Gift of books to spur a love for reading and learning

Children at the Al-Muttaqin Mosque Kindergarten met a new storyteller yesterday.

Minister for Communication and Information Yaacob Ibrahim, who is also Minister-in-Charge of Muslim Affairs, read to the group at the Ang Mo Kio mosque.

The mosque, along with the Al-Ansar Mosque Kindergarten, received 600 storybooks donated by MPH Bookstores to Mendaki, the Muslim self-help group.

The donation followed a call from the group to encourage reading among the young and instill a culture of learning within the Malay/Muslim community as part of this year's Ramadan campaign which is themed "Celebrate Knowledge".

It also ties in with the National Reading Movement launched by the National Library Board (NLB).

Also at the book distribution were Mendaki chief executive officer Tuminah Sapawi, MPH Bookstores chief operating officer Abdul Rahim Awang, and Al-Muttaqin mosque officials.

Dr Yaacob said: "Reading is such an important, basic skill that we want them to acquire early on, so that they can build on it for the rest of their lives. Given that our economy is transiting into a knowledge-based economy, life-long learning is very important, and it starts from reading."

Thanking MPH for its donation, he added: "This is a good start. I hope more partners can step forward and make this campaign last throughout the year. Mendaki wants to be the catalyst to start a reading movement within our community."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 01, 2016, with the headline 'Gift of books to spur a love for reading and learning'. Print Edition | Subscribe