Malay literature is facing with great challenges in the 21st century. Most people seem to be less sensitive to the beauty and importance of Malay literature. Greater emphasis is placed on science, technology, and humanities, resulted in the diminishing of the pertinence and status of Malay literature in Malaysia.
To meet this challenge, the Faculty of Languages and Communication, in collaboration with Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, organised a joint programme this week solely to elevate the status of Malay literature to a higher level. A programme namely Intellectual Discourse with the Malaysian National Laurate was held with the invited well-known Malaysian National Laurate, Professor Emeritus Dr. Muhammad Haji Salleh. This eventful and memorable programme took place in Dewan Perdana, University of Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA) on the 16th of September 2015. More than 300 participants attended the programme. Among them are the invited lecturers from higher institutions in the east coast of peninsular Malaysia, UniSZA lecturers and students, arts and language lovers, and the local folks. This programme is seen as a step further to strengthen the status of Malay literature nationwide and internationally, and it gives a chance for the two institutions to distribute and disseminate knowledge related to Malay literature.
Among the highlights of the program are a talk given by Mr. Yahya Ismail or Pakya (a strong supporter of the Malay language ), a declamation of poem by a group of UniSZA students, and a book review by Dr. Ding Choo Ming and Zalina Abdul Aziz, also known as (Ninot Aziz). The program continued on with the launch of the book 'Bridging the Past and the Present: A Festschrift Honouring Muhammad Haji Salleh' and a premier lecture given by Professor Emeritus Dr. Muhammad Haji Salleh entitled 'On the Threshold of Scholars'.
In his premier lecture, Professor Emeritus Dr. Muhammad Haji Salleh reminded the audience to appreciate both the language and scientific knowledge for an intellectual atmosphere can only be built through extensive reading. He stated that the desire and passion to acquire knowledge transmitted in different languages can only be achieved through a translation process that is dynamic and sophisticated. The professor also highlighted the need to elevate the status of the Malay language as it represents a symbol of identity and harmony of Malaysia. He suggested that the Malays should not forget about the tradition and Malay literature as it signifies the identity of the community.
The event concluded at 1.00 p.m. with the autograph and interview sessions carried out with the Professor Emeritus.
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