Malaysia needs to publish a lot more books
Published: Sunday April 5, 2009 MYT 12:34:00 PM
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has to publish 27,000 book titles for general reading annually to become a knowledgeable, developed nation and be on par with other developed countries, Malaysian Book Contractors Association president Hasan Hamzah said.
He said that in countries like Japan, South Korea, Denmark, Sweden and Germany, the ratio was 1,000 book titles to one million population.
“Hence, Malaysia has to publish 27,000 book titles for its 27 million population a year, ” he said, adding that such an effort would require an allocation of about RM300mil.
Hasan said Malaysia currently published only 10,000 book titles every year, which is still very far behind from that in other developed countries.
Most of the books found in Malaysia were imported ones, despite the country having many local intellectuals, including about 350,000 teachers and more than 40,000 lecturers or professors, who were capable of producing books for general reading, he added.
However, he said it was not because there were not many locally-published books that reading was not a habit among Malaysians.
“Actually, our society loves knowledge and they like to read. It is because the books are expensive to buy,” he added.
Hasan said that for a book to be sold cheap, a publisher had to print at least 3,000 copies for each book title a year.
There would be an increase in demand for general books with support from the government through provision of special allocations for publication of books for general reading, he added. -- Bernama