Published: Thursday January 31, 2013 MYT 5:58:00 PM
Updated: Thursday January 31, 2013 MYT 7:39:07 PM
Writers associations get RM600,000 to encourage homegrown talent
By YVONNE LIM
KUALA LUMPUR: The Government has given RM600,000 to various writers associations from all over the country, in an effort to encourage more homegrown authors.
The associations which received the RM600,000 in various amounts were Gabungan Penulis Nasional, Persatuan Karyawan Sastera Sarawak, Badan Bahasa dan Sastera Sabah, Persatuan Penterjemah dan Penulis Kreatif (Tiong Hwa) and Persatuan Penulis-Penulis Tamil Malaysia.
Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said this was part of the Government's efforts to help new and upcoming writers who were facing difficulty getting their books published.
"Any budding authors who are struggling to get their works recognised and published should not hesitate to approach the ministry for help, as we have a fund in place for this purpose," he said Thursday.
Rais also announced that his ministry, in collaboration with the National Library, was also working on setting up a data centre for all books and literature written and published by Malaysians.
"This will help us determine how the local book industry is doing, as well as provide information on how it can be better developed," he said.
The minister suggested that a workshop for all local authors, publishers and other players in the Malaysian book industry be held to discuss how the industry can further grow.
"Last year, 17,000 titles were published by our own authors, and we hope to increase this number, as we build this nation to be a society of readers, thinkers and writers," he said.
Rais said this while launching the on-going 1Malaysia Book Fair 2013, being at Putra World Trace Centre here on Jan 30 to Feb 3.
Book lovers will be spoiled for choice at the fair, which has more than 250 book stores and publishing houses under the 1Malaysia Book Voucher programme participating and selling their wares at a discounted price.
Visitors can also enjoy the Warisan Laksamana Hang Tuah exhibition featuring the works of local artist Ismail Embong, as well as be a part of various activities to inspire a reading culture.