The Dewan Rakyat (source)
As we mentioned a couple of months ago, Minister for Information, Culture and Communications Dr. Rais Yatim announced a Visual Arts Development Bill 2010 would be tabled in Parliament later this year.
Interestingly, the National Art Gallery news archives indicate that the proposal of a new bill was mooted as early as 2008. NAG even invited visitors to vote on the name of the proposed new act, board and institution.
News reports in Oct 2009 also mention the bill was awaiting cabinet approval before being brought to parliament. (Stuff I did not know and why Wikipedia is my friend: ‘A proposed act of law begins its life when a particular government minister or ministry prepares a first draft with the assistance of the Attorney-General’s Department’)
Looks like things are chugging along. The bill got its first reading in the Dewan Rakyat on 11 Oct 2010. It’s now in its second and third readings (all bills must pass three readings in Dewan Rakyat before going on to the Dewan Negara, where it’s submitted to another 3 readings – phew!) If passed and approved by the YDP Agong, it effectively replaces the National Art Gallery Act 1959.
To make your life easy, here are the relevant documents you can download:
It’s not the most exciting stuff, but it IS required reading as this legislation widely impacts the visual arts in Malaysia. Ladies and gentlemen, arm yourselves! Knowledge is power. Let’s discuss, debate and make our voices heard.
We’ll do a follow-up post next week examining how the new bill compares the the existing 1959 Act. Meanwhile interesting discussions have already commenced on Facebook. Buatlah link, tweet, update status dan kita jumpa di sana.
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