KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 31 — The corporate sector should accord prestige to the Malay language by using it in their official business, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
He said there should be efforts to empower the Malay language by various parties, not just the schools, higher education institutions and public sector, but also the corporate sector.
“The government is always committed to empowering the Malay language although faced with various challenges,” he said when opening the Bahasa Melayu Standard Framework Congress 2017 at the Teacher Education Institute, Malay Language campus in Lembah Pantai, here, today.
“I agree that Malay language usage needs to be strengthened and efforts to empower this language should be made through the Bahasa Melayu Standard Framework (KSBM) which combines the expertise of all the parties concerned,” he said, adding that it was very important for the Malay language to have a standard framework to measure mastery of the language.
Ahmad Zahid said the framework was one of the initiatives taken in upholding the national language under the Education Ministry’s policy of ‘Memartabatkan Bahasa Melayu, Memperkukuhkan Bahasa Inggeris’ (MBMMB) or ‘Upholding the Malay Language and Strengthening Command of English’.
The Bahasa Melayu Standard Framework was developed to produce standardisation of the language using the same framework for usage in all fields including education and work, and privately.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Zahid expressed regret over certain quarters looking down on Malay language usage although they were born in Malaysia and having gone through the country’s education system.
“What a shame if those born in Malaysia are not able to speak well in the Malay language although it was 60 years ago when the country achieved independence (from colonial rule).
“This really saddens me as we should uplift the position of the Malay language in line with its function as the national language, which should be our priority together,” he said.
Ahmad Zahid also shared his experience of visiting the Rohingya refugee camp in Kutupalong, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh recently where he was impressed with some of the refugees’ good command of the Malay language even after only a few years of working in Malaysia. — Bernama