Read more for better, developed thinking

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the programme was aimed at cultivating a reading culture among Penangites. – STR/SHAHNAZ FAZLIE SHAHRIZAL

GEORGE TOWN: Reading culture among the people, especially the younger generation, is important to ensure mature and developed thinking.

This was the message from the National Reading Decade Programme, which was launched today

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the programme was aimed at cultivating a reading culture among Penangites.

He said this was essential as reading was the first step to developing a more mature and developed thinking citizens.

“Reading ensure the development of a country, and based on statistics of the 2014 Malaysian Reading Habits Interim Studies showed that 95 per cent of Malaysians read an average of 15 books a year, which was an increase compared to eight to 12 books a year in 2010.

“However, our aim is to increase the average number to 31 a year,” he said at the launch of National Reading Decade Programme.

Muhammad Fazrul Ariff Saad, 29, from Kulim, who received the Little Reader Treasure Box for having bought a lot of books and visited the library frequently, said he often took his children there to develop reading habit.

“Libraries are commonly thought of as a stilted environment where one must be absolutely quiet, but most libraries currently have a very open concept with lots of activities and also special area for children.

“Children can play, read and participate in a lot of other activities in the libraries,” he said.

He said he usually took his two daughters to the library on weekends or book shops to inculcate an appreciation and love for books.

“It starts with the parents. We have to teach our children to love books and we have to start early,” he said.

Teacher Rina Chan, 43, said besides improving their command of languages, reading would ensure an enlightened and broad-minded generation.

“he reading culture was prevalent in the past as it was one of the main entertainment or leisure activities and modes of learning.

“These days, there are so many ways of learning, but I believe reading is still one of the most important method of gaining knowledge and it’s not just reading of books but news, magazines and other legitimate materials on the Internet,” she said.

However, she said the public should apply cautious in relying heavily on materials in social media sites.

“Check the validity of the information, because there are so many fake news and fake information that is being disseminated online that it would only retard one’s thinking.

“Bearing this in mind, reading books should still be the most important source of reading material.” she said.

By Balvin Kaur.

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