KUANTAN: Poet Teo Wei Sing did the country proud recently by going on international stage to recite a Malay poem.
Clad in an ocean blue baju Melayu, purple kain samping with songkok and a dummy keris, Teo, 33, recited “Sembah Setia Patik Jelata, Junjung Kasih Tuanku di Takhta” before an appreciative crowd of over 200 people.
Although he did not win any award, it was a good platform to showcase Malay arts and literature to the world.
Speaking to StarMetro, Teo said the two-day event was held in two locations - the Unesco headquarters on the first day and the Indonesia embassy on the second - both in Paris.
Teo said it took him only eight minutes to recite the poem which he wrote and dedicated to Sultan Ahmad Shah to mark the Pahang state ruler’s 85th birthday this year.
“The audience was very supportive and gave me a big round of applause.
“It was my third recitation overseas after previous attempts in Indonesia and Beijing,” he said.
Teo said about 60 participants from all over the world took part in the event which also included cultural and folklore performances.
He said it was a good learning experience and he got the chance to meet and make friends with other poets and participants.
Later, he said he took the opportunity to meet Malaysian students in Lyon, Paris to share his knowledge on how to write and recite poems.
Teo also expressed his gratitude to Tengku Puan Pahang Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah Sultan Iskandar, Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob, Deputy Education Minister Senator Chong Sin Woon and Pahang Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF) chairman Datuk Seri Johny Ch’ng Ewe Gee, who fully sponsored his trip.
Meanwhile, Ch’ng said Teo’s efforts to promote the country’s Malay literature and arts should be supported.
“Malaysians are gifted and should be given an opportunity to showcase their talents.
“Besides crime prevention, MCPF will take the lead to help nurture national integration and unity through various platforms such as sport meets, linguistic exchanges and community-related activities,” he said.
To date, Teo has written six poetry books, 14 reference books and anthologies with several other authors.
He started his primary education at SJK(C) Pei Chai.
It was his Form Six teacher Mohd Che Ibrahim at SM Abdul Rahman Talib who encouraged his interest in Malay literature.
Teo’s father, a petty trader, supported his decision to pursue Malay language and literature at Universiti Putra Malaysia under the tutelage of the late S. Othman Kelantan and Assoc Prof Dr Lim Swee Tin.