| Hakim Hayat |
GREATER emphasis should be placed in elevating the use of the Malay language, especially in efforts to expand the national language as a “language of knowledge”.
This observation was made by the Minister of Home Affairs, Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman, during a prize presentation ceremony for an Essay and Short Story Competition organised by Bahana Magazine, which is published by the Language and Literature Bureau (DBP).
The minister, who was the guest of honour at last night’s event held at Rizqun International Hotel, said even though the DBP was established in 1961 to develop and empower the use and harmonisation of the national language, today, it still appears that they are more focused on literary works rather than in the field of language.
In light of this, the minister urged the DBP to shift their centre of focus by stepping up efforts to further develop the Malay language as a “language of knowledge” for the country.
He also said the DBP must consistently aim towards ensuring that it upholds its slogan of upholding the national language as “Bahasa Jiwa Bahasa Bangsa” (soul language of the nation) for today and tomorrow’s generation.
“I am confident that the DBP, which has already been established for over 50 years, is ready to take on the necessary changes and steps,” he said, adding that this includes new approaches in their weekly or monthly language campaigns.
Meanwhile, the Director of the DBP, Hajah Aminah binti Haji Momin, pointed out that in a bid to step up language, literature and reading culture activities in the country, the DBP will be organising more events such as the Brunei Writers’ Festival, Book Festival as well as a large-scale carnival on promoting the reading culture next year.
The DBP will also be inviting local writers to talk about their publications, she said, adding there are also plans to organise a poetry competition for youths next year.
The first place winner for the Literature Essay Writing Competition was Athiah binti Haji Badar with her work “Teori Eko – Kritik Suatu Pengenalan”. She received a cash prize of $2,000.
Meanwhile, in the Short Story category, Haji Mohd Firdaus bin OKK Haji Nordin with his work entitled “Al-Munawwarah” emerged as the winner and won himself a cash prize of $1,500.
Prizes were presented by the Minister of Home Affairs.
According to the DBP, a total of 31 essays and 40 short stories were received for this year’s competition.