A song composed by two composers from the Faculty of Music, Universiti Teknologi MARA Malaysia (UiTM) has been selected as the theme song for Malaysia’s Campaign for National Reading Decade (2020-2030)). The song was played during the launch of the campaign by Malaysia’s ex-Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir Mohamad, on 13th February 2020.
Titled “Indahnya Ilmu” (Knowledge is Beautiful), the song imparts a message of cultivating the habit and enjoyment of reading.
The selection process which took a year began with a call for submission at the end of 2018. Songwriters including representatives and songwriters of various institutions were called for a briefing and participants were given two weeks to submit their composition to the Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia.
The selection process was followed by a demo presentation by the composers in front of a panel of judges which comprised members of the academia and industry. The winning song was finally announced by the Malaysia Citation Centre in mid-2019.
Prior to the official release of the work, enhancements were made to the song lyrics to ensure that the precise message was delivered effectively. The composers were mentored by one of Malaysia’s renowned composers, Professor Datuk Johari Salleh, and a prolific writer and famous poet Professor Dr Lim Swee Tin. Composers Adam Masumi and Alwani Badar described that “the biggest challenge we went through was to compose an evergreen melody that could sustain its appeal for ten years and at the same time be relevant to all ages”.
The finished product was resubmitted for review, performed by the composers, and accompanied by the UiTM Chamber Choir (UCC) Faculty of Music’s renowned choir on stage. They successfully beat three other universities to emerge as winners.
In addition to the reading campaign, UNESCO announced Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as the world book capital for 2020.