THREE prominent Malaysian poets were honoured by Motivational Strips and the Gujarat Sahitya Academy in conjunction with India’s 74th Independence Day.
Lilian Woo, Dr Paul Sebastian and Alan Liew were among the 350 recipients from 80 countries to receive the International Award for “Literary Excellence”.
The best authors, writers and poets were considered for the recognition and awarded in August following an evaluation by both literary bodies.
Motivational Strips is the world’s most active writers forum — with contributors from 163 countries and a monthly visitor count exceeding 7.5 million.
The Gujarat Sahitya Academy falls under the auspices of the state government of Gujarat and is regarded as one of India’s premier literary institutions.
Woo, who was delighted with the award, described herself as a simple lady who loved writing and cooking, splitting her time between her pen and her pan.
“I developed a passion for poetry four years ago.
“I started with writing simple quotes, and later on poems. I also joined a few forums and won several international awards.
“Writing has also enhanced my self-esteem and confidence.
“Solemn writings can touch lives deeply, spread peace and harmony, ” said the retiree, who was born in Taiping, Perak, but has resided in Penang for over 40 years.
Woo, who is also chief administrator with Motivational Strips, was motivated after winning the Bold Gold Pen Award in 2018 which saw poets and writers from 84 countries.
She has also authored the poetry book, The Pearl Wonder and co-authored four anthologies — A Spark of Home (Volumes I and II), Break The Silence, as well as Crossroads — which are all Rank 1 best-sellers on Amazon.
In 2019, she was conferred the title of Her Excellency (H.E.) Ambassador General of National Peace Unison (India).
In July, she was also appointed national president of the Union Hispanomundial De Escritores (UHE) for Malaysia by its executive chairman, Carlos Hugo Garrido Chalen of Peru.
Liew, an active blogger who composes poems, said the award was a pleasant surprise.
“Malaysian poets do possess the literary prowess in composing poetry of international standard.
“I hope more will try poetry composition, particularly the young Malay poets, writers and authors who are interested in literature and are actively involved in writing, ” said Liew, who is originally from Miri, Sarawak.
Now enjoying retired life in Kuala Lumpur, Liew credits his secondary school English teacher for encouraging him to dabble in poems.
“He even helped to send my poems to the newspapers. A few of them were published in the junior mail columns. From then on, I saw the fun in writing and playing with words, ” he added.
Paul is currently the principal cooperate trainer in his own organisation, the Business Skill Training Centre.
He has written over 1,000 poems, some of which have been published in several anthologies.
He was also honoured with The Order of Shakespeare Medal by Motivational Strips this year.
The awards garnered significant news coverage worldwide.
Motivational Strips founder and president Shiju H. Pallithazheth lauded all the recipients’ efforts in the field of literature.
Gujarat Sahitya Academy chairman Dr Vishnu Pandya called the awards a “historical moment” that will impact global literature for the coming years.
“This literary endowment will remain as a case study for many more poets from Malaysia to keep faith with their pen, ” he said.
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