Kazakhstan national library to house selected Malaysian literary manuscripts

Among the manuscripts are ‘Dhikr Serenades’ by Datuk Ahmad Khamal Abdullah or better known as Kemala, and ‘The Epic of Hang Tuah’ and ‘Selamat Pulang, Juita’ by Prof Emeritus Muhammad Salleh. — AFP pic
Among the manuscripts are ‘Dhikr Serenades’ by Datuk Ahmad Khamal Abdullah or better known as Kemala, and ‘The Epic of Hang Tuah’ and ‘Selamat Pulang, Juita’ by Prof Emeritus Muhammad Salleh. — AFP pic

NUR-SULTAN, Sept 5 — Several Malaysian literary manuscripts produced by two National Laureates will be housed at the National Library of Kazakhstan, here.

Among the manuscripts are Dhikr Serenades by Datuk Ahmad Khamal Abdullah or better known as Kemala, together with The Epic of Hang Tuah and Selamat Pulang, Juita (Welcome Home, Juita) by Prof Emeritus Muhammad Salleh.

Deputy Chairman of the Writers’ Union of Kazakhstan Akberen Elgezek today said the move is part of the efforts made to show appreciation towards Asian countries’ writers, including Malaysians, who produced astounding literature.

“The works produced by Malaysian writers showed the values, intellectual practices and culture of Malay and Malaysian society.

“The works of both writers are of great value and need to be studied not only by Malaysians but (people in) other Asian countries and we will make sure these Malaysian manuscripts are preserved at our South-east Asia Literature Section," he told Bernama on the sidelines of the First Forum of Asian Countries’ Writers.

A total of 80 invited participants from 38 countries are attending the three-day forum which ends tomorrow.

Organised by the Writers’ Union of Kazakhstan, the forum is held to strengthen and develop literary and cultural ties between Asian countries.

About 5,000 manuscripts from writers who participated in the forum will also be placed at the library, and it will be digitised in the future for easy access.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Khamal said that he was happy to share his experiences and knowledge in literature with the Kazakhstanis, especially the students, to motivate them to compose more pieces of writings.

“There are many areas in my works that have not been explored here but would be a good reference for students who are interested to learn the Malay language. What is important is that the content of each manuscripts is of value to the society and our nation,” he said.

Meanwhile, Muhammad, the sixth national laureate, hoped that the initiative will lead to a greater sharing of Malaysian culture and language with the students and the local community.

“We are part of Asia and we should learn each other’s literature so that we can understand each other better,” he added. — Bernama

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