Royal call to take Brunei literature to global level
James Kon

Brunei Darussalam can be recognised as a country that has its own unique literary heritage and contribute to the development of regional literature through the active and continuous involvement of ASTERAWANI in the field of language and literature.

Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna, the Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said this in a sabda yesterday in a ceremony to mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Brunei Darussalam Association of Malay Literature Writers or Asterawani and 8th 'Dialog Teluk Brunei' yesterday at the International Convention Centre in Berakas.

Her Royal Highness said, "The role of Brunei Darussalam Association of Malay Literature Writers or Asterawani as the association that is actively involved in the field of language and literature locally and regionally has played a role in putting Brunei Darussalam on the map of progress in regional Malay literature scene.

"This is important because with the involvement in regional level, Brunei can be recognised as a country that possesses its own literary heritage and be able to contribute in the development of regional literature.

"In my opinion, continuous efforts should be further pursued to underscore Brunei's literature and writing works in the international scene. Besides the Malay-speaking region, it is best to think of highlighting Brunei's literature and writing in the region and international arena," said HRH.

Her Royal Highness also emphasised that scholars also have a role to play in translating and writing Brunei's literature into a foreign language. This needs to be given special attention by certain sectors like Language and Literature Bureau in taking the appropriate initiatives.

HRH also reiterated that efforts in writing and translating works of literature to foreign languages should be made into projects by language and literature bodies like Asterawani. This is because the association already has the network with overseas countries.

"Each year," Her Royal Highness said, "Brunei showcases its writers to receive the Southeast Asia Write Award in Bangkok, Thailand. How good it will be if the selected works of the winners can be translated. This will definitely provide added value to the development of national literature."

One of the important subjects that Her Royal Highness stressed is the activity to analyse and highlight the works of literature especially through literary critics.

Her Royal Highness said, "Through critics of literature, community and the public will understand and appreciate the values of literature. It will be an effort to popularise literature among the community. It is also crucial that this is being done with a simple approach and not to be confused by the many significant terms that are only important to language and literature scholars." - Borneo Bulletin (10 July 2012)