Friday, November 28, 2008

DBP To Get More Powers Under New Legislation To 'Enforce' Use Of Bahasa Malaysia

The Education Ministry is studying the best way to give more powers to Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) in enforcing the use of Bahasa Malaysia, the Dewan Rakyat was told Thursday.

Deputy Education Minister Dr Wee Ka Siong said the DBP Act 1959 would be amended to realise the plan but the draft was still at the ministry's legal adviser.

"It will involve many parties and has something to do with several matters including the appointment of DBP director-general and provisions to strengthen DBP's administration," he said when winding up the debate on the Supply Bill 2009 on the ministry's behalf.

He said the Bill was expected to be tabled in Parliament soon.

On the appointment of new DBP director-general, Wee said the candidate had been identified and the appointment would be made soon. The ministry was also paying attention to solving several matters affecting DBP, he added.

Wee said the supposed crisis in DBP was due to opinion differences in selecting a suitable candidate to bear the big responsibility of dealing with issues regarding the national language and DBP's role.

"Maybe, the board and the administrator have different views. It is important that we pick the right candidate who can bring them together and reach a consensus for common benefits in dignifying the national language.

"When we have made the final decision on the matter after looking at the candidate's suitability to carry out the responsibility, I am sure the candidate appointed can honour the responsibility and understands DBP's functions to explain particular concepts," he said.

On a suggestion for the setting up of a National Language Implementation Commission, he said the ministry did not have plans for it but was committed to putting DBP, presently under the Education Ministry, on a platform where it could dignify Bahasa Malaysia as the national language.

Datuk Paduka Ibrahim Ali (Independent-Pasir Mas) had earlier suggested that DBP be placed under the Prime Minister's Department to enable it monitor language issues more effectively.

On the closure of Sri Inai private school, Wee said the school must first ensure the students had completed their examinations and arrange the students' transfer to other schools systematically. (Bernama)

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Bahasa Malaysia is the medium of instruction in national schools, the language of Parliament and the courts, the sole language of official government communication, is given prominence on banners and signboards, dominates the government television and radio networks and has without doubt evolved into the undisputed lingua franca of Malaysia. One cannot pass a government school exam without a pass in BM and a credit in the language is essential for entry into our varsities and the civil service.

What more can they expect to achieve by empowering DBP to '
dignify the national language'? As it is the national school and tertiary education system in the country is at a dismally low level after the government, pandering to 'nationalists' and Malay language fanatics, downgraded English at great expense to our competitiveness. What more 'enforcing' is being conceived? Compelling every citizen to publicly and privately speak BM? Systematically reducing vernacular content in advertisements, entertainment programmes and events? Abolishing Chinese and Tamil medium schools?

More importantly can any language truly attain a 'dignified' status by the legislative fiat of Parliament?

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, maybe disallow or penalise those who are non-Malaysian to use and speak BM because they are not subjects of the country. Same as what they assert that non-Muslims are not allowed to use the word 'Allah'. Possible??Boleh kah??

4:41 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Typical of the BN government. When they can't get things their way, they slam everything down your throat.

5:02 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Brian Barker said...

I think that minority languages require protection. The promulgation of English as the world's "lingua franca" is unethical and linguistically undemocratic. I add that I am a native English speaker!

Unethical because communication should be for all and not only for an educational or political elite. English is used, at an international level, in this way, now.

Undemocratic because minority languages are under attack worldwide due to the encroachment of majority ethnic languages. Even Mandarin Chinese is attempting to dominate as well, although not yet in Europe! The long-term solution must be found and a non-national language, which would place all ethnic languages on an equal footing is long overdue.

An interesting video can be seen at http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=_YHALnLV9XU

The argument for Esperanto can be seen at http://www.lernu.net

9:21 PM GMT+8  

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