The dumbing down of the Malay literature syllabus in schools is a particular cause for concern :
Just think of these students two decades from now. They are not exposed to good literature.Pak Samad also talks about his attempt to get the copyright of his books back from Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, so that now they are out of print and unavailable, he can publish them himself. Apparently they have given him the rights to seven books, but not to twelve others :
If you start saying the work of Sasterawan Negara are difficult at school level, then don’t expect them to touch these books when they leave school. You are sending out a clear message - do not read the work of Sasterawan Negara. Everything should start in school. We are not creating a situation where people will read good literature.
In America the students are studying To Kill A Mocking Bird, and in England they go for Lord Of The Flies. All are difficult books. If you want simple books, then just read ABC all the time.
... the most important ones ... the ones I want.including to Pak Samad's best known work, Salina.
DBP always says the work of Sasterawan Negara is difficult to sell. When you ask for your copyright, they don’t want to give it to you. ... I think it is the right time to give me the rights to all my books. What is the point of keeping the copyright for my books if people are not interested in reading them?Now this is where you, my blog readers, come in.
There is a petition organised by Pak Samad's son Helmy (which I learned about from Ted's blog) urging the DBP to give the author the copyright, and you can your names to the online version.
Pak Samad now has a beautiful website where you can read about his latest publications and enjoy samples of his work. And he's also on Facebook (although no-one has thrown a sheep at him yet, it seems.)