Bookfest@Malaysia is billed as the largest trilingual book expo in the region – and it certainly lives up to the label with everything from books, events, workshops and panel discussions offered in Malay, English and Chinese.
For Chinese literature enthusiasts, the event’s theme this year, “Assuredly Enriching!”, is particularly apt, what with the interesting line-up of authors and speakers scheduled to appear.
Here are some of the highlights from the nine-day Bookfest@Malaysia expo which begins on June 1 (Sat) at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.
Louis Cha (Jin Yong) tribute
It is only appropriate that such a major book exposition pays tribute to Chinese literary titan Louis Cha, who died last year aged 94 after a long illness.
“Contemplating Life via Jin Yong’s Novels” is the title of the forum which honours the wisdom of Cha, who is better known by his pen name Jin Yong.
The late literary maestro has been compared to J.R.R. Tolkien and Stan Lee for his ability to create compelling fantasy stories set in the world of wuxia, a popular genre of Chinese fiction that revolves around the adventures of chivalrous martial arts heroes.
Cha’s 15 novels have inspired hundreds of comics, films, television serials, and online role-playing games.
Cha also founded Hong Kong’s Chinese-language daily newspaper Ming Pao and was its first editor-in-chief.
Speakers at this forum include Chinese-Malaysian author Chen Die, Mentor Publishing Sdn Bhd founder Chiew Ruoh Peng, and veteran political figure Tan Sri Ong Tee Keat.
(Plenary Theatre, June 2, 11am-2pm.)
It isn’t often that a writer can be both a bestselling novelist and a top-grossing filmmaker, but that is exactly how one would describe the multiple-award-winning Giddens Ko from Taiwan.
Better known by his pen-name Jiubadao (meaning Nine Knives in Mandarin), the prolific Ko has published more than 60 books, which he has adapted and made into nine films, two TV series and two stage plays.
His debut film, You Are The Apple Of My Eye (2011), propelled him to international fame, setting box-office records in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan.
(Main Stage, Hall 1, June 7, 7pm-9pm.)
Ziming and Limao
Cat YouTube channels are getting to be very rewarding these days so if you want to learn how to go about setting up your own, then it is the purrfect time to get some advice from the operators of the top cat Youtube channel in Taiwan.
Known by their online monikers Ziming and Limao, these two vloggers have seven feline furkids (Ama, Yuzu, Lulu, Judy, Clyster, Socles, Three Legs) that they feature on their two popular Youtube channels fumeancats (Huang Ama De Hougong Shenghuo) and fumeanmen (Ziming Yu Limao).
Apart from designing cute kitty collectibles, they have also written books like Cats Are Always Right and How Could I Forget You.
(Main Stage, Hall 1, June 3, 7pm-9pm.)
Dr Bell Chung
Known as Hong Kong’s “Miracle Professor”, Dr Bell Chung is also a professor of psychology, certified hypnotherapist, cognitive psychologist, and an expert in criminal psychology with 16 years of working experience in the Hong Kong Police Force.
He is renowned for healing himself after a near-death experience.
Following a fall of almost 200m during a glider crash, he suffered multiple fractures, one of which was so bad that doctor wanted to amputate his right foot.
Chung refused to allow it and managed to heal himself by integrating traditional Chinese medicine and Indian Ayurvedic medicine with modern psychology to conduct meditation.
He is a much sought after speaker by those who seek physical or mental healing.
(Main Stage, Hall 1, June 9, 5pm-6.45pm.)
A prominent figure in Malaysian metaphysics, Master Jane Hor inherited her father Master Hor Yen Shang’s gift and started practising Chinese geomancy at a very young age.
Her yearly analysis and predictions of the Malaysian economy, politics and general well-being have been published in major newspapers and magazines and featured on radio and television.
She is an expert in feng shui, astrology, palmistry, face-reading, bazi analysis, and Chinese naming; she has also been appointed the wedding date selection consultant for KL’s Tien Hou Temple and a local marriage services agency.
(Hospitality Lounge 1, June 9, 2pm-3.30pm.)
Multitalented Cheryl Lee has been hailed as one of Malaysia’s most accomplished Chinese female celebrities.
Lee is a DJ at Malaysia’s leading Chinese language radio station, 988, as well as a television host, magazine columnist, author, singer, lyricist, and actress.
She has won awards for radio deejaying, TV hosting, and singing.
She is currently hosting 988’s Stand By You, Monday to Friday, from 10am to 1pm.
Her new book is entitled We Are Going To Die.
(Main Stage, Hall 1, June 6, 4pm-4.45pm.)
Lee will also be joining Taiwanese authors Peter Su and Alvin (also known as Ai Er Wen) in a forum entitled Survival Guide for Multiple Careers and Diversified Lifestyles that aims to discuss the challenges faced by people who juggle multiple careers.
This is a closed door event that requires a RM30 entrance ticket, which is available for purchase at selected Popular bookstores or at the BookFest itself.
Every ticket purchased comes with a RM10 cash voucher redeemable when purchasing any of these authors’ books.
(Conference Hall 2, June 5, 2pm to 5pm.)
BookFest@Malaysia 2019 will take place from June 1 to 9 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. Admission is with purchase of the BookFest guidebook at RM2.50 per entry or RM10 for multiple entries over the nine days.
Catalogues are available at all Popular and Harris bookstore outlets nationwide and also at the event’s entrance. Entrance is free for students who are 18 years old and below and for senior citizens aged 60 and above.
For more information, visit bookfestmalaysia.com.
Star Media Group Bhd is a media partner of BookFest@Malaysia 2019.