PUTRAJAYA: Datuk Dr Ahmad Kamal Abdullah or Kemala has been named the 11th National Laureate.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who made the announcement Tuesday, said the award was given to literary figures writing in Malay who had shown excellence in developing the country's creative literary works, creative thinking and literary activities.
As the winner, Kemala will receive gifts including a letter of tribute, RM60,000 cash prize and publication of 50,000 copies or the cost of printing (not more RM500,000) to be purchased by the government for distribution to schools, libraries, departments and agencies.
Muhyiddin said the 11th National Literary Award Secretariat received 14 nominations - five new and nine from the previous nomination until the closing date on May 31 last year.
"The 11th National Literary Awards Panel of Judges appointed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak met three times," he told reporters.
Kemala who was born in Gombak, Selangor was active in literary work and began writing since primary school until his present position as Visiting Scholar at Universiti Putra Malaysia.
He wrote 11 poetry books, 25 books on anthology of poetry, 10 books on literary research, four short story books, eight anthology of short stories, four plays, three children story books and over 50 essays and literary critics.
His books have been translated into many foreign languages including Chinese, Urdu, French, German, Dutch, Slovania, Spanish and Serbo-Croatian.
Kemala received many awards including the SEA Write Awards (1986) from the Thai government, Anugerah Pujangga from Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (2002) and the Malaysian Premier Literary Prize.
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