Berkas - The Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports said it is timely for the Malay Language and Literature Bureau with other government stakeholders, higher educational institutions and book stores, to carry out research on the level of reading culture in the Sultanate.
To achieve a high level of civilisation, full focus must be given to the acquisition of knowledge by nurturing a reading culture to produce quality and credible individuals.
This is also in line with His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam's titah for the nation to have an educated society of thinkers, and therefore books and other sources of reading materials could relay such objective.
Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Hazair bin Hj Abdullah pointed this out yesterday during the Book Festival 20I3 launch in conjunction with the country's 29th National Day celebration at the Berakas Indoor Stadium.
"As a nation and society that wishes to develop to an advanced level, we should see that book reading has its own magic," the minister said, before going on to explain that a book provides an overview and different perception to each reader.
Aside from empowering reading culture, organising book festivals allows bookstores and publishers, both locally and from abroad, to showcase their new books. Exposure to quality work in the various traditions of race and human civilisation is crucial as such work represents traditions and development of intellectual thinking of a person.
Organising book festivals has its significance in providing an overview as a nation that prioritises knowledge and improves people's mental acuity critically and openly, which drives towards creating a nation that is advanced.
Only through reading will the community achieve a high level of thinking, and be able to compete and acquire all benefits in the globalised world.
In developed countries, book festivals are a much-awaited activity by the community. It is viewed as a significant event towards diversifying and enriching knowledge, opening mindsets to the understanding of global development, science and technology as well as civilisation, said the minister.
The book festival, organised by the Language and Literature Bureau, boasts 106 booths and sees the participation of 48 bookstores both locally and from abroad.
Forty-nine new books in the form of 25 general books, 1I literature books and 12 children books published by the bureau were launched yesterday. Also launched yesterday was a book published by the State Mufti's Office called `Teman Musafir'.
The event also saw the handing over of prizes to the authors of two best-sellers: Dr Abdul Latif Ibrahim, for his book 'Kg Ayer: Kenangan Abadi,' and Ustaz Hj Mohd Sahri bin Hj Sulaiman for his book 'Amalan Rahsia dan Kehebatan Al-Quran' which sold between 800 to 2,000 copies last year.
Meanwhile, various activities have been lined up for visitors, which conclude March I0, including a workshop on the adaptation of poetry work to theatre, Malay quiz, proverbs quiz, book festival `tamu', spontaneous Jawi reading, independent poetry recital, Jawi writing contest, reading for children, drawing and Jawi clinics.
--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin