Passing of KS Maniam: Talent must be recognised, supported

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JD Lovrenciear sees a pattern of non-recognition of talent or late praise deeply rooted among policymakers.

Many literary examplars in Malaysia expressed their admiration and sadness over the passing of KS Maniam on 19 February 2020.

A passionate literary gift to the nation, KS Maniam’s contributions to the mostly neglected world of writing is widely acclaimed in many parts of the world.

KS Maniam – Photograph: Astro Ulagam

The truth is Malaysia often and repeatedly fails to give timely recognition to talent in many fields, including writing.

How can can the past and present government’s efforts at encouraging the collapsing reading habit among Malaysians ever succeed when often it does not give significant and timely recognition to talented writers.

What use is a posthumous order of merit or accolades when achievements during the lifetime of talented writers like KS Maniam are ignored or placed on the backburner in Putrajaya?

We see this pattern of non-recognition or late praise (after the public or wise media draw attention to worthy achievements) deeply rooted among policymakers.

The government cannot seek to make this nation a thriving pool of talents if it constantly fails to quickly identify, support and nurture talent among Malaysians.

Any government of the day that pledges to be a people-centred and progressive administration needs to tackle this weakness if it wants to transform Malaysia into a progressive nation where talent is much sought after.

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