... the ministry recorded a whopping 38 million visitors to libraries nationwide, including those in public and private universities, exceeding the 28 million Malaysian population.(Quite how it is possible to have more library visitors than there are people in the population is pretty interesting, don't you think? Maybe it can be accounted for by enthusiastic readers joining as many libraries as is physically possible.) Said Rais at the launch of the Mari Membaca 1Malaysia :
Reading has become an enveloping habit for Malaysians with most reading an average of eight to 12 books per year.Which if true, is actually a huge improvement on previous reading statistics. (Though again, how are these figures arrived at?).
Rais further declared that reading online is good but :
... we don't want our younger generation to be slaves to the computer monitor. Every three hours of computer usage should be balanced out with an hour of reading books.And the search for Malaysian personalities to endorse books is on, with possible "icons" being mooted including former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Angkasawan Negara Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Sheikh Shukor; and actress Datuk Michelle Yeoh to play the Oprah role.
Yes, it's official : film star Datuk Michelle Yeoh has been appointed ambassador for the Information, Communication, and Culture Ministry’s Come and Read 1Malaysia campaign.
She will return to launch the campaign April 23rd (to nicely coincide with World Book Day) and books in Malay, English and mandarin will be handed out to more than 1,000 schools nationwide.
It will be interesting to see what kinds of books she reads. I had a google around but the only mention of her in connection with books was she apparently likes The Monk Who sold His Ferrari author, Robin Sharma.
Also appointed - Datuk Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor who feels strongly about the subject.
Apparently now the search is on for "a popular Indian ambassador".