Literature contributes to the nation’s well-being
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
LITERATURE and its content should not be underestimated given its ability to either divide or bring people together, according to several literati who presented their working papers yesterday.
The 18th Regional Malay Literati Conference began yesterday with the presentation of seven working papers discussing the conference’s theme, Ketahanan National dan Keterampilan Sastera Nusantara: Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Memperteguh Konsep Melayu Islam Beraja.
Former minister of Religious Affairs Yang Berhormat Pehin Jawatan Luar Pekerma Raja Dato Seri Utama Dr Ustaz Hj Mohd Zain Hj Serudin presented his working paper that carries the same title as the conference’s theme.
In his working paper, he discussed the significance of literature and stated that the works of literati could contribute to the well-being of a nation and the region.
“I believe that regional Malay literati who want to contribute to the regional arts can foster a sense of peace, safety, benevolence and the happiness of their people in their respective countries while also maintaining the peace and good ties with others in the region and international community,” said YB Pehin Dato Dr Ustaz Hj Mohd Zain.
He noted the importance of literary works of the late Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien that had helped shape the development of society in Brunei.
Meanwhile, in his working paper titled Sastera Sebagai Pembentuk Peribadi Nasional Di Malaysia, Dr Saleeh Rahamad said that literature has been instrumental in shaping society.
“The art of literature does not escape ideologies despite having its surface appear to be a representation of reality or those with historical content,” said Dr Saleeh from Universiti Malaya Persatuan.
“The arts are an instrument in building up society in a way that is different from the military or legislations,” he said that these are especially apparent in stories depicting local heroes and stories regarding the prophets which has character-building morals and lessons within them.
He said literature could not be separated from national agenda.
He added that in the rule of each country, there would always be reactions from works of literature that would provide ideological contributions.
The Brunei Times