Books By The Book literature Singapore

By The Book: Hamed Ismail receives Tun Seri Lanang Award at Anugerah Persuratan (Malay Literary Awards) 2020/21

Screenshot 2021-04-08 at 11.51.20 AM

Five outstanding Singapore Malay writers will receive the Anugerah Persuratan (AP) Award at the 14th awards ceremony on Saturday, 10 April 2021. Mr Hamed Ismail is named the recipient of the Tun Seri Lanang Award at the AP 2020/2021 edition, the highest recognition for his achievements. He is also the oldest literary writer to receive the award. Aged 73, he has been writing for over 30 years, and his works includes stage drama, poetry and short stories. He was also the former senior supervisor at Eaglevision TV Scripts, Mediacorp.

Meanwhile, the late Zaidy Nandir, who is known to many as an arts activist, songwriter and prolific lyricist, is conferred the Tun Seri Lanang Posthumous Award this year. He has also received many awards for the best song and lyrics in local Dikir Barat competitions. Zaidy Nandir passed on in 2018 when he was 45 years old and is the youngest recipient of the Tun Seri Lanang Posthumous Award.

Another established literary figure, Mr Jamal Ismail, receives two Literary Awards, for his works GOD(A) in the Short Story category, and Tunjuk Langit (Pointing the Sky) in the Novel category. In 2016, 32 years after his last published book, Jamal returned with Yang Kekucingan, a collection of 20 surreal and captivating short stories. He then wrote GOD(A) in 2018 and Tunjuk Langit (Pointing the Sky) in 2019. This has been a successful comeback for Jamal, after taking a break from publishing since 1984.

The other two Literary Awards winners for the AP 2020/2021 are Mr Farihan Bahron for his work Tukang Tunjuk Telunjuk (Finger-Pointing Expert) in the Poetry category, and Ms Rilla Melati for her work Si Pencuri Ketawa – Kisah Di Dalam Taman Di Persisiran (The One Who Stole Laughter – A Tale from Gardens By The Bay) in the Children’s Literature category.

Since 1993, the biennial award recognises Singapore Malay writers who have made excellent contributions to the Malay literary arts. In 2020, Anugerah Persuratan was streamlined to focus on books by writers and publishers to ensure that literary works are accessible through the library and book-selling platforms. It is organised by the Malay Language Council, Singapore (MLCS), managed by Singapore Book Council (SBC) and supported the National Arts Council (NAC), National Heritage Board (NHB) and Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY). To date, more than 150 writers have received the awards.

The Guest-of-Honour for Anugerah Persuratan 2020/2021 is Mr Edwin Tong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister for Law.

The 2020/21 Anugerah Persuratan was held on 10th April 2021. More information on the winners and nominees available here

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