Launch of the translation by distinguished Australian academic Emeritus Professor Dr Virginia Hooker of the Tuhfat al-Nafis, or The Precious Gift
On 2 October, the Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia, HE Mr Miles Kupa, co-hosted with the Institut Terjemahan & Buku Malaysia, the launch of a translation into English of the Tuhfat al-Nafis, or The Precious Gift.
YB Datuk Seri Utama Dr Rais Yatim, Minister of Information, Communications and Culture, launched the book and delivered an address welcoming the publication of this significant work.
The Tuhfat al-Nafis, originally written by Raja Ali Haji, is one of the most important texts written in the Malay language, which sheds much light on the history of the Malayo-Indonesian world between the 18th and the 19th centuries.
In his welcoming remarks, the High Commissioner said: "This translation into English will enable non-Malay speakers to access this important text, and thereby to gain a greater understanding of this period of history of the region that straddles both sides of the Straits of Malacca, as portrayed by Raja Ali Haji’s Tuhfat al-Nafis."
The translator of the text, Emeritus Professor Dr Virginia Hooker, is a prominent Australian scholar of Indonesian and Malay language and culture. She has a long-standing interest and expertise in South-East Asian studies, and this latest publication is one of many she has written on Malaysia and the region.
The High Commissioner said he “was very pleased that this collaborative link had formed between the Institut Terjemahan & Buku Malaysia and a distinguished Australian academic through the Tuhfat al-Nafis project. This work represents another success borne out of the long partnership between Australia and Malaysia”.
The High Commissioner also recited an original pantun, a traditional Malay poem, which was authored for the occasion by Mr Raimy Ché-Ross:
Dari jauh menjunjung duli
Mari ke mari sembah diangkat
Dari Australia kami ke mari
Berkongsi ilmu warisan sejagat
Kata berhias madah diberi
Tuhfat al-Nafis hadiah berdaulat
Dari Australia ilmu dikongsi
Dua negara menyebarkan maklumat
Songket telepuk cendana hantaran
Dari Riau dibawa persembahan
Professor Virginia sarjana handalan
Terjemahan beliau menjadi warisan
Salam penutup ucapan diberi
Mengundur diri mengucap selamat
Bahasa Melayu sama-sama kita sanjungi
Australia-Malaysia berkat bersahabat