Friday, June 25, 2010

The Culture of Reading (Budaya Membaca)

1. One of the essence of a developed nation is that its citizens read a lot and not just two pages (not even two books!!) per year like our Malaysians do.

2. This is indeed a national disgrace and there is no way we will be able to achieve high-income economy status if our citizens continue to be ignorant and refuse to read more.

3. There are many factors as to why Malaysians refuse or avoid reading, but certainly too exams-oriented curriculum is one of the major factors. Hence, our students read "just for the sake of passing exams and those who are more capable would be aiming for distinctions."

4. But is that merely enough? Exams are required to be a gauge or measurement of academic achievement but education is a life-long process. Education is a journey, not a destination. As long as we live, we continue to learn.

5. Also, I find the price of our books (especially foreign publishers) sold in bookstores like MPH, Times and KInokuniya too expensive and not affordable especially for the poor and lower middle class.

6. I call upon the government to do something to reduce the price of the books in Malaysia so that our society can benefit more from purchasing them. Although the government provides tax relief for these books, obviously the high price of good books is already a huge turnoff for customers.

7. One can always argue that we can borrow from libraries etc. But at this time and age, we need to be fast equipped and well updated about current issues. This simply means that we have to read at a faster pace and always at the forefront of new publications to keep ourselves up-to-date so that we are not left behind.

8. So if the books' prices are low, and Malaysians are encouraged to read more, I believe our country will be developed faster. For now, as long as we still have Malaysians reading "two pages" a year, I guess whatever NEM, GTP, 1Malaysia etc proposed will end up as huge failures, as the basic tenet of development, i.e. education-cum-reading is still not emphasized enough.


nouri farshad said...

couldn't agree more..definitely reading is very important..reading and the clash of ideas..

but prior to reading is another phenomena; critical inquiry..

Immanuel Kant's answer to what is enlightenment; dare to know..

that's crucial; why is this absent..

1Portal untuk 1Malaysia said...

This is absent because "terdapat usaha-usaha untuk membodohkan rakyat Malaysia"