KUALA LUMPUR, May 27  — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today called on the younger generation to stand up and save this country with knowledge, awareness and passion, through the culture of reading.

He said that Malaysia MADANI cannot rise without morals, values and the willingness of the younger generation to cultivate knowledge through extensive reading.

Anwar, who considers the effort to cultivate the culture of reading as a big challenge for the country, said that the awakening of young people needs to start with the power of knowledge.

“As for social media, I cannot dispute its importance, but believe me, if you want to be a person with karamah insaniah (human dignity), a person who has values, morals, and knowledge, it must start with the tradition of reading seriously.

“This country should be developed as the MADANI nation which has knowledge, values, kindness, and mercy. All that can be nurtured through the spirit of reading, gaining knowledge,” he said when officiating the Kuala Lumpur International Book Fair (PBAKL) 2023, at the World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur (WTCKL), here today.

PBAKL 2023, which is being held until June 4, is targeting 900,000 visitors by gathering 211 exhibitors from the book industry, involving 812 exhibition booths.

At the same time, the Prime Minister also called on educators and parents to nurture the culture of reading from the early years, because the interest in reading has faded with the existence of social media.

He also shared his experience during the presence of two great scholars of the Islamic world in this country yesterday, namely the former Grand Mufti of Egypt, Sheikh Professor Dr Ali Juma’ah Al Azhari and the founder and principal of Dar Al Mustofa in Tarim, Yemen, Habib Umar Bin Muhammad bin Salim Ben Hafidz.

Anwar said that with the knowledge possessed by the two prominent scholars, their approaches (teachings) are wiser and applied with knowledge, love, tolerance and respect.

“However, for those with ‘dangkal’ (shallow) knowledge, their approach is spread by sowing hatred, insulting people, and hurling insults in the name of religion, because of their shallow and superficial understanding.

“My speech today is a plea, persuasion, call, urge and to sharpen the thinking of younger generation to change our attitude and start a culture of reading seriously among us,” he said.

The Prime Minister also urged all parties to take advantage of the strength of the Malay language as a language of knowledge, in addition to the national language, in order to dignify the Malay language in this country.


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