[Lgpolicy-list] [lg policy] Malaysia: National Language To Unite All

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Thu Oct 16 18:58:59 UTC 2014

 National Language To Unite All
Details Published on Wednesday, 15 October 2014 09:43
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[image: Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (left) presenting a mock cheque to 2014
science and technology novelist winner Mat Rofa Ismail. -NST pic]Tan Sri
Muhyiddin Yassin (left) presenting a mock cheque to 2014 science and
technology novelist winner Mat Rofa Ismail. -NST picPUTRAJAYA: THE national
language is the strongest unifying factor, irrespective of race or
religion. It also plays an important role in bridging the gap between the
nation’s multi-ethnic community, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri
Muhyiddin Yassin.

He said upholding the national language was, thus, paramount. He added that
there was a need to improve on the use of Bahasa Malaysia under the
National Language Policy.

“Year after year, I have never failed to observe that the value and usage
of our national language differs from one group to another.

“This has slowed the government’s pace in making the national language as a
language of unity in the nation.”

Muhyiddin, who is also the education minister, urged all Malaysians,
regardless of race, to place a higher value on the national language to
ensure its development and to move forward as a nation.

“Using Bahasa Malaysia will allow us to achieve our objective, which is to
use the national language to foster unity among Malaysians under the

He said this at the launch of the national-level National Language Month at
the Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC) here.

Citing developed countries such as France, Germany, China and South Korea,
Muhyiddin said Malaysia should follow in their footsteps as these countries
gave a high priority to their national languages.

Muhyiddin said the government was still committed in using Bahasa Malaysia
as the medium of instruction in local universities. A study is being
carried out at six local universities for using the language.

This, he said, was an initiative under the Malaysian Educational
Development Plan 2013-2025 to empower the usage of the national language.

“For the early stages, the universities are audited by Dewan Bahasa dan
Pustaka (DBP) and soon, the Bahasa Malaysia IPT audit will be conducted in
all local universities.”

He also said the action plan might be extended to private universities to
ensure that the use of the national language was not compromised in the
learning and teaching process of those institutions.

Muhyiddin also stressed the proper and correct usage of Bahasa Malaysia on
signboards, billboards and other advertising platforms.

“The citra bahasa (portrayal of the language) in public places requires the
dedication of local authorities in enforcing advertising laws, which
outlines the priority of the national language to be used on billboards,
the names of businesses, buildings, and other places.”

He said the increase in naming of housing estates, markets, warehouses and
institutions that did not reflect proper portrayal of Bahasa Malaysia was

Muhyiddin said the 67th National Local Government Meeting, which he chaired
on March 4, had agreed that private and government agencies were required
to obtain confirmation and a certificate of approval from DBP before
posting billboards in public places.

“I hope all local authorities will enforce this requirement to ensure
advertisers and any parties requesting to display something in public
comply with the regulations.”

Muhyiddin said the challenge to make the national language the lingua
franca of knowledge and thought had become difficult with the existence of
new media, which was prone to be free from all norms of decency, behaviour
and language.

Besides encouraging good manners, he said the media should also play its
role as an agent of society, or socialisation, through the use of quality
and organised language.

The national-level National Language Celebration Month is held annually,
and this year’s celebration began last month, and will end in November.

One of the objectives of the campaign is to strengthen and promote the
usage of Bahasa Malaysia as it would help to foster unity among the people.

Present were social and cultural affairs adviser to the government Tan Sri
Dr Rais Yatim, DBP director-general Datuk Dr Awang Sariyan, education
director-general Datuk Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof, Public Service
director-general Tan Sri Zabidi Zainal and Putrajaya Corporation president
Tan Sri Aseh Che Mat.

*http://www.nst.com.my/node/43080 <http://www.nst.com.my/node/43080>*

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