This launch is indeed a happy occasion for me. It is indeed my pleasant duty to officiate at this launch as I have followed the development of this project with great interest.
It is timely that an initiative to boost the performing arts has been put in place. I am sure the new Ministry of Arts, Culture and Heritage under Yang Berhormat Dato' Rais Yatim will welcome this effort by a corporate house i.e. YTL Corporation, a private theatre group The Actors Studio, and an NGO Yayasan Budi Penyayang Malaysia to complement the government's program for developing and sustaining the performing arts.
I am an ardent supporter of the performing arts and will try to assist initiatives which aim to develop the performing arts.
I am rather concerned for the current status of the performing arts. Based on my layman’s observation intuitively, I feel that the performing arts needs to have an extremely nutritional shot in its arm in order to ensure that there is continuity, growth and development.
If I may suggest, let us take a look at what we could do to our children to induct them into interest for the performing arts.
Children today tend to spend lots of time in front of their computers or television sets – their minds and selves seem to be controlled by programmers and programme producers.
I wonder if they have time and space for self-supervision. We may say that in terms of self-expression and more so, the performing arts, children are at a lost. To use an analogy, at this point in time with reference to the performing arts, we find out children malnourished, starved, neglected and at times beaten and battered and at other times discounted and disowned.
To restore our children to good health in terms of the performing arts, we must be willing to design and implement programmes to nurture the creativity of our children. We must word at developing the talents of our young.
As Maya Angelou said, “I believe talent is like electricity. We don’t understand electricity. We use it.”
I call upon the various parties that could have a role in developing creativity and self-expression among children to accelerate and enhance their developmental strategies. It is my opinion that parents, teachers and peers can play influential roles in developing children’s interest for the performing arts. This could happen in homes and schools like.
Undeniably, not all children are inclined towards performing arts. However, it is my hope that those who do not take to performing will at least learn to appreciate the performing arts – they could be the appreciative audience that we so badly need.
It is in this context that I would also like to propose that the relevant authorities, agencies or organisation think seriously about audience education. We may have the best facilities and offer the best of performance, but alas, it will be of no avail if we do not have the right audience.
I see the development of the performing arts as the holistic integrated development of script writers, song writers, writers of the various genres, performers, stage property and set designers, light and sound people, stage managers, floor managers and many more among the milieu of people in the performing arts.
I understand that the training facility at the new centre that is being developed will address this holistic integrated development that the performing arts require.
Tan Sri Francis Yeoh has given you an insight into what the KLPAC or PentasSeni KL has to offer. I hope that this initiative is a significant milestone in Malaysia’s road to rejuvenating and rekindling the performing arts.
I would like to thank Tan Sri Francis Yeoh and YTL Corporation Bhd for so generously facilitating the development of the KL PAC.
To Faridah Merican and Joe Hasham of The Actors Studio, I say thank you for so selflessly coming forward to offer your expertise in conceptualising the KL PAC and for taking on the all-important role of being the resident theatre group.
On behalf of Yayasan Budi Penyayang Malaysia, I would like to thank Tan Sri Francis Yeoh, Faridah and Joe for having us as a friend and partner in the development of KL PAC / PentasSeni KL.
It is with great pleasure that I now officially launch the KL PAC / PentasSeni KL.
Text of speech by
YABhg. Datin Seri Endon Mahmood
at the launch of KL Performing Arts Centre/PentasSeni KL
at Mayangsari Ballroom, JW Marriott Hotel
on 21 May 2004