Malay literary gems at Singapore Writers Festival

The who’s who of the Malay literature and entertainment circles trod the boards for’s Malam Lawak Sastera (Literary Comedy Night) on Nov 5.

Held at the Victoria Theatre, the play Sayang di Sayang saw pantun masters GT Lye and M Saffri A Manaf engage in a poetry battle alongside Norsiah Hamid, Junaidah Eksan, Zainal Ihim and Ariff Isa as they created sound effects live on stage in the style of a radio drama.

With a script written by M Saffri A Manaf, the actors tickled the funny bone of the over 300-strong crowd, which included Minister for Communications and Information and Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Dr Yaacob Ibrahim; Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Education & Ministry of Social and Family Development Dr Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim; and Member of Parliament (Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC) Saktiandi Supaat.

The production was a partnership between and the National Arts Council as part of this year’s Singapore Writers Festival (SWF). also hosted two other events in conjunction with SWF on Nov 12 at at the Asian Civilisations Museum. The first was a forum on pioneer Malay literature, whose panellists included Eunos Asah, Suratman, Markasan, Maarof Salleh, Abdul Hamid Besih, Mohamed Yusoff Abdul Rahman amd Sumadi Sarkawi, who are collectively known as Orang Bertujuh Temasek (O7T).

This was followed by a lively and interactive poetry recitation, Muara Sayang (River of Love), which featured 25 poets including Mohd Raman Daud, Nadiputra, Adi Rahman, Rohani Din and Mohd Khair Mohd Yassin.

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