Pantaran Sastera gathers local writers.

LOCAL writers have called for a commemorative day to be introduced and symposiums organised that would put the spotlight on their works and the craft of writing. The suggestions were made during the Pantaran Sastera dialogue session yesterday at the Balai Sarmayuda of the Language and Literature Bureau, which was organised by the bureau. Writers present at the session also brought up the topic of intellectual property rights and urged for the works of local authors to be copyrighted and the distribution controlled and monitored.

The Pantaran Sastera, translated literally as Literary Platform, allows local writers and poets to share, as well as promote, their knowledge and expertise with fellow authors. Dr Mataim Bakar, director of the language and literature bureau, also urged other writers and poets to attend the Pantaran Sastera and present their problems and opinions. In this way, their concerns and stance can be made known not only to the bureau's staff but also to their literary peers. The Pantaran Sastera is a long-term scheme that takes place regularly at selected venues in the four districts.

Besides providing an avenue for local writers to air out their grievances and offer suggestions, it is aimed at enhancing relations between the bureau and local writers' associations, arts' associations and literature clubs. The Language and Literature Bureau, with the assistance of the Southeast Asia Literature Council of Brunei Darussalam and the support of local writers' associations and related nongovernmental organisations, works actively to ensure the continued usage of the Malay language and literature in the country.

The event yesterday saw the attendance of approximately 50 local writers, lecturers, educators and students of Malay language and literature. Also present was Aminah Hj Momin, the deputy director of the Language and Literature Bureau. The Brunei Times

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