Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Media Release: MOU Signing between NLB and Encik Abdul Ghani

Issued by the National Library Board, 19 Sept 2007.

Encik Abdul Ghani Hamid, Award-winning Writer, Poet and Artist to donate his works to the National Library's Donors' Collections in a Memorandum Of Understanding Signing Ceremony.

SINGAPORE, 19 September 2007 - The National Library Board (NLB) and Encik Abdul Ghani Hamid today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to formalise a partnership to preserve, archive and make accessible selected collection of his rare books, manuscripts and other personal artefacts on Malay literature and the arts in Singapore and Southeast Asia.

This collaboration will reap mutual benefits through the combined resources of Abdul Ghani's rich archive of literary and arts materials and the National Library's conservation, preservation and storage facilities.

Through this MOU, the selective collection of rare books, manuscripts and other personal artefacts of Abdul Ghani will be entrusted to the National Library. The physical collection will be available to the public at an earlier date while the organisation and digitisation of his collection will take about two years to complete.

The donated materials will be catalogued, and selective documents will be made accessible to the public, especially to researchers through digitisation and microfilm. NLB and Abdul Ghani will also work together to educate the public by displaying his original works at exhibitions and promoting his digitised images and texts for illustrations in publications.

As part of NLB's Library 2010 plan, the National Library continues to establish collaborative relationships to build a strong collection of cultural and literary content in physical and digitised formats for national memory. "Through such donations, the National Library aims to build our local literary heritage for a greater sense of our roots and national identity for current and future generations," said Ms Ngian Lek Choh, Director, National Library.

This donation marks a welcome addition to the Donors' Collections of the National Library. Abdul Ghani, a prominent figure in the Malay community, has contributed much to the Malay literary and arts scene for the past 50 years since 1948. To date, he has written hundreds of poems, short stories, essays, newspaper articles and plays to his name in both Malay and English. As a painter, Abdul Ghani has participated in more than 60 exhibitions since 1950. Other than writing and painting, he was an active member in the local artistic arena where he founded the Angkatan Pelukis Aneka Daya (Association of Artists of Various Resources) in 1962.

Some of the highlights of his donations are works like "Breeze 1989: Art Exhibition by Abdul Ghani Hamid" and "Mata dan Hati: An Exhibition of Paintings with Poems and Sketches."

Abdul Ghani's literary accomplishments were recognised when he was conferred three prestigious awards: the Anugerah Tun Seri Lanang (1998) - the highest literary award for Malay literature, the Southeast Asia Write Award for Malay Poetry (1998) and the Cultural Medallion (1999). Abdul Ghani is also featured in the Singapore Literary Pioneers Gallery at the National Library, level 11 as a form of recognition to his literary works.

Some of his collections will be on display in November at the Donors' Collections, level 10 of the National Library.

Besides the Donors' Collections, the National Library also keeps a repository of newly published materials for the purpose of contributing and preserving Singapore's literary heritage. This statutory provision in the National Library Board Act 1995 is known as the Legal Deposit which requires Singapore publishers to provide two copies of every publication to the Board, regardless of form or medium. Ms Ngian Lek Choh, Director, National Library added that "legal deposit serves to preserve our nation's literary heritage and make them accessible to present and future generations. Such collections will serve as timeless pieces of historical information to Singapore especially in view of the nation's rapid growth and changes."

For those who are keen to donate or deposit their local literary heritage materials, they may contact the National Library at:
Tel : 6546-7271
Fax : 6546-7262
E-mail :

(Source page here; see also: Speech by Ms. Ngian Lek Choh, Director, National Library, at the MOU signing ceremony).

1 comment:

  1. Abdul Ghani was my school mates in Telok Kurau English School from 1947 to 1950. I remember him and other Malay students were in the Special Maly class for overaged Malay boys. In 1949 and 1950 some of them were in my class, but not Abdul Ghani. We studied in Raffles Instituion from 1951 to 1954. He was in my class of 1954 and we had a class photograph taken at the Raffles Studio across Bras Basah Road. He was very quiet in class unlike other Malay boys, Mohd Zain (footballer), Abdul Kadir, and Omar Sarkiban. I am very proud of him and wish him every success.


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