Government of Malaysia has established an award known as National literary award or the Anugerah Sastera Negara
The National Literary Award (ASN) is the nation's highest recognition of the literary figures, given to writers writing in the national language of the country (i.e. Bahasa Melayu) who have contributed excellently in the development of literature through the creation of high-quality creative works, thought and activities of great benefits to mankind and the community.
The recipient is chosen through nominations from relevant institutions, such as universities and writers associations and qualified individuals which will go through assessment by a panel of experts headed by the Minister of Education. The award, conferred by the Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong (the reigning monarch of Malaysia) carries the tittle of Sasterawan Negara or National Laureate.
The award was set up in 1979 with Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) Malaysia Language and Literary Bureau as the Secretariat .
The first ceremony was held in 1981 at the Parliament House of Malaysia. Since the implementation of ASN ( 1979 to 2017) the country has awarded 13 literary figures the tittle of Sasterawan Negara. They are as follows (the year in bracket being the year of announcement by Minister of Education as Chairman of the panel, while the award giving ceremony need not be in the same year):
1) Keris Mas (1981),
2) Shahnon Ahmad (1982),
3) Usman Awang (1983),
4) A. Samad Said (1985),
5) Wati Arena (1987),
6) Muhammad Haji Salleh (1991),
7) Noordin Hassan (1993),
8) Abdullah Hussein (1996)
9) S. Othman Kelantan (2003)
10) Anwar Ridhwan (2009)
11) Kemala (2011)
12) Baha Zain (2013)
13) Zurinah Hassan (2015)
THE FIRST AWARD CEREMONY IN 1981 AT PARLIAMENT HOUSE, THE TITTLE SASTERAWAN NEGARA (SN) CONFERRED TO KERIS MAS BY THE KING.
SHAHNON AHMAD, THE SECOND SASTERAWAN NEGARA
USMAN AWANG, MALAYSIA'S MOST LOVED POET BEING THE 3RD RECIPIENT
ME WITH ANWAR RIDHWAN (10TH SN) AND THE FOURTH SN A.SAMAD SAID
THE 8TH SN , ABDULLAH HUSSEIN WAS ALMOST LIKE A FATHER TO ME
ME WITH ANWAR RIDHWAN AND BAHA ZAIN (12TH SN)