KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad yesterday launched the National Reading Decade (DMK) which is the government’s initiative to promote the reading habit among the people.
According to the programme book at the launch of DMK, the government will promote an environment to encourage the reading habit and the people’s mental preparedness in an aggressive, creative and inclusive manner aimed at making Malaysia a reading nation within the next 10 years.
With the slogan #MalaysiaMembaca, the DMK organised by the Education Ministry focuses on increasing the rate of reading and readers, and targets a more comprehensive reading group as well as the involvement of people of all levels of society.
It reflects the government’s seriousness to create a reading culture to build a society which is knowledgeable, learned and well-informed.
Commenting on the importance of a reading culture, Dr Mahathir stressed that it was a way to obtain and boost knowledge which is the basis for mankind’s self-development.
He said through the reading habit, a person will not just enrich himself with all sorts of knowledge, but he will also able to pass it on well and effectively.
“From the science aspect, the reading habit is an effective form of mind exercise and training besides strengthening the human brain network and encouraging the development of nerves.
“And if we read something over and over again, what we read becomes embedded in memory and is not easily forgotten.
Reading a lot will enhance a person’s emotional intelligence (EQ) and increase the intelligence quotient (IQ).
“Both these elements are very important as they enable a person to be in control of situations and grab the opportunity to develop,” he said at the event which was also attended by deputy education Teo Nie Ching.
Dr Mahathir said to create a knowledgeable society, the programme to make the reading habit a culture must be systematically designed and extended to all levels of society in the country.
He said the programme must be on-going and implemented with full commitment to create a knowledgeable society and be the catalyst towards the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030.
“To achieve this objective, we must ensure that the book industry in this country is competitive and can meet the needs of the readers, especially in preparation for the Industrial Revolution 4.0 “To build the reading habit, there must be efforts to publish quality reading material and to meet the nation’s needs requires the cooperation of various parties, including writers, editors and publishers who must be actively included in this initiative,” he said.
The prime minister added that the purchasing power of the people must be taken into consideration in the effort to build a competitive book market and ensuring their accessibility to the reading material. —Bernama