Three Sabahan writers nominated for award

KOTA KINABALU: Badan Bahasa dan Sastera Sabah (Bahasa) will be nominating three Sabahan writers for the S.E.A Write Award (Southeast Asian Writers Award).

Its president, Jasni Matlani, said that the three potential writers are Datuk Jamdin Buyong, Sukor Usin (Hasyuda Abadi) and Siti Rahmah Ibrahim.

The three are not only literary figures in Sabah but have won many awards at the state and national level.

Speaking to reporters at a writers forum and Hari Raya Open house organised by Bahasa here yesterday, Jasni stressed that Jamdin, Sukor and Siti Rahmah deserved to be nominated for the award due to their work all this while.

“We want more writers and figures in the state literary sector to receive recognition at a higher level,” he said and lamented that more needs to be done to promote literary works by Sabahans to readers abroad.

Therefore more programs involving their peers from outside the state must be organised so that the works of Sabahan writers can be made known to them, he stressed.

The S.E.A Write Awards are given to the writers from each of the countries that comprise the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, though not all countries in ASEAN are represented every year. The award is sometimes given for a specific work by an author, or it could be awarded for lifetime achievement. The types of works that are honored vary, and have included poetry, short stories, novels, plays, folklore, and scholarly and religious works.

The ceremonies are held in Bangkok, with a member of the Thai royal family presiding. The award was conceived by the management of The Oriental hotel in Bangkok, which then sought further backing from Thai Airways International and other companies. The ceremonies have featured some notable guest speakers, including Iris Murdoch, Peter Ustinov, Jeffrey Archer, James A. Michener, Gore Vidal, William Golding, Rita Dove and Paul Theroux.

Meanwhile Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister Datuk Mohd Arifin Mohd Arif who is also Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) Board of Member and was the guest of the

honor, said that literary organiszations in Sabah are now more active in promoting the state as a platform for literary and culture.

He pointed out that programs such as ‘Mahrajan (Literature Festival) and Writers’ Festival are among events which promote arts and culture tourism in sabah.

Also present at the event was DBP Sabah deputy director Norjanah Yusoff.

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