Updated 3pm, 21 April 2009
KUALA LUMPUR, 21 April 2009: The Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, today expressed concern over the trend whereby authors in the country are more interested in writing political books that run down certain individuals.
He said this popular trend of producing destructive political books for short-term political and commercial objective chose themes that denigrated certain individuals, occurred on a seasonal basis and was closely linked to the timing of certain political organisations’ activities.
“If this trend continues to grow, I fear that it will create an unhealthy writing culture, a writing culture which nurtures lies, a writing culture which is unethical and ready to ignore fact and one that will have a negative influence on the development of the people’s minds,” he said.
He was speaking when launching the book, Keberanian Menggapai Harapan, a translation of the book, Audacity of Hope, by US President Barack Hussein Obama. The translation was done by the National Institute of Translation.
He said such writing culture would surely cause a loss to the race in the long run compared with whatever short-term profit motivated by the narrow objectives of certain groups or individuals.
Raja Nazri said he had been informed that the National Institute of Translation was implementing a project to translate the premier works of Malaysia from the Malay language into English, among them the Hikayat Hang Tuah, Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa, Hikayat Raja Pasai, Tuhfat al-Nafis, the Melaka Laws and the Laws of the Sea as well as the old folk tales.
These premier works reflected the height of culture, an invaluable social capital of the race. They clearly showed that the Malays were a race with high culture, a supreme civilisation with customs, good manners and values in their daily lives, good relationship among the rulers, ulama, dignitaries, leaders, traders and people and a system of government based on the law, he said.
He said a race that had attained such high culture and supreme civilisation was then left adrift by the tide of colonialism until its majority was sidelined by the development which later occurred in its culture.
On Obama, Raja Nazrin said it was clear that the US president was efficient in using modern communication instruments to win the minds, hearts and emotions of the US citizens to get elected as president.
“Whether by design or accident, Barack Hussein Obama had crafted an infrastructure for a political path to get to the White House. He had chosen a path that let him through each toll gate. The political path that he chose had been accepted by the large majority of the American people,” he said.
He said Obama was a product of the premier education system in the US, spoke the language and practised the culture of majority of Americans, chose to follow Christianity, the religion of the majority of the Americans, although his grandfather, Hussein Onyango Obama, was a Muslim and his father, Barack Hussein Obama Sr, was born to a Muslim family.
He said Obama could be likened to a true American in all aspects with the true qualities of an American who held to the principle of adapting to the environment.— Bernama