KUALA LUMPUR: The IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for Young Malaysian (IDLA06) is back – and this year, more awards are up for grabs.
The essay writing competition, which was introduced in Malaysia four years ago, encourages young Malaysians to express themselves in the English language in the form of essay writing.
Each year, the Irish Embassy organises the competition in Malaysia and Thailand, open to those aged between 14 and 18 (as of March 31).
This year's essay writing title is “If I could change the world...”. It can be fictional or non-fictional and must be 800 to 1,200 words in length.
Nine Merit Awards are among the new rewards in this year's competition – these are four RM750, one RM500 and four RM250 cash prizes.
There will also be a special prize for the winner's school.
As in previous years, the grand prize winner will win two tickets to Dublin, Ireland, to attend the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award gala prize-giving ceremony for five days and four nights.
The top 20 short-listed participants will receive a certificate.
Irish ambassador Eugene Hutchinson, in launching IDLA06 at the National Library here yesterday, said Malaysians had taken English and adapted it to their own advantage.
“This is so because Malaysians have come to realise that competence in the language is the key to success in the global world of commerce. The competition is one incentive for students to exercise their imagination and to hone their English writing skills,” he said.
“Whether an entrant is a prize winner or not, taking part has its own reward.”
The event is organised by the embassy and Malaysia’s National Library, with IMPAC as the main sponsor. The Star is the official media.
The other sponsors are the Irish Universities and Medical School's Consortium (IUMC), St Patrick's Society and the Malaysian Irish Alumni Association with supported from the Education Ministry.
Group editorial/education advisor Datuk Ng Poh Tip said The Star has always been a keen supporter of healthy activities for the younger generation and had initiated programmes such as Newspaper in Education and R-AGE, among other things.
“If the creativity and skills shown by our winners last year are of any indication, then I am eager to find out what our aspiring contestants will offer the judges this year,” she said.
Asia Control Systems IMPAC CEO David Surin agreed, adding that it would be interesting “to see the world through the youthful eye.”
Also present at the event was Education Ministry (Schools Division) principal assistant director Zais Mohd Akil and National Library director-general Dr Wan Ali Wan Mamat.
The closing date for entries is March 31.
Entries can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or IDLA06 c/o MSD, The Star, Menara Star, No 15, Jalan 16/11, Section 16, 46350 Petaling Jaya.