#Empatbelas is a yearly Merdeka-Malaysia Day collaboration project by APOM to
celebrate the 14 states of Malaysia. The project is about showcasing your state pride
through creative expressions which will then be turned into merchandise designs.

For the past 2 years, APOM has been working with designers, illustrators, artists etc. on
#empatbelas2021 and #empatbelas2022. This year APOM is inspired to collaborate with
the creative writing platform, by having everyday Malaysians come up with creative

This year #empatbelas2023 will be collaborating with 14 ‘sasterawans’, 1 from each
state in Malaysia, who will be composing an 4-kerat (4 lines) pantun about their home
state. APOM will then adapt the pantun onto merchandise designs.

Pantun is a form of Malay poetic verse used to express intricate ideas, emotions and
sometimes teachings. It is the pride of the Malaysian culture and traditionally recited in
many different occasions, formal and informal. Contrary to the traditional Pantun,
APOM respectfully put a twist to this oral poetic form to encourage the participation of
more Malaysians, and to have fun and spread the knowledge of the Pantun.

The selected pantuns for the #empatbelas2023 will need to show what makes the
participant proud of their home state in an 4-kerat pantun (4 lines) and at the same time
incorporating ‘Manglish’. APOM continues to put out ideas to present the country in a
new light. Besides promoting state pride, #empatbelas2023 allows many talented
Malaysians to showcase their creative potential.

This year TM has also come on-board as a collaborator to support local talents, with
#Empatbelas2023 sharing the same synergy as TM's Bulan Kebangsaan campaign –
AIDENTITI™ KITA. Reflecting on TM’s mission to bring new technologies to everyday
Malaysians, the campaign showcases the country’s people and traditions through a
unique digital perspective, and inclusive on-ground engagements where communities
from all walks of life can experience AI up close.

The campaign debuts with Malaysia’s first Bulan Kebangsaan Generative AI music video
that translates the nation’s rich culture and heritage into captivating digital art, scenes
using text prompts, and features the talents of MK (K-Clique), Suki Low and Balan Kash.

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