KUALA LUMPUR: The habit of reading should be inculcated in children from a young age, says Deputy Education Minister Datuk P. Kamalanathan.
“When we read, we gain knowledge and we enhance our critical thinking,” he said.
“The Government, through the Education Ministry and other avenues, is doing its best to provide Malaysians, especially youngsters, the means to quality reading materials,” he told reporters after the launch of Popular’s BookFest@Malaysia at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre here yesterday.
Kamalanathan commended Popular, saying that the ministry encouraged such efforts. “Reading is a healthy habit and initiative.
“The ministry has introduced competitions such as the Nilam programme where children are encouraged to read as many books as possible and in turn, will be rewarded with prizes,” he added.
Launched by the Education Ministry in 1999, Nilam (Nadi Ilmu Amalan Membaca) aims to inculcate the habit of reading in both primary school pupils and secondary school students.
Under the Nilam programme, pupils and students are required to jot down details of the books they read – the author, number of pages, publisher and synopsis or a mind map – into a record book. The programme tracks the score continuously until the student leaves school.
Entering its 12th year, BookFest@Malaysia is recognised by the Malaysia Book of Records as the largest trilingual book exposition in the country.
Popular Book Co (M) Sdn Bhd executive director Lim Lee Ngoh said this year’s theme was “Read More Malaysia – Embrace the World”.
“Popular supports and encourages a reading society. We believe that reading is the way to keep up with knowledge,” she said.
BookFest@Malaysia 2017 will be on daily from 10am to 10pm, from June 24 to July 2.
Admission is with purchase of the BookFest catalogue at RM2.50 per entry or RM10 for multiple entries over nine days.
Catalogues are available at all Popular and Harris bookstore outlets nationwide and will also be sold at the event’s entrance.
Entrance is free for students who are 18 years old and below and for senior citizens aged 60 and above.
For more information, visit facebook.com/BookFestMalaysia. Star Media Group Bhd is a media partner of BookFest@Malaysia 2017.