Malaysia: Education Ministry To Submit Memorandum To Strengthen Bahasa Malaysia

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Wed Aug 30 13:05:12 UTC 2006

August 29, 2006 22:26 PM

Education Ministry To Submit Memorandum To Strengthen Bahasa Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug Ogos (Bernama) -- A memorandum suggesting measures to
strengthen Bahasa Malaysia as the national language will be tabled in the
Cabinet soon. Education Minister Datuk Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said
Tuesday the memorandum, the result of discussions with the Main Committee
on Strengthening the National Language, would also propose amending the
Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) Act to give the entity power to correct
wrong usage of the language.

He said efforts were also being made through collaborations with his
Indonesian and Brunei counterparts to raise the status of the language as
one of the main languages in the world. A communique on this was signed by
the three countries last July 31, he said when launching the 2006 National
Language and Literary Month. This is the first time that the event is
jointly organised by his ministry and the Culture, Arts and Heritage and
Information ministries. Previously it was organised by the Education
Ministry and coordinated by the DBP.

Hishammuddin said that with the communique signed by the two neighbouring
countries, he hoped that books in Bahasa Malaysia would be given better
market access in Indonesia. He also said that through several programmes
that would be implemented, the ministry hoped to create a Malaysian race
proud of Bahasa Malaysia as their identity as well as fluent in the

At a news conference later, Hishammuddin acknowledged that efforts to
strengthen the national language would face great challenges from the
borderless world of the Internet, media influences and information
technology. "I feel our journey to reach the level that we desire is still
far ahead.  That is why we must strengthen our cooperation with all
parties," he added.


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