Thursday, August 13, 2009

Anuar Rethwan is 10th Malaysian National Laureate

PUTRAJAYA: Datuk Dr Mohd Anuar Rethwan, also known as Anwar Ridhwan, is the country's 10th National Laureate.

Announcing this yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said Anuar would receive the National Laureate award, which is the highest recognition from the government, for his contribution in literary development.

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong would present the award to him in a ceremony in Kuala Lumpur on Aug 20.

Among others, the award carries a national recognition scroll, RM60,000 and first-class ward facilities at government hospitals.


Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin chairing the meeting to select the National Laureate in Putrajaya yesterday.

Muhyiddin, who is also chairman of the 10th National Literature Award panel, told a press conference at his office that Anuar's artistic works reflected his strength and should be emulated by the present and future generations.

Anuar, who was Gapena's first secretary, is currently dean of the writing faculty of the National Heritage, Cul-ture and Arts Academy (Aswara).

His foray into the world of literature began in 1970 when he started penning poems and short stories, followed by essays and criticisms.

He joined the international writing programme at Iowa University in 1986 and was a visiting professor for foreign studies at Tokyo University from 1997 to 2000.

In 2002, he won the SEA Write award. To date, he has produced four novels, four short stories, four dramas, a book on poetry and three essays.

Muhyiddin said the panel had agreed that quantity should not be used as the benchmark of quality for the award, but rather Anuar's capability to sharpen the minds of his audience and readers and to bring changes to literary development.

"His focus is on short stories and the panel feels he has carved a niche in this.

"His first short story, Parasit (Parasite), which he authored in 1976, reflected his flowery and poetic style of writing."

Muhyiddin also said Anuar's novel Hari-hari Terakhir Seorang Seniman (The Last Days of an Artiste) had been translated into English, Japanese and French.

Also present were panel members Professor Emeritus Datuk Dr Asmah Omar and Prof Dr Muhammad Salleh.

Taken from NST Online
*For Datuk Dr Mohd Anuar Rethwan's biodata, click here.

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