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Saturday January 20, 2007
The Government is targeting to have Malaysians read at least 10 books yearly from 2010.
According to a survey, Malaysians only read an average of five books last year, Culture, Arts and Heritage Deputy Minister Datuk Wong Kam Hoong said in Penang yesterday.
He said this should gradually increase to reach the targeted number in four years from now.
“People in Britain and Japan read an average of 20 books a year,” he said.
He said his ministry had launched a five-year national reading campaign last July with an annual allocation of RM5mil.
Various programmes, including workshops, are now being held nationwide under the campaign to encourage reading habit, he said.
He said the campaign was undertaken together with the National Library, Education, Higher Education, Youth and Sports, Rural and Regional Development, and Women, Family and Community Development Ministries.
“We want Malaysians to read more and we need concerted effort from all quarters, including non-governmental organisations, to make the campaign a success,” he said.
Wong, who is also Bayan Baru MP, was speaking to reporters after presenting financial aid to 115 poor students from 23 primary and secondary schools in his constituency in Penang yesterday.
He said although the reading campaign was targeted at all age groups, the focus was on students.
He said a recent survey showed 67% of the materials read by Malaysians were newspapers and magazines.
“Newspapers and magazines are good for current affairs and general knowledge but books explore specific fields in detail,” he said.
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