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A Helping Hand for Artists in Malaysia

Image Credit: Reuters | The Straits Times
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A new initiative to help artists and others who are feeling the impact from the pandemic has been launched in Malaysia.

Regular readers of this website’s sister magazine, The Expat, are likely aware that for many years, articles about local Malaysian and resident expat artists have been a consistent feature of the publication.

As a result of the pandemic’s impact, some of these artists have fallen on very hard times, and so a new initiative has been created in a bid to help.

Dr Ralph R. Klemp

The PERSATUAN SENI RUPA MALAYSIA organisation, better known as PERUPA, was formed in 2013 to unite Malaysian and expat artists in the community. Recently PERUPA has set up ‘The PERUPA Red Umbrella Fund Campaign’ in service of this bid to lend much-needed assistance. One expat, Dr Ralph Kemp, who is an artist himself, has joined in their efforts. 

He wrote, “There are people out there who barely have one meal per day, people who have already picked and cooked every plant in their garden, older people in need of life-saving medicine, people who have lost their homes and are now scattered in the doorways of shut-down shops in Bukit Bintang. The situation is serious, and there is really much to do.” Ralph added his thanks for those helping with fundraising, and gave assurance that every cent is well-spent and arrives at the destination intended… “unlike the many other ‘charity sharks’,” he added. 

PERUPA, unlike other organisations is a grassroots association of artists for artists. Ralph, who has been elected to the PERUPA board, notes, “I am the only manager cum artist on their board, and I also play a minor role in advising our team.”

He added, “Our president, Zaki Hadri, and other board members personally travel all around to hand out these food aid boxes, and when it comes to cash donations, everything is transparent and the board decides how to allocate the funds… so far, in the first 10 days after launching in the initiative, we got RM6,157.28, along with a few in-kind donations, like rice and also painting materials. Our ultimate target is RM100,000 to be able to sustain the demands of prime necessity.”

The purpose of the PERUPA Red Umbrella Fund Campaign includes relief for:

  • Fellow members or artists who have lost their jobs, businesses, or income
  • Loss of revenues and opportunity in selling or exhibiting their craftwork
  • Inaccessibility or limitations to healthcare or medicals
  • Inaccessibility to tools, art stationery, or studios, or other limitations
  • Loss of basic provisions to artists’ wellbeing (food, utilities, etc.)

PERUPA has also set up weekend Food Banks using the donated funds in providing home provisions to some artists’ residences, in compliance with the distance limitations set by the Movement Control Order.

Ralph also pointed out that “PERUPA so far has no ‘overheads’, no rented office or paid staff, and it’s all done on a not-for-profit basis.” 

If you would like to help, then please forward any contribution, no matter how small, to the following bank account and please mention you read about it on ExpatGo.


39869 63504 (PUBLIC BANK)
Persatuan Seni Rupa Malaysia
Payment Code: tabungprihatinperupa

To learn more:

Instagram : @perupamy
Blog : http://perupamalaysia.blogspot.com/

PERUPA is the national Malaysian artist association by artists for artists. PERUPA is open to all artists based in Malaysia, local and foreign, and accepts all races and religions in the true spirit of unity in diversity.

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