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Sayang Sabah - The voice of Sabahans

Demand for Sabahan Animators in China

Yong (seated centre) flanked at right by Rizal and Deric (at left) offering the animation course.-Photo by Bosco Wong/Sayangsabah
Yong (seated centre) flanked at right by Rizal and Deric (at left) offering the animation course.-Photo by Bosco Wong/Sayangsabah

KOTA KINABALU: There is a huge demand for graphic animators in China and they have set their eyes on Sabah to provide them the workforce.

“In two to three years we hope to produce 1,000 graduates to meet their needs,” said Sabah Institute of Art (SIA) president cum chief executive officer Prof Dato’ Dr Wilson Yong.

To achieve that, SIA has entered a collaboration with Shanghai Yan Pei Professional Animation College to offer certificate animation course and upon completion of the six to 12 months of skill training they will stand a chance to work at Disneyland in Shanghai, China.

“The animation market is very competitive in China and although not all new graduates can secure a job in Disneyland, there are still some 1,000 animation firms waiting to rope them in,” said Yong during a press conference yesterday.

“The animation industry is relatively new in Malaysia and in Sabah, this will be our first ever course and it will be conducted by professional trainers from Yan Pei College and Arte Academy (based in Kuala Lumpur),” said Yong.

Based on experience, he said SIA graduates are very much sought after with many doing well in Shanghai, Hangzhou, Beijing, Nanjing and Chongqing because they can speak both English and Mandarin.

“A lot of international companies in China favours Malaysian students because they don’t have language problem as they can speak both English and Mandarin,” shared Yong.

According to Yong, new graduates can earn a basic salary of RM3,000 in China and those with experience can hope to earn RM10,000.

SIA operation manager Rizal Malik described the collaboration between SIA and Yan Pei as a major breakthrough because it provided a platform for young aspiring Sabahans to be trained and nurtured to work at Disneyland, a world top animation company.

“They choose Sabah to supply them the manpower because they know we have a lot of creative and talented young people. All they need is to be nurtured because before this we don’t have a specific programme to develop their skill,” he said, adding that exposures to the rich natural environment in Sabah has somehow developed the creativity mind of the young adults particularly those coming from the rural areas.

“Once they had gained for experience working in Disneyland and other related companies later, we hope they will come back to Malaysia to be  successful technopreneurs on par with those who created the animations of boboiboy and upin and ipin,” said Rizal.

Meanwhile, the Young Malaysians Movement Sabah Branch will embark on a roadshow starting on Jan 17 in Kota Kinabalu to help SIA promote the animation short course especially to the youth aged ranging from 15 to 40 years old.

Its chairman Deric Chiew, said the roadshow will also cover Beaufort and Tenom on January 19 before proceeding to Sandakan on Jan 23, Lahad Datu (Jan 24) and Tawau (Jan 25).

The classes for the animation course at SIA will start in March this year where scholarship will be provided to impoverished students. It will be conducted in both Mandarin and English.- By Bosco Wong/Sayangsabah

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