PENANG, 24 April 2012 - In conjunction with the 70th birthday of a national literary laureate and renowned academician, Emeritus Professor Muhammad Haji Salleh, a special exhibition on the chronology of his life was held at the Perpustakaan Sendut Hamzah, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) from today until 2 May 2012.
The exhibition was held in the form of biography and it was co-organised by PHS, Centre for Policy Research & International (CenPRIS) and Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka.
USM Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation Division), Prof. Asma Ismail officiated the exhibition titled “Muhammad Haji Salleh: Pengembara Sastera Dan Ilmu” and she also shared this joyous occasion by rendering a poem in Spanish during the ceremony.
Prof. Asma Ismail said that the contributions of Muhammad Haji Salleh were immeasurable, and so far he has published more than 12 collections of poetry and more than 40 books on literary criticism, translations and analogy.
Among his great masterpieces were Perjalanan Si Tenggang 11, Sajak-sajak Sejarah Melayu, Cermin Diri, Menyeberang Sejarah, Sebuah Unggun di Tepi Danau, Salju Shibuya and Meraih Ruang.
“He also translated many poetry, prose and research work from English to Malay and vice-versa, and because of his hard work, he was well respected and has been accorded with many prestigious awards,'' said Asma.
Asma said, among the awards received by Muhammad Haji Salleh were the Volkswagen Foundation Grant for Malay Literature Theory Research, the British Council Research and Visiting Awards, the National Literary Awards, the National Academic Award, Malaysian Premier Literary Award and many more.
In his speech, Muhammad Haji Salleh said that he was very touched with the specially organised exhibition and he said that this is the most invaluable birthday gift he had ever received.
“I am overwhelmed with this invaluable gift and I pray that I will live a long life so that I can continue to write to uphold the literary studies and knowledge culture,'' he said.
The programme was also organised to give a clearer picture of a literary life chronology and to foster collaboration between the literary activists and lovers.
Besides appreciating those who had contributed much in the field of literature, the exhibition also aims to focus on the worldview and thinking culture of the intellectuals, literary figures, culturists and academia, as well as its relationship with the Malay Archipelago.
Among the programmes lined up were the launching of the book titled ‘Earlier Story of Penang’, declamation of poems penned by Emeritus Prof. Muhammad Haji Salleh and a dialogue session with him on the title: Pengembara Sastera dan Ilmu.