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MELAKA, Aug 6 (Bernama) -- Despite the challenges especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, the cultural sector continues to show positive development and has contributed to national income growth, said Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Seri Dr Santhara Kumar.
He said total income of the sector continued to increase in 2022 with an initial target of RM300 million.
"In 2019 the cultural sector contributed RM585 million to the national income but earnings dropped to RM241 million the next year following the COVID-19 pandemic.
"However, earnings from the sector increased by RM20 million to RM261 million in 2021," he said in his speech at the opening of the 2022 Magic Of The Night gala event at Dataran Sungai Melaka here tonight.
Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali officiated the ceremony which was also attended by Governor Tun Mohd Ali Mohd Rustam and Communications and Multimedia Minister (MenKOMM) Tan Sri Annuar Musa.
Meanwhile, Sulaiman in his speech said the three-day programme which began yesterday, would have a significant impact in highlighting the art and culture of the Malaysian Family.
He said apart from seeing the return of physical activities, the event would be able to boost the economy and the tourism industry in Melaka.
"I call on the people in Melaka and those in other states to come support and participate in this first-ever tourism programme that can be taken to the international level," he said.
Sulaiman added that with the firm commitment of all parties regardless of race, political and religious beliefs as well as customs and culture, such a programme could bring the people together in making Melaka a peaceful and prosperous state.
Earlier the ceremony started off with a musical theater performance and decorative boat parade representing the various ethnic groups in Malaysia.
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