Monday, April 6, 2009


KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 (Bernama) -- Malaysia has to publish 27,000 book titles for general reading annually to become a knowledgeable developed nation and be on par with other developed countries, Malaysian Book Contractors Association president Hasan Hamzah said.

He said this being that in countries like Japan, South Korea, Denmark, Sweden and Germany, the ratio was 1,000 book titles to one million population.
"Hence, Malaysia has to publish 27,000 book titles for its 27 million population a year, " he said, adding that such an effort would require an allocation of about RM300 million.
Hasan said Malaysia currently published only 10,000 book titles every year, which is still very far behind from that in other developed countries.
Most of the books found in Malaysia were imported ones, despite the country having many local intellectuals, including about 350,000 teachers and more than 40,000 lecturers or professors, who were capable of producing books for general reading, he added.
However, he said it was not because there were not many locally-published books that reading was not a habit among Malaysians.
"Actually, our society loves knowledge and they like to read. It is because the books are expensive to buy," he added.
Hasan said that for a book to be sold cheap, a publisher had to print at least 3,000 copies for each book title a year.
There would be an increase in demand for general books with support from the government through provision of special allocations for publication of books for general reading, he added.
Source: Yahoo News.

Akmar says:
As someone who loves to read and have been exposed to books and libraries since i was a little girl, as small as 4, 5 yrs old, i pretty much agree that Malaysian intellectuals need to produce more books for the development of the country.
On the price comment, I'd say that Malay novels are not so expensive compared to imported English novels. Eg, a Malay novel will cost abt RM20 while an imported English novel is about RM50. But children literature is very undeveloped. Children books are always expensive because they come with illustration, colour and sometimes hardcover.
But, I'm also surprised lately as I came across a lot of new books by local authors such as books on Palestine, Hamas, Iskandar Zulkarnain etc, which actually really grabbed my attention and interest.
Anyway, enough of giving my comment on the news extract, i need to get back to what i'm supposed to do now: my spinal cord injury research, and my post on the wall built by the Zionist to reduce the population of the Palestinians.

1 comment:

  1. Needless to say, my earlier comment landed in the wrong place. It was meant to Who's in Control?

    As for books, I think the government should subsidise books. They do give a tax rebate (RM200 last time I looked, but that's rather miserable. The money you save is virtually nil.

    In fact I think Malaysia should be a book publishing hub. There is nothing special about the technology these days, and I'm sure Malaysia as the potential for large scale paper production (which should be planned to have minimal environmental impact)

    Book clubs should be encouraged within organisations/institutions and among friends. It goes like this: Having done a quick survey beforehand, you draw up a short list of book titles amongst your colleagues/friends and you each go out and buy the book. You make an appointment to meet in a restaurant or in your house or whatever, and discuss the book over a meal. You will probably find by discussing the book, you will see different aspects of the book that you missed.