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Malay book fair goes online this year; aims to promote local literature

Running from Aug 15 to Oct 11, Bulan Bahasa aims to encourage the community to embrace and use the Malay language in their daily lives.
Running from Aug 15 to Oct 11, Bulan Bahasa aims to encourage the community to embrace and use the Malay language in their daily lives.PHOTO: PESTA BUKU MELAYU SINGAPURA/FACEBOOK

The second edition of a Malay book fair here was launched yesterday and will be taking place fully online till Sunday.

Commissioned by the industry-led #BuySingLit reading campaign, Pesta Buku Melayu Singapura 2020 (Singapore Malay Book Fair 2020) will see the launch of nine new Malay books, including six by local authors.

The virtual fair, hosted on the Facebook page of Pesta Buku Melayu Singapura, will include a showcase of local publishers and book discussions. Some activities will also be streamed on the cultural and heritage hub Wisma Geylang Serai's (WGS) Facebook page.

The books are available via four participating online booksellers.

"The fair aims to spark readers' interest in Malay SingLit and invites all Singaporeans to celebrate books by local authors, illustrators and publishers," said the organisers, who noted the use of Malay was decreasing among Malay families, and a younger generation was losing its bilingual edge.

The Singapore Malay Book Fair was first held last year on March 16 and 17 at WGS, and attracted some 3,000 visitors over two days.

Plans for a physical fair this March were cancelled due to the pandemic. However, organisers said the current timing for the fair, with its slate of programmes and promotion of Malay literature and writers, coincides nicely with the ongoing Bulan Bahasa, or Malay Language Month.

Running from Aug 15 to Oct 11, Bulan Bahasa aims to encourage the community to embrace and use the Malay language in their daily lives. Organised by the Malay Language Council, it also aims to instil a deeper appreciation for Malay culture and heritage.

Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim opened the Singapore Malay Book Fair 2020 yesterday in a Facebook live event last night. Other programmes this year include musical performances of Malay poetry, storytelling sessions for younger readers as well as a session on making kuih, or traditional Malay desserts.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 14, 2020, with the headline 'Malay book fair goes online this year; aims to promote local literature'. Print Edition | Subscribe