PUTRAJAYA, June 24 — Seven national laureates have been accorded a RM5,000 monthly appreciation allowance for their contributions in uplifting Bahasa Melayu in the country’s literary development.
They are Datuk Seri Dr A. Samad Said, Emeritus Professor Dr Muhammad Salleh, Datuk Noordin Hassan, Datuk Dr Mohd Anuar Rethwan, Datuk Dr Ahmad Khamal Abdullah, Datuk Dr Baharuddin Zainal and Datuk Dr Zurinah Hassan.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the government had approved an additional allocation of RM5,000 a month per person to the Education Ministry beginning this month.
“This allowance will hopefully help them (the National Laureates), ensure their well-being and provide comfort so that they can continue to contribute ideas, knowledge and high-quality works for the community,” he said at a ceremony to present the Cost of Living Allowance Cheques to the National Laureates here.
Also present at the event held at the Finance Ministry were Port Dickson Member of Parliament Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah and Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching.
Meanwhile, Anwar said the allowances were a good initiative.
“It sends out a clear message from the Pakatan Harapan government, which focuses on economic growth but at the same time, defends the national language as an official language and upholds national literature for the benefit of the public,” he said.
National Laureate A. Samad said they did not expect to receive the substantial monetary contribution.
“What is important is that the ministry will help us contribute to the nation,” he said. — Bernama