PM launches 'Negaraku' initiative with MoU signing

AZURA ABAS and HASHINI KAVISHTRI KANNAN


PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Education Ministry and Tourism and Culture Ministry, in conjunction with the ‘Negaraku Arts Competition’ programme.

In a joint statement, the ministries said the programme is a national art competition involving more than five million students from 10,176 schools throughout the country.

"The best artwork by students will be showcased at the National Arts Gallery until Malaysia Day," they said.

The signing of the MoU marks the start of the 'Negaraku' initiative which will see the ministries instilling a sense of patriotism and love for the country by allowing students to express themselves through the visual arts.

The MoU was signed by Tourism and Culture Ministry secretary-general Datuk Abdul Ghaffar Thambi; National Visual Arts Development Board director-general Prof Datuk Dr Mohamed Najib Ahmad Dawa, on behalf of the Tourism and Culture Ministry; Education director-general Tan Sri Dr Khair Mohamad; and Education Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Alias Ahmad.

Also present were Chief Secretary to the Government, Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa and Communications and Multimedia Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak.

Najib said the initiative is being carried out to instil patriotism and invoke the 'Negaraku' spirit at the grassroots level.

"We also hope it will further boost the spirit of patriotism.

"This competition is aimed at inspiring the younger generation to secure their dreams and contribute to the development of this nation and its people,” the Prime Minister said.

Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said the ministry hopes that the initiative will encourage greater love for the country.

The competition will run from May 1 to Aug 31, and is open to students in primary and secondary schools.

Winners stand to win prizes worth a total of RM100,000.