Kota Samarahan, 12 October 2017 – The opening ceremony of the International Conference on Borneo Book Publishing and the Borneo Book Fair 2017, organized by Universiti Malaysia Sarawak collaboration with Majlis Penerbitan Ilmiah Malaysia (MAPIM), Universiti Malaysia Sabah and Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka Cawangan Sarawak was held at Kuching yesterday.
The event was officiated by Deputy Chief Minister, Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas representing the Chief Minister, Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
The event was attended by representatives from government and private sectors, communities, students and academicians from schools and higher educational institutes.
In the Chief Minister speech which was read by Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah, mentioned that the active research done in Borneo and Sarawak specifically should be written and published into books so that book titles can be increased.
“ The total number of book titles in Malaysia is still very low. We should leverage on the fact that we are living in Borneo, which is rich with its diverse cultures, languages and abundance biodiversity,” he said.
The Chief Minister encouraged local authors to write about the over 40 ethnic groups in Sarawak and this will not only preserve the indigenous knowledge but also to understand each other better.
“ I am confidence in UNIMAS to play its role to increase writing and publishing activities as part of literary development in the state,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Vice Chancellor of UNIMAS, Profesor Datuk Dr. Mohamad Kadim bin Suaidi hopes this event will not be the last.
“ UNIMAS will continue to empower the publication of not only physical books but also electronic books.
“ In this era of digital economy, every task can be automated and the time taken to complete it would be shortened. And we will leverage on the know-how of e-publishing and improve on the limitations faced today,” he said.
The theme of the conference is "Contesting and Advancing Knowledge in Borneo Academic Publishing", reflecting the increasing researches done on Borneo, the third largest island in the world.
The richness of its biodiversity and amalgamation of different cultural heritage have and will still attract many local and international scholars to converge on the island to seek and expand knowledge on Borneo.
Thus, the conference aims to highlight the uniqueness of Borneo as a source for academic writing as well as creative writing. It is also one of UNIMAS Publisher's activities in conjunction with the celebration of the 25th UNIMAS Silver Jubilee.
The Borneo Book Fair is aimed at further enhancing the regional relations of Borneo through the promotion of reading culture among the participating countries and promoting joint publications.
The conference is attended by close to hundred participants from all over Malaysia and Brunei. There are 22 paper presentations, with a forum discussing on the empowerment of Borneo Book Publishing. Keynote addresses are delivered by a Sasterawan Negara, Professor Dato’ Dr. Anwar Ridhwan, and Director of University of Selangor Press, Prof Dr Md Sidin bin Ahmad Ishak. In conjunction to the conference, there are two workshops held, facilitated by a national historian, Datu Dr Sanib Said and the Director of International Islamic University Press, Professor Dr Roosfa Hashim.
The Borneo Book Fair opened more than 20 booths which are UNIMAS Publisher, UMS Press, IIUM Press, USM Press, UTM Press, FIXI, among a few. Various activities are lined up including, Explorace, Spell-it-Right, Colouring contest, Singing Contest, Fashion show and many more. All the activities are organized together with many agencies including, Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, Sarawak Tourism Board, Jabatan Pendidikan Negeri Sarawak, KEMAS, Yayasan Budaya Melayu Sarawak, Jabatan Kebudayaan dan Kesenian Negeri Sarawak.
Article by : Sarena Haidir
Photo by : Azlandy M.A.T