Dewan Bahasa sets limit on new publications

National 2 minutes, 36 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

AS part of its efforts to implement prudent spending, the Language and Literature Bureau has limited the number of new publications from certain categories to be printed, but would consider reprinting more books based on public demand, said an official yesterday.

Speaking to The Brunei Times, Head of Book Planning and Publication Section of the Language and Literature Bureau Mohd Azurin Othman said that the move came into effect in February this year.

Before, the Bureau would print 500 to 1,000 copies for a new book. But starting from February, the new publications from certain categories would only be printed 300 copies and would consider reprinting them for another 300 copies, depending on the demand.

“Nevertheless, as a publisher, the Bureau will not disregard its social obligation to provide source of reference to the public,” said Mohd Azurin.

Among other publications published by the Language and Literature Bureau include scientific books, magazines, children’s books, journals, and comics. He said that publications in high demand will remain to be printed 1,000 copies.

These among other include cookbooks, magazines and children’s books that are used as references for teaching and learning in primary and secondary schools.

Other publications under the General Book category which are used as textbooks in schools can be printed 2,000 copies; giving example, the book titled ‘Anugerah Kefahaman Melayu Islam Beraja’ (Gift of Understanding Malay Muslim Monarchy), which provides a commentary of how the Malay Muslim Monarchy concept is implemented in the Sultanate.

This was written by Pehin Jawatan Luar Pekerma Raja Dato Seri Utama Dr Ustaz Hj Mohd Zain Hj Serudin.

However, the number of new academic journals and scientific publications will be printed 300 copies, but those will be reprinted as needed.

With the Bureau limiting the number of books to be printed, this has not discouraged the local authors to contribute in quality writing.

Local authors understand that the book market is relatively low in demand, he added.

For the last few years, the Bureau had been consistently receiving more than 50 manuscripts from local authors per year.

Of this number, only 30 titles had been published after a selection process conducted by the Bureau.

The work must meet the requirements set by the publisher as the content must not have social, economic and political aspects.

This year alone, the Bureau in collaboration with local and foreign organisations, have translated two books from Malay Language into English.

With the Universiti Brunei Darussalam Language Centre, a 27-page picture book titled “Nakhoda Manis” (Captain Manis), folktales about an ungrateful child`, was just published in February this year.

Mohd Azurin said that the picture book will also be translated into 13 other foreign languages in the future. The Bureau and the Malaysian Institute of Translation and Books have also translated a collection of poetry titled Dari Jendela Dunia (The Window of the World) into English. The new 232-page book authored by Adi Rumi, one of Brunei’s prominent literary figures, is scheduled to be introduced in Europe during the Frankfurt Book Fair in October. “The aim is to promote the literary works by local authors in abroad,” said Mohd Azurin.

The Brunei Times