Brunei: Empowering Malay the Bruneian way

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Fri Mar 16 12:53:45 UTC 2007

Empowering Malay the Bruneian way

By Rosli Abidin Yahya

A prime language forum will be held next Tuesday at the International
Convention Centre, Berakas, in an effort to create awareness towards
strengthening the Malay language in Brunei, which is currently facing
challenges posed by globalisation, the dual-language policy and the
worldwide domination of English. Organised by the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka
(DBP), under the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (KKBS), the forum
will be officiated by Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Pehin Orang
Kaya Seri Dewa Major General (Rtd) Dato Seri Pahlawan Awang Haji Mohammad
bin Haji Daud.

A local language expert, Dato Paduka Awang Haji Ahmad bin Kadi, Secretary
of Censure Board from the Ministry of Home Affairs, and his two regional
counterparts, Professor Dr Awang Sariyan of the Malay Language Department
from the Academy of Malay Studies, Universiti Malaya of Malaysia, and
Mohamed Pitchay Gani bin Mohamed Abdul Aziz, Coordinator of Special
Training Programme (Ethnic Language), National Institute of Education,
Nanyang Technology University of Singapore, will be the three forum
panellists tackling the subject of "Continuous Usage of Malay Language in
the Era of Globalisation".

With the theme of "The Empowerment of Malay Language is the Responsibility
of All", the forum, chaired by Dr Mataim bin Bakar, Director of DBP, will
be broadcast live by the national television channel Radio Television
Brunei, commencing 8.50pm. Audience members, comprising selected deputy
ministers, the Permanent Secretary of KKBS, heads of departments and
senior officers of KKBS, lecturers and undergraduates, penghulus and
village heads, principals, headmasters and students, will be given
opportunities to ask questions at the Q&A session towards the end of the

A total of 400 participants are expected to attend the forum, which is an
event organised in conjunction with the 23rd National Day celebration. The
panellists are expected to deliver their views on ways to ensure the
continuous usage of the Malay language after globalisation, the effects of
the dual-language policy and the impact of English on Bruneian society.
Language experts have suggested that the development of the Malay language
should be consistent with the advancement of knowledge, in order to ensure
its continued growth and survival. Efforts must be made to expand the
language, in terms of vocabulary and etymology, so that it will not
deteriorate in the rapid development of science and technology.


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