THE CREATIVE INDUSTRIES as defined by the UK's Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) are “those industries which have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent and which have a potential for wealth and job creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property”.
Malaysia’s National Creative Industry Policy (DIKN) which draws on DCMS’s definition of creative industries identifies 14 sub-sectors, dividing them into three distinct categories: Multimedia, Cultural Arts and Cultural Heritage (Table 1).
In 2017 a total of RM22.3bil value of gross output was generated from the arts, entertainment and recreation services in Malaysia, with an annual growth rate of 5.7% per annum within the period of two years. In line with the gross output, the value of intermediate input also rose 6.0% per annum from RM11.3bil to RM12.7bil for the same period, therefore resulting in a value-added of RM9.6bil in 2017. The number of persons engaged in these services were 63,506, with salaries and wages paid amounting to about RM1.6bil (Table 2).
The creative industries have both commercial and cultural values. It also generates income through trade and intellectual property rights, and creates new opportunities, especially for small- and medium-sized enterprises. In 2015 Malaysia ranked eighth in the top 10 exporters of creative goods among developing countries, and fourth among South-east Asian countries (Figure 1). This indicates that Malaysia has great potential to increase its production and share in the creative industries markets, as well as increase public and private sector investment in the industry.
In Malaysia creative goods exports increased significantly by nearly 126% from 2005 to 20141, with design goods (USD3.9bil) accounting for the largest share of creative goods exports, followed by audiovisuals (USD944.5mil) and new media (USD905mil) (Figure 2). In 2014 creative goods imports stood at USD2.1bil driven mainly by the imports of design goods (jewellery, fashion and interior design goods) at USD1.2bil, followed by books and newspapers at USD264mil.
In 2014 the major destination regions for Malaysia’s creative goods exports were Asia (68%), the US (19%) and Europe (8%). Its main export partner was the United Arab Emirates, with exports totalling USD1.4bil. Exports of creative industries services were recorded at USD1.4bil in 2009, the last year for which data was available. In 2014 the top import regions were Asia (73%) and Europe (20%) (Figure 3).
In 2017 the arts, entertainment and recreation services in Penang recorded RM0.4bil of gross output, with an annual growth rate of 8.1% per annum within the period of two years (Table 3).
Penang has about 12 private higher education institutions that offer multimedia, cultural arts and cultural heritage-related degrees (Table 4). As museums and art galleries play an important role in the cultural and creative economy, the Penang Geography Information System (PEGIS) listed about 34 public and private museums and art galleries found within the state.2