The National Book Council of Malaysia (MBKM) was established by the Ministry of Education in 1968 based on UNESCO’s recommendatory that proposed all developing nations have a special body responsible for the inculcation of interest in reading and be the driving force behind the development of the book industry. MBKM was initially called the National Book Development Council, whose role was to be both a professional body and book advisory at the national level.
Members of the Council were a pool of representatives from several ministries and government agencies, industrial organisations and non-governmental organisations that were involved with the industry and book development, as well as three individuals who had skills to contribute towards the roles and functions of the MBKM. The National Book Policy (NBP) is a policy created by the MBKM as a guide to expand its activities within the fields of books and reading in this country.
Before accepting the post, the MBKM Secretariat existed only as a Unit in the Ministry of Education, Malaysia, with its personnel loaned via administration from other departments. Through the Personnel Warrant dated 31st December 2005, the MBKM Secretariat now operates as one of the department under the Education Policy and Development Sector, Ministry of Education, Malaysia – headed by a Director. This department manages MBKM’s administration and regulates all cooperative programmes between the government sectors, non-government organisations and private parties in this country relating to the development of the book industry and the inculcation of a reading culture. Additionally, MBKM also promotes Malaysian books with local publishers and industrialists at an international level through Malaysia’s participation in overseas book festivals.