Don’t fixate on English literature, says Ungku Aziz
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 24 — The study of literature in the national education system should not only focus on English literature, said Royal Professor Ungku Abdul Aziz Ungku Abdul Hamid.
He said the education system should instead promote the study of literature in all of the world’s languages.
“As a Malaysian, we must understand literature not only in English but also other languages such as Russian, Italian and Japanese to understand their cultures,” he told reporters after launching a painting exhibition of veteran solo artist Sivam Selvaratnam at the Universiti Malaya (UM) campus here today.
The month-long exhibition, titled “Rapt in Maya”, displays more than 100 of Selvaratnam’s paintings to the public.
Ungku Aziz said the English culture portrayed in their literature was not like that in the past and it was possible their language and culture would lose importance in the world in the future.
“In 50 years from now, the English culture may not be important and be replaced by another culture. It’s only temporary and it’s already in decline as a culture,” he said.
On Monday, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also education minister, had said the government planned to re-introduce English Literature as a subject in secondary schools. — Bernama