By Rosli Abidin Yahya

Local writers to make their mark in literary world

Article from Borneo Bulletin. Published on Tuesday Nov, 27 2007

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A delegation, led by the Deputy Director of Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP), Dayang Aminah bte Hj Momin, left yesterday morning to participate in an international seminar in Kuala Lumpur, and to attend the biennial presentation ceremony of Malaysian literary awards to writers from Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Dayang Aminah bte Hj Momin will also present a seminar paper entitled "Literature and History: Tradition and Continuity in Mahkota Berdarah" which will be delivered at the International Seminar on Southeast Asian Literature (SAKAT) 2007, which will be held at the Berjaya Times Square, Jalan Imbi, KL.

The other presenter from Brunei is Dr Hj Morsidi bin Hj Mohammad, head of the Malay Literature Department, Faculty of Arts and Social Science, Universiti Brunei Darussalam.

Dr Hj Morsidi will deliver a paper entitled "History-based Literature from Brunei: A Discussion on Reality and Imagination".

Two other officers from DBP, Suip HJ Wahab, Acting Secretary-General of Southeast Asia Literature Council (MASTERA), and Hjh Shaharah bte Dato Paduka Hj Abd Wahab are also in the delegation. They will attend a MASTERA secretariat meeting as well.

Meanwhile, literary figure Dato Paduka Hj Muslim bin Hj Burut, or better known as Muslim Burmat, also left for Kuala Lumpur with the delegation as he will be receiving the Hadiah Sastera Mastera 2007 for his winning novel "Ntaidu" together with awardees from Malaysia and Indonesia.

The Sultanate's top novelist, Dato Hj Muslim, won the Malaysian award for the second time after he first won it in 2001 for his novel "Urih Pesisir".

"Ntaidu", Dato Hj Muslim's 11th novel, discusses the devastation caused by drought, food shortages and famine to a community in a village that depends on agriculture as its main source of income.

Dato Hj Muslim, who has won almost every single award given to regional literary writers, will see his 12th and 13th novels, entitled "Permainan Ombak" (The Game of Waves) and "Nashkhah" (Manuscript), published by DBP in the near future.

His advice to aspiring literary writers is to continue with their efforts in writing as novels cannot be created overnight. "Creativity does not come easy. It takes time for writers to gain the necessary experience before they can start writing well," he said yesterday.

Dato Hj Muslim won the SEAWrite Award in Thailand in 1986, the Anugerah Sastera Nusantara in 1999, the Hadiah Sastera MASTERA in 2001, the Tokoh Sastera Brunei Darussalam in 2002 and the Anugerah Sastera MASTERA in 2006.

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