Monitoring Use Of Bahasa Malaysia On Radio & TV

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Wed Mar 22 14:13:49 UTC 2006

>>From Malaysian National News Agency

Monitoring Use Of Bahasa Malaysia On Radio & TV
March 21, 2006 19:28 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, March 21 (Bernama) -- A committee has been set up to monitor
the use of Bahasa Malaysia by radio and television stations, including in
lyrics, in an effort to harmonise the correct use of the language,
Information Minister Datuk Zainuddin Maidin said Tuesday. He said the
radio and television stations found to use adulterated language would be
cautioned by the committee, which is chaired by Deputy Information
Minister Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

"This is not coercion; we do not use compulsion. We caution and seek their
cooperation for correct use of the language," he told reporters after
chairing a meeting of the Committee on Harmonising the Use of Bahasa
Malaysia in Broadcasting Media, here. The meeting, which lasted for more
than an hour, was attended by representatives from all broadcasting
stations and the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP).

Zainuddin said the use of a uniform Bahasa Malaysia in the broadcasting
media was necessary to uphold the correct use of the language and avoid
confusion among the people. He said all radio and television stations had
pledged to use the correct Bahasa Malaysia in their broadcasts. Today's
meeting agreed to adopt the Johor-Riau dialect as the standard
pronunciation for Bahasa Malaysia in broadcasting.

Zainuddin said all stations agreed to abide by the rules on spelling,
terminology and pronunciation adopted by DBP. "However, for pronunciation,
the broadcasting media will use a more liberal approach (without being too
linguistic), in accordance with the pitch of the broadcasting language
that is simpler, already in use, and easily understood by the people," he
said. He said the use of formal or informal adulterated language by radio
and television stations would not be encouraged because this could pollute
the language and undermine its proper growth.

The meeting also agreed that all broadcasting stations should be wary of
the use of slang and "SMS language", which was popular now among people
sending short messaging service over the mobile phone, to ensure that the
broadcasting media did not contribute to the mutilation of the language.
Zainuddin said DBP proposed to have a briefing for the Cabinet on the
policy and development of Bahasa Malaysia.


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