He said Malaysians on average read for about three hours a week, compared to some advanced countries whose people read about 10 hours per week.
“We are not too low, but we have not yet reached a high standard. There are some who read high-level reading material such as religious and philosophical books, while there are many who read simple ones. To me, it’s not an issue.
“Those who are not yet interested in reading, I hope they read whatever good material they can find, and those who are already interested in reading, to raise their bar to a higher level,” he told reporters in conjunction with World Book and Copyright Day here, today.
Saifuddin said he had also recently begun sharing information about books he read, via Twitter.
“Alhamdulillah, many Malaysians are also sharing about the books they are reading (with me),” he said, adding that he had also organised a quiz on the country’s history via the social media platform.
Saifuddin also drew attention to young author Ayman Rashdan Wong, whose book ‘Dunia Tanpa Tembok’ – on international relations – has garnered him a sizeable fanbase.
“We need to encourage young writers to write about the fields that interest them,” he said.
Earlier, Saifuddin conducted the ‘Let’s Read Together for 10 minutes’ programme with Assoc Prof Dr Lim Swee Tin, which was broadcast live via Ministry of Communications and Multimedia’s official Facebook page.
He also presented contributions to 104 underprivileged staff from the ministry, namely 84 individuals from Grade 14 and below, 14 single mothers, and six disabled persons.
Saifuddin said the donation comprised basic necessities such as rice and flour for use during the month of Ramadan and the Movement Control Order.