PUTRAJAYA – Deputy prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today urged genuine writers and literary figures to continue to write based on the truth and not to spread any falsity in their writings.
He said although the truth might not be nice and at times even bitter, the genuine writers still had the responsibility to convey the truth through their writings.
“…therein lies the greatness of a writer. I hope writers will continue to state the painful truth to steer the community towards righteousness and not a ‘beautiful lie’ which can lead them to become complacent,” he said.
Muhyiddin, who is also the Education Minister, said this at the prize-giving ceremony for the second ‘Sayembara Penulisan Institut Terjemahan dan Buku Malaysia (ITBM)-Persatuan Penulis Nasional Malaysia (PENA)- Berita Harian’ here.
The deputy prime minister also suggested that experts in the field of literature in the country carried out scientific research on the Malay literature so that it could be turned into an important research material for practitioners of literature.
Muhyiddin said the study could highlight and prove the positive impact of literary works on civilisation besides contributing to the country’s economic, social and political growth.
“Thus, I suggest that this matter is given attention and the government is willing to listen to any proposal on how it could be immediately implemented,” he said.
He said although it was proven that there was positive development in the world cycle of local literature, the national literature could not be empowered if the community did not carry the Malay language to the highest level of cultural thinking.
He said the situation became more complicated because the Malay language as the national language continued to be challenged by the influence of other languages which also brought along a different culture and thinking.
Touching on the holding of the ‘Sayembara Penulisan ITBM-PENA-Berita Harian’, Muhyiddin said it was a proactive effort to expand the language and Malay literature and hoped that more credible writers could be produced.
In this regard, Muhyiddin announced an allocation of RM5 million as a symbol of the government’s support to ensure the survival of original publications by ITBM and the organisation of various programs that could expand the writers’ talents including the third ‘Sayembara Penulisan’.
The second ‘Sayembara Penulisan ITBM-PENA-Berita Harian’ for the novel category was won by Jong Chian Lai through his book entitled ‘Ah Fook’ thus taking home the cash prize of RM15,000.
For the short stories group category, the winner was Ahmad Fadhlil Mohamad Pakarul-Razy (rpt:Ahmad Fadhlil Mohamad Pakarul-Razy) through his work entitled ‘Pascasejarah’ (rpt:Pascasejarah), while ‘Dondang Pembukaan’ written by Muhammad Lutfi Ishak won under the poetry group category.
Both winners took home a cash prize of RM10,000 each.
Earlier, Muhyiddin officiated the ITBM mobile bookshop to be used to carry the book collection published by the institute to all parts of the country to bring them closer the people in the rural and urban areas besides promoting the reading culture among the people. – BERNAMA