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Elevating the status of Malay literature

By Rosli Abidin Yahya

Some four officers from the Language and Literature Bureau (DBP), Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports departed for Jakarta, Indonesia yesterday morning to attend a sub-committee meeting towards elevating the status of the Malay literature to be on par with major world language literatures.

Led by DBP Deputy Director Hj Abu Bakar bin Hj Zainal - the head of Brunei Darussalam's delegation - other officers in the group included Senior Language Officer Dayang Aminah bte Hj Momin - the secretary of Brunei Darussalam's Southeast Asia Literature Council (Brunei MASTERA), Senior Writer Awang Alimin bin Haji Abdul Hamid - Brunei MASTERA Secretariat, and Writer Dayang Hajah Shaharah bte Dato Paduka Haji Abd Wahab - Brunei MASTERA Secretariat.

According to Dayang Aminah, the June 24 - 25 meeting to be held in Banten, Jakarta will discuss additional and further actions for the oncoming 9th MASTERA Conference to be held on March 6 - 7 next year in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

MASTERA, she said, will also be announcing all its activities for the year 2004 and will table proposals for the Council's literature activities for next year.

"Activities for the year 2004 include publications of Pangsura Journal by Brunei Darussalam, MASTERA add-on publications in Bahana magazine, and the programme to introduce local and regional literary figures and literati to schools.

"Other activities include the teaching and learning of regional Malay literature, essay writing programme, 8th Literature Comparison Lecture, Regional Literature Teachers Seminar, Research on Poem Comparison 20 years after independence, Research on short stories, Comparison 20 years after independence, and short descriptions of classic literature works," she said.

Dayang Aminah also listed out proposals for next year's MASTERA activities such as the planned 10th MASTERA Conference.

"We will be discussing the agendas for the conference such as determining a suitable theme, deciding time and place, and publishing the results of MASTERA activities, giving recognitions to participants of MASTERA Writing Program from the three member countries, and the proposal for a poem and short stories competition for teenagers in the three member nations," she said.

Apart from that, the committee will also determine the meetings to be organised by the sub-committee, discuss the next MASTERA Writing programme in drama, the 9th Comparison Literature Lecture and MASTERA add-ons pages to literature magazines in the thee member nations and scrutinising the Malay Lithography Manuscript.

The delegation will return to Brunei Darussalam on Saturday.

Source: Brunei Press Sdn Bhd

RAHA- World Independent Writers' Home, Afghanistan Center, In Exile

KP/24/June/ /2004






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