| Lyna Mohamad |
MINISTER of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin urged for a rebranding of all libraries under the Language and Literature Bureau (DBP) across the country yesterday.
“This rebranding strategy should ensure that the function of a library stays relevant as a platform for the strengthening of the reading culture among the general community in general,” said the minister.
He made these comments during the launching ceremony of the Brunei Book Fair 2019 at the Indoor Stadium in Berakas yesterday.
Among the new approaches suggested by the minister are the establishment of a library café and remodelling the library environment into a centre for the development of creative arts.
Earlier, he noted that the Brunei Book Fair has already become an important event in the country’s activity calendar.
“The theme for this year’s event – Lestari Buku Era Digital – is in line with the continuation of this good effort and the current situation, as it means that print publication is here to stay in the digital era,” he said.
The book fair, organised by the DBP, features the participation of several foreign exhibitors, particularly Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Sultanate of Oman and Jordan, alongside local book dealers and publishers.
Eight booths have been specially designated for the display of arts and crafts from the Sultanate of Oman during the week-long event which continues until March 5.
The participation of the Sultanate of Oman as a Country of Honour is a celebration of 15 years’ cooperation between Brunei’s Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) and the Monarchy Heritage of Oman.
The minister thanked the Government of Oman for its continuing support.
“We are truly honoured by your presence, as we mark a very special moment with the participation of the Sultanate of Oman for the first time, as the Country of Honour in the Brunei Book Fair 2019,” he said, adding that several officers from the MCYS are in Oman for the Muscat International Book Fair.
“I am happy to note that the ministry is also continuing its existing and strong relations there,” he said.
“In addition, we equally take pride that this designation also coincides with the declaration of Bandar Seri Begawan as the Asian Region’s Capital of Islamic Culture 2019 under the initiative of the Islamic Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) launched in January.”
Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman to Brunei Darussalam Sheikh Ahmed bin Hashel bin Rashed bin Hashel Al-Maskari thanked the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports and the DBP for extending the invitation to participate as Country of Honour.
“This simplifies the deep-rooted historical ties binding the Sultanate of Oman and Brunei Darussalam and the longstanding relations based on mutual cooperation and common interests in various domains,” he said.
“We are pleased that the Oman-Brunei cooperation in the field of culture is going from strength to strength, thanks to the considerable attention accorded by our two governments to cultural relations, which serve as one of the pillars of both countries’ diplomacy.”
Following the speeches, the minister officially launched the Brunei Book Fair 2019, together with the participation of Oman as Country of Honour.
He also announced the release of 32 new publications – four books under the science category, six books under the general category, 13 adult titles and nine children’s titles – from DBP and a coffee-table book on Bandar Seri Begawan as the Asian Region’s Capital of Islamic Culture 2019.
Several local youth entities are also participating in the fair, particularly those involved in the fields of teaching, learning and media.
Among those present at yesterday’s launching were Permanent Secretary at the MCYS Datin Paduka Dr Hajah Norlila binti Dato Paduka Haji Abdul Jalil; Undersecretary of the Ministry of Information at the Sultanate of Oman Ali bin Khalfan Al-Jabri; members of the Legislative Council; and other members of the Diplomatic Corps in Brunei.