The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Malaysia and Han Culture Centre Malaysia (HAN) jointly held the launching ceremony of the "Malaysian and Taiwanese Folklores and Legends of Indigenous Peoples Illustration Books Project" at the event space of GMBB, Kuala Lumpur on Jan. 5.
Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) was named World Book Capital for the year 2020 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on the recommendation of the World Book Capital Advisory Committee. To foster a reading culture among Malaysians, the Ministry of Education of Malaysia has declared 2020 to 2030 as the National Reading Decade and is implementing a promotional program. The "Malaysian and Taiwanese Folklores and Legends of Indigenous Peoples Illustration Books Project" is carried out in line with the National Reading Decade Programme.
The project launching ceremony was jointly hosted by Chen Kuan-fu (陳冠甫), director of the cultural division of TECO Malaysia, and President of HAN Dato' Goh Hin San. Also in attendance included Tuan Haji Anwar Mohd Zain, head of Secretariat of KLWBC 2020, Director General of National Department for Culture And Arts (JKKN) Yang Berujah Tuan Haji Mesran (馬士蘭), and officials from Malaysia's Institute of Language and Literature (DBP) and the Department of Orang Asli Development (JAKOA).
The project aims to further enhance cultural exchanges and mutual understanding between Taiwan and Malaysia by reaching out to Malaysian school and communities to collect Malaysian and Taiwanese folklore stories.
The Malaysia part of the project is the "Malaysian Folklores Writing Competition," inviting Malaysians students at elementary and middle schools to submit their "Malaysian folklore" themed stories. Students can either submit individually or through their schools. The deadline to apply is until March 1. The selected stories, together with five stories provided by the Department of Orang Asli Development, will be the materials for illustrative books to be worked by local Malaysian universities.
For the Taiwan part of the project, Taiwan's Ministry of Culture will select 10 representative illustrative books of Taiwanese folklore theme. Combining these books, the Malaysian folklore illustrative books and illustrative books about relationships between Taiwan and countries where Austronesian languages are spoken, the ministry will put out the "Malaysian and Taiwanese Folklores and Legends of Indigenous Peoples Illustration Books" series. The illustration book series will be published in both Mandarin and Malaysian, and will also have ebook and hardcover versions.
Additionally, there will be two virtual seminars, one moderated by "Kenting – Children's Paradise" book author Lin Yu-chi (林郁琪) and another moderated by Professor Pa’labang Danapan (孫大川), editor of the "Taiwan Indigene: Meaning through Stories," to share the process of creating the illustration books with teachers and students in Malaysia.