Bridging the skills gap: Yayasan Hasanah and CENTEXS join forces to strengthen Malaysia’s textile preservation

Kuching, 5 Feb 2024: Today marks a significant milestone as Malaysia’s leading impact-based foundation Yayasan Hasanah (“Hasanah”) and CENTEXS officially signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), solidifying their commitment to advancing the preservation and conservation of Malaysia’s rich textile heritage. The MoU outlines a strategic partnership focused on capacity development, cross-fertilisation of skills, and the promotion of excellence in heritage textile preservation.

The MoU exchange was organised in conjunction with CENTEXS Convocation Ceremony, in which the event was graced by The Honourable YAB Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg, Premier of Sarawak.

The collaboration includes targeted initiatives such as skill development workshops, training programs, and master classes aimed at enhancing the proficiency of traditional textile artisans. The partnership also seeks to facilitate collaborations between traditional artisans and contemporary designers, fostering the creation of modern interpretations of traditional textiles through innovation and product development. Furthermore, key aspects of the collaboration also include fostering sustainable practices in capacity-building, product design, development, and entrepreneurship.

“In the realm of arts, culture, and heritage (AHC) preservation, the work must extend far beyond mere static displays within museum walls. Today, sustainable preservation requires more than conveying historical value; it demands an ability to resonate with the hearts and minds of contemporary consumers, staying relevant in the ever-evolving market. Thus, over the next two years under its heritage textile preservation efforts, Yayasan Hasanah is focusing on amplifying research and development (R&D) and the commercialisation of artisanal products. In doing so, we recognise that this translates to a crucial need for a skills upgrade among our exceptionally talented traditional practitioners. In this spirit, we’re excited to collaborate with CENTEXS in curating impactful skill-training programmes, to preserve excellence in these art forms, while strengthening heritage textile as a thriving economic space for our local artisans in Malaysia,” shared Dato’ Shahira Ahmed Bazari, Trustee and Managing Director of Yayasan Hasanah.

The historic MoU builds upon Hasanah’s tireless efforts in Malaysia’s heritage textile preservation in collaboration with various expert partners. Initiatives include preserving original Malaysian legacy motifs through digital documentation and intellectual property (IP) protection, the development of an experiential centre for heritage textiles, masterclasses for royal textile art forms like Telepuk with  Adigurus (master artisans), as well as training for youths in heritage textile arts like Kelingkan, Keringkam, Songket, and Telepuk – such as the ASPIRE Programme that trains the young trainees of Puncak Borneo complex in the art of Keringkam embroidery.

In its most recent initiative, Yayasan Hasanah established the annual Hasanah Gold Threads Awards to celebrate excellence and innovation in local heritage textiles. These awards acknowledge outstanding work around the country in various categories, in which eighteen exceptional textile artisans – including the 91-year-old Sarawakian Ngot Bi, a practitioner in traditional plaiting – were recognised for their extraordinary craftsmanship.

Dato Haji Syeed Mohd Hussien Bin Wan Abd Rahman, Chief Executive Officer of CENTEXS emphasised, “At CENTEXS, our mission is to be the Best in its Class Technology Training Institute in the Region by 2030. As we strive towards this goal, our responsibility is to equip the state’s workforce for various economic sectors, and this includes the lifestyle and heritage scene. This partnership with Hasanah adds immense value in co-designing an impactful training programme for our traditional artisans, to ensure they are not left behind in technological advances and innovations relevant to their craft, thus nurturing a strong workforce in this sector.”

The MoU is in line with Yayasan Hasanah’s aim to become a leading foundation that promotes Malaysia’s global sustainability through solutions encouraging human capital development, empowering communities, promoting social inclusivity, and improving the local environment.



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