Abu Zar

What is the problem?
Reading Habit by UMP students

Why is it problem?
UMP is relatively a new university and it has been categorised as a focused university which is provider of engineering and technology based programmes. As a this factor, we can define that the engineering students are most doing calculations than reading.

Can you provide some background to the problem e.g. Current trends/Issues etc
The Malaysian Goverment target to have Malaysians read atleast 10 books yearly from 2010. Many afforts have been done so that the objective is achieved.

On 31st January 2007, by then Cultural, Art and Heritage Deputy Minister Datuk Wong Kam Hoong said Malaysians only read an average of 5 books a year in 2006. He added that people in Britain and Japan read and average of 20 books a year. So this means that, in terms of reading we are far behind developed countries in the world. No wonder all sorts of problems such as the recent issue of the use of the word Allah becomes such a big problem. This symbolizes the lack of open mind and intellectual knowledge in our people due to the lack of reading.

The Malay Mail on August 27 2006 carried out by the National Statistics Department looked into local reading habits. What was learnt is that more than half of the 60,441 odd Malaysians surveyed read less than seven pages a day. Those at the age of 10 years and above read about two books a year (the figure excludes text books for students and books that are work-related for working adults). Also shocking is that most of those who read books and magazines, read less than three hours a week. The survey also showed that 55 per cent of those aged 10 to 24, read books, compared to 39 per cent within the 25 to 56 age bracket. Only six per cent are those aged 57 and above.

Reading is not even the favourite pastime of Malaysians as most prefer to watch television and video. I guess our people are just too lazy to read so they prefer watching and listening. Most Malaysians read in Bahasa Melayu, followed by English. Reading in Jawi comes third and finally, Mandarin. This explains our low standard of English speaking, writing and understanding. In fact, certain parties are just too naive that they think reading english will destroy our mother tounge.

Of the total number of respondents, 60 per cent were aged 10 years old and above and 99.9 per cent of them had formal education. Two books a year is the figure that the last survey in 1996 came up with, and in 2006 the figure increased slightly. Still, there is nothing to be proud of.

Surprisingly, MPH and Borders reported increasing sales and the book business locally is apparently worth two billion ringgit a year. Apparently, Malaysians have the habit of buying books but not reading it!

What do you propose to do find out more about the problem?
We will make an interview, completion survey form to know the UMP students in reading habit.