The development of traditional music has led to the establishment of the Malaysian Traditional Orchestra (OTM). OTM identifies the country’s plural society in terms of humanity and music, of which multi -racial culture is the core, by maintaining the function and identity of original music and heritage. The selection of genres and musical compositions will unite the original features of this heritage music in a combination full of its aesthetic value and originality.
The establishment of OTM is in line with the intention of the Ministry of Information Communication and Culture (KPKK) to unite all Malaysians of various races through the art of music. The establishment of OTM is an ongoing effort by KPKK through Istana Budaya, to restructure traditional musicians of various races and ethnicities as well as make the diversity of Malaysian traditional musical instruments of international and professional standard, comparable to western symphony orchestras. This effort supports the idea of the 1Malaysia Idea put forward by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, YAB Dato ‘Sri Mohd. Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak, which is to promote racial harmony through the activities held. OTM also brings together top musicians from the Professional Cultural Center (PCC) and the Temple of Fine Arts (TOFA). This combination displays and expresses the unity and spirit of camaraderie among the people of various races.
OTM is seen as the catalyst for the Malaysian music revolution in the 21st century. It is based on the music of various races and ethnicities such as Malays, Chinese, Indians, Orang Asli, Sabah and Sarawak. It is hoped that this combination of various music genres can be used as a platform for a new concept of music for Malaysians who are united in the coming century.
OTM was officially launched by YB. Dato ’Seri Utama Dr. Rais Yatim, Minister of Information Communication and Culture (KPKK) on 06 February 2010 at Panggung Sari Istana Budaya.