Rural libraries are built as part of the government’s effort to cultivate reading habit among rural children towards broadening their knowledge. UMNO N.22 Pantai Manis candidate Datuk Abdul Rahim Ismail said during the opening of Kampung Benoni village library yesterday that a well equipped library is the best avenue to encourage villagers, especially children, to adopt reading as a hobby. “With various types of books, magazines and other reading materials covering a wide range of disciplines provided, the library is a centre of knowledge which ultimately will help improve the life of people here,” he said. The newly completed library is fully funded by the Federal Government through the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage and it cost RM200,000 to build. Since it started operation last year, it has benefited many local children including those from outside Kampung Benoni. Apart from providing books and reading materials, the library has organized various exciting activities to promote reading culture among local children and teenagers, he said. Abdul Rahim, who is also Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry, said the response from the villagers has prompted the Government to build another village library in the district and work on the project in Kampung Laut is nearing completion. This shows the Government is serious in stimulating lifelong education and learning process in rural areas, he said. Abdul Rahim, who is Agriculture and Food Industry Minister and incumbent Pantai Manis assemblyman, said that by taking interest in reading and improving their knowledge, the rural communities will be better able to compete and significantly contribute to the country’s overall development. “I hope more rural libraries will be built in the State for the benefit of the people, especially those in the rural areas,” he said.