Tuesday, May 11, 2004

The Right Bahasa Malaysia

Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said on Monday that Leaders must speak in correct Bahasa Melayu at official functions to promote the usage of the national language.

He said the language culture of present leaders was akin to “Touch N Go”, which would eventually be followed by the people.

“We must speak the national language correctly. The correct use of Bahasa Melayu should begin with those in authority. If the leaders do not converse in proper Bahasa Melayu, our younger generation will also not speak the language correctly,” he told reporters after visiting the National Arts Academy.

This trend, if left unchecked, would lead to the birth of a generation speaking “Bahasa Rojak” or mixed language, he said.

As such, leaders should set an example by speaking the language correctly, he said.

“For instance, when you speak in English, speak in proper English.

Likewise, when speaking in Bahasa Melayu, speak the language correctly.

“If our spoken language is not right, people will say it’s not right,” he said.

Dr Rais questioned the attitude of certain quarters who disputed the Government’s action in the “Bahasa Rojak” or mixed language issue as not honouring the national language as enshrined under Article 160 of the Federal Constitution.

“If such an honour is not accorded to the national language, why should we enact the National Language Act? Since we’ve the Act, we should implement it,” he added

We do agree with what Dr Rais Yatim was talking about. Howvever, language especially Bahasa Malaysia is just too hard to control. Besides having different dialects from various states in Malaysia, we also have the natives languages besides the influence of major Chinese, Indian and English languages.

Just recently a reader of Utusan Malaysia complained about the type of language used on signboards in Putrajaya, supposedly the most important 'example'for all Malaysians. Words like 'parcel, presinct, boulevard and souq" which were definitely not Bahasa Malaysia were used.

In response, Director of Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, Dr. Awang Sariyan said they had questioned Perbadanan Putrajaya about the choice of words but he was ignored.

Let see if Dr Rais Yatim could make any changes to the choice of words used in Putrajaya before he correct the YBs on using proper BM.

Kalau selalu cakap tak betui macam mana nak betul? Bila semuanya sudah betui baru ngam. Teda guna cakap teda serupa bikin.

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