and award can be found here.

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The Hasanah Gold Threads Awards is an initiative presented by Yayasan Hasanah and the Ministry of Finance (MOF), in partnership with Tanoti and ASEAN Handicraft Promotion & Development Association (AHPADA). The award is dedicated to the conservation and revitalisation of Malaysia’s rich cultural heritage in textiles. The Awards aim to recognise and encourage exceptional craftsmanship and creativity in the textile industry, while promoting wider awareness and appreciation of Malaysia’s diverse cultural legacy. The Hasanah Gold Threads Awards represent a unique opportunity to support and showcase Malaysia’s heritage textiles, while fostering innovation and sustainable development in this vital sector. 

Find out more about the Hasanah Gold Threads Awards here.


Yayasan Hasanah (“Hasanah”) is the impact-based foundation of Khazanah Nasional Berhad (“Khazanah”), the sovereign wealth fund of Malaysia. Hasanah was set up as an independent entity on 1 July 2015, building on nine years of Corporate Responsibility (CR) efforts previously driven by Khazanah. As a grant-giving organisation, Hasanah goes beyond ringgit and sen to facilitate an ecosystem of transformation, working in collaboration with multiple stakeholders, infusing a spirit of advocacy and building capacity in five key focus areas: Education; Community Development; Environment; Arts and Public Spaces; and Knowledge. Collectively and collaboratively, Hasanah hopes to shift the needle of social and community reform for Malaysians, towards Advancing Malaysia. For further information, please visit www.yayasanhasanah.org