BATIK and songket are among the textiles Malaysia can boast of, but there is another unique fabric weaving method, while lesser known, that we can take equal pride in -- Tenun Pahang Diraja.The fine fabric produced in Pahang using this centuries-old silk weaving technique is commonly worn as sarong, sampin, selendang and other traditional clothing.Tenun Pahang recently gained recognition when Johor princess Tunku Tun Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah Sultan Ibrahim wore a dress made from the fabric for her wedding.The fabric had been given to Tunku Tun Aminah by her aunt Tengku Puan Pahang Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah Sultan Iskandar.
Although Tenun Pahang has been around for centuries, the industry only flourished lately under the patronage of Tunku Azizah to the point it was conferred royal status in 2006.She said recently this unique cultural heritage would be lost within a few more years if there were no steps taken to preserve it.As to its origins, Institut Kemahiran Tenun Pahang Diraja Tengku Ampuan Besar Meriam manager Fairuz Hafiezal Rosli said it was believed that a Bugis nobleman named Tok Tuan brought the technique to Pahang in the 17th century.“The technique is believed to have come from Riau or Sulawesi. There was already silk weaving in Pahang at that time but the nobleman improved it and it eventually became known as Tenun Pahang.
“He expanded the weaving technique and since then, it has been passed down through the generations as a heritage of Pahang,” he said.Fairuz said a feature of Tenun Pahang was the thin lines called “sepit udang” that distinguished it from other types of woven silk.
Among the basic patterns produced as Tenun Pahang were horizontal lines and squares besides other contemporary designs, he added.Fairuz said the making of Tenun Pahang was a very complicated process that required plenty of patience.“The steps involved are melikas, mewarna, menerai, menganing, menyusuk, menggulung, mengarat and menenun. It starts from separating the silk all the way to weaving using the traditional loom known as kek siam.“It is time-consuming work and those who wish to pick up this craft must have patience as a trait. We usually allow trainees to try it out first to see if they have interest,” he said.
Tourism and Culture Ministry deputy secretary-general (management) Datuk Yean Yoke Heng said Tenun Pahang had undergone an evolution and could be applied to modern fashion design in line with current trends and style.“Besides the design, Tenun Pahang Diraja products have also gone through a development process in the form of function. It is no longer solely focused on fashion but produced for broader purpose such as souvenirs, corporate gifts and interior decoration,” Yean said at the launch of the Projek Kraf Kampungku Tenun Pahang Diraja here last month.
The project involved 12 entrepreneurs from six locations in Pekan with a total of 66 weavers.Yean said it was hoped that the project could increase production of the handicraft.“The good reception by Tenun Pahang entrepreneurs towards Projek Kraf Kampungku shows they are ready to carry Pekan as the main district of Tenun Pahang production. It will directly help it to become the signature product of Pahang,” he said.
Tenun Pahang fabric gets wider attention and broader use
TEMERLOH: The Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry targets to produce aquaculture fish products valued at over RM270mil this year from Pahang, particularly Temerloh which is synonymous with the patin fish cage culture.
Deputy Minister Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman said so far this year, Temerloh had produced over 14,000 tonnes of various species of fish including patin and tilapia from its 2,018 cage culture units run by 283 operators.He also said freshwater fish from rivers contributed to 560 tonnes of landings valued at RM2.2mil as of July this year, of which 12.5 tonnes valued at over RM60,000 came from Temerloh.“Fish cage culture in Temerloh, practised since 2008, is one of the biggest and most successful in Malaysia, and has been the district’s trademark.“We want the production of Temerloh patin to rise to 20,000 tonnes by 2020,” he said.
He called on the fishermen and fish cage breeders in Temerloh to “move forward” and join the agro-tourism industry so they do not stagnate and only depend on fish sales.He said Temerloh was already known to tourists and located en route to several tourist destinations, making it a popular stopover for car club members and big bike enthusiasts.“The fishermen must grab the opportunities that come.“Tourists need a place to stay and eat and the younger generation, not just the tour operators, should think of taking them in boats on river trips.“But this has to be done well and in an organised manner so they will come back.“Think like an entrepreneur.
“Do not just think of breeding fish and selling them. Even then, you only sell here, at retail price.“The time has come for you to think of ways to develop the fish rearing business, such as selling them in the big cities.“Do not say that Kuala Lumpur is far because I see that when there are football matches, you can rent a car to go there. The mentality must change,” he said.Tajuddin added that his ministry would discuss with other relevant ministries to organise international fishing competitions in the district as a way of promoting Temerloh and its fishes.
He said this after a get-together and distribution of Touch Point aid to Temerloh fishermen.At the event, he presented fish feed worth RM187,000 to 125 fish breeders as well as a special El Nino aid of RM47,000 to 94 entrepreneurs affected by the disaster.
He also announced the donation of two bucket reels costing RM360,000 and the construction of a RM200,000 cold room for breeders to store freshwater fish.“The ministry will also build a new fish nursery costing about RM150,000 and improve the existing nursery in Kampung Pangsenam, estimated to cost RM28,000.“With so many amenities and assistance provided, there is no excuse for fishermen not to progress because what is important is our willingness to work and aim high so that our fish industry is on par with that of other countries,” he said.
Pahang tourism and culture committee chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Sharkar Shamsudin was also present at the event. — Bernama