Literary festivals – More momentous than you may imagine


Now when Penang is holding its George Town Literary Festival again – and I have no doubt that it will be an even greater success than before – let me ponder over what I think is one of the most important things that have failed to develop properly in post-colonial Malaysia, namely our mastery of language.

We like to say that we master languages when, most of the time, we are mastered by languages. Now, becoming really good at expressing oneself in words is of course an accomplishment that any individual should be proud of. This is all the greater an achievement when the society in which one functions is not a decidedly literate one.

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