KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 20 – Kuala Lumpur has been named World Book Capital for the year 2020 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco).
In a statement on its website today, Unesco said Malaysia’s capital was selected because of the city’s strong focus on inclusive education; its ongoing development of a knowledge-based society; and it’s population’s easy access to reading materials.
With the designation, the city will undertake a range of initiatives to promote books and reading over the year, beginning April 23, 2020, which will be World Book and Copyright Day.
The year-long programme, which will see numerous special events held, will be known as KL Baca.
“’KL Baca – caring through reading’ will focus on four themes: reading in all its forms; development of the book industry’s infrastructure; reading material inclusiveness and digital accessibility; and the empowerment of children through reading.
“Events and activities (planned) include the construction of a book city (the Kota Buku Complex); a reading campaign for train commuters; the enhancement of digital services and accessibility for the disabled by the National Library of Malaysia; and new digital services for 12 libraries in poor housing areas of Kuala Lumpur,” Unesco said.
Kuala Lumpur is the 20th city to bear the title since 2001.
Past winners include Madrid (2001), Montreal (2005), Turin (2006), Amsterdam (2008), Bangkok (2013), Incheon (2015), Sharjah (2019) and Athens (2018). –Bernama © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd