SpaceToon to invest in Malaysian animation industry
Malaysia is the choice naturally, given its strong pool of human capital and talent in creative and digital technologies, says SpaceToon Media
DUBAI-BASED children television station SpaceToon International is collaborating with the Perak state government to develop an animation school, production house and film-making studio cluster in Perak.
As a foreign direct investor, SpaceToon has allocated RM80 million for the first phase of development.
"Malaysia is our choice naturally, given the country's strong pool of human capital and talent in creative and digital technologies," said SpaceToon Media Group International president and chief executive Fayez Al-Sabbagh, citing comic works by local cartoonist Lat.
The Perak state government is a 30 per cent shareholder in this joint venture.
Falcon's Treehouse, a company based in Florida, is in-charge of the concept masterplan of the development. The creative content hub will be located on a 20.3ha site in Meru Raya, and the infrastructure is expected to be ready by the end of 2010.
Yesterday, SpaceToon appointed TH Properties Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned unit of Lembaga Tabung Haji, to manage the project development. TH Properties chief executive Zaharuddin Saidon represented his company at the signing ceremony held in Kuala Lumpur.
"We hope to recruit a few hundred students when we open the school in 2011," Al-Sabbagh said.
"We're not just here to build the infrastructure. We want to be directly involved in moulding new talents to boost the local animation industry," he added.
SpaceToon's business footprint covers the Middle East, North Africa, Indonesia, South Korea and India. It has the rights to the largest library of Arabic-dubbed animated cartoons.
Asked on SpaceToon's longer- term investment in Malaysia, Al-Sabbagh said he hopes to collaborate with local media giant, Media Prima, to establish a dedicated children programme channel.
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