By Siti Hajar, Borneo Bulletin, 22 Feb 2010
The Language and Literature Bureau is playing its part in enlivening this year’s National Day celebrations by holding its annual National Day Book Festival at the Indoor Stadium in Berakas.
Hajah Aminah binti Haji Momin, Acting Director of the Language and Literature Bureau, said that the number of visitors to the book festival had increased by 74 per cent in 2009 when compared to 2008, indicating that “the population is becoming more aware of the importance of books in our daily lives”.
She disclosed that the number of foreign book dealers at the event had increased every year, especially from Asean countries, which she attributed to the country’s membership in the Asean Book Publishers Association since 2006 and Asia Pacific Publishers Association since 2007.
“The involvement of foreign book dealers will give the population more choices in obtaining quality books as well as the latest technology at competitive prices,” she said.
Meanwhile, this year’s Book Festival theme is “Books are the Future” and, according to Hajah Aminah, is closely linked to this year’s National Day theme “My Country Brunei Darussalam”.
“Both themes can be translated to developing the country as a nation that is dynamic, knowledgeable and capable of executing any task.”
Additionally, she said that with the National Day theme carrying the message of possessing a sense of self-belonging and being responsible in preserving the harmony and peace, expanding and enhancing the development and progress towards excellence, “Reading can strengthen the mind and it can also strengthen the nation’s mindset in any field”, thus bringing the nation closer to realising its full potential.
“Our main aim is to ensure that the people of our country become more educated.”
Also present during the official opening of the 2010 Book Festival were Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Pehin Orang Kaya Setia Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Hj Ahmad bin Hj Jumat, Minister of Religious Affairs Pehin Jawatan Luar Pekerma Raja Dato Seri Utama Dr Ustaz Hj Mohd Zain bin Hj Serudin, State Mufti Pehin Dato Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Aziz bin Juned as well as Pehin Jawatan Dalam Seri Maharaja Dato Seri Utama Dr Hj Awang Mohd Jamil Al-Sufri.
The 10-day book festival which will end on March 2, 2010 showcases 46 companies offering a wide variety of products ranging from books to the latest technology.
Foreign books dealers have also joined in on the festivities hailing from as far as Australia, Canada, Egypt and Jordan alongside other book dealers from the Asean region.
The public is encouraged to visit the Indoor Stadium during the book fair that will also see a number of activities, especially for visitors.
Opening hours are from 8.30am to 10pm whilst on Friday, opening hours are from 9am to 11.30am and from 2.30pm to 10pm.