Reading clubs to preserve Kadazandusun language
Sabah Sinar Pintar Reading Clubs will be formed in districts and villages in the State to preserve the Kadazandusun language and culture. Consumer Affairs and Community Development Minister Datuk Hajah Azizah Mohd Dun said the formation of the clubs is in line with the Government’s effort to encourage Malaysians to read and to produce a competitive younger generation with first-class minds. “The club will use more creative and innovative approaches in order to give impacts to target groups, especially parents and their children,” she said during the launch of Kadazandusun Reading Promotion Week and State-level Reading Festival 2008 at Dewan Dato Shahbandar Makang in Kuala Penyu. Open to all Malaysians, the club offers various benefits to members, including reading and arts activities. According to Azizah, in Sabah special classes for students to study Kadazandusun are held in 246 primary schools comprising 17,017 students and 59 secondary schools comprising 19,062 students. In Kuala Penyu alone, she said two primary schools— SK Rimbaan and SK St Peter Bundu hold such classes. “The mother tongue is very important and meaningful to all races and cultures, therefore it is timely to make such effort to preserve the culture, language and traditions,” she said. Azizah said the campaign which has been held since 1995, has been made annual affair aimed at producing knowledgeable Malaysians with reading habit as a culture. Apart from attracting the community to the library, the festival also encourages them to participate in activities related to knowledge and reading, as well as to inculcate the reading habit, she said. Themed “Boros Turgkus Kopopokito Kabaalan Tinaru’, the festival was organised by the Sabah State Library as part of continued efforts to preserve the Kadazandusun language to consolidate the culture of the race. Various programmes and activities have been prepared for the whole week, including reading and story telling, Tactile Book and Spelling Bee, all in the Kadazandusun language. Also present were Kuala Penyu Assemblyman John Teo, Nation Library Director-General Raslin Abu Bakar, National Library Deputy Director General Siti Rodzia Othman and Director of Knowledge and Information Facilities National Library, Salbiah Mol Yusof.