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KUALA LUMPUR: Local young writers are getting assistance from the government to have their literary works published.
This would be possible through a RM5 million allocation announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak last night. The allocation would be channelled to the National Institute of Translation. (Institut Terjemahan Nasional).
"We will allocate RM3 million this year and the rest next year to show our appreciation towards the talent and work of our young and upcoming writers," he said at the golden jubilee celebration of the National Writers Association (Pena) here.
With the allocation, he hoped young writers would have their works published within three to six months.
Najib also said the institute would soon have a wider role in addition to its responsibility as the lead agency in translating works.
"It will be involved in publishing original works to help promote the book publishing industry and the nation's literary scene," he said, adding that it would be renamed Institut Terjemahan dan Buku Malaysia.
Najib also urged Pena to be an active stakeholder in monitoring the content and works of young writers.
He also announced an allocation of RM1 million for renovation works and the upkeep of the Pena office in appreciation of its efforts to promote works of local writers.
Later, Najib presented the Tokoh Pena award to renowned literary figure Datuk Baharuddin Zainal, also known as Baha Zain, who received a certificate, a baju Melayu, and RM5,000.
Baha Zain has published more than 10 original works and co-authored 18 others, including short essays, poems and journals.