kheru2006 (kheru2006) wrote,
kheru2006
kheru2006

Malaysians should appreciate the national language

I REFER to the article, “Malay studies and its ‘perfect Malay’ student” (NST, Jan 12) by Professor Datuk Dr A Murad Merican.

The writer contextualises the value of Malay Studies in the West. I want to highlight the importance of Malaysians appreciating the Bahasa Malaysia.

I am saddened by some Malaysians who take BM for granted. It is a shame when a Malay cannot speak proper BM. Born a Malay, or even Malaysian, should be taken as an opportunity to be able to speak Malay grammatically, and the bonus, is our education system supports English language among the students. We learn English from as young as 5 years old, and we learn BM from the time we are able to talk (for most Malays). So, the expectation is we have to be able to speak and write both languages well.

Recent news report by Bernama quoted the Deputy Prime Minister saying “As a Malaysian, I don't think my language should be killed just because I want to strengthen the English language.” But, of course, if the Malay Studies is learnt in such a way, as described by Professor Murad, the whole body of knowledge can collapse. Nobody values BM when the corpus of knowledge exists like an endangered species.

Thus, it is wonderful to know some fascinating facts about BM. According to Professor Dr Mohd Taib Dora, the vice-Chancellor of Kolej Universiti Islam Melaka, and ex-chair holder of Malay Studies at Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU), China, BM is being widely used by 300-400 users in the world through online communication. It is easy to learn, he said, and interesting. It is also a very important language after English, Mandarin and Tamil. In terms of economic potential, some learn BM to earn economic opportunity in this region.

There are massive Malay language speakers in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. Thus, a professor at BFSU, Professor Dr Wu Zong Yu, had said that Malay language is a very strong language, and it will be an important international language in the future.

In China, there are 10 universities teaching Malay language through the introduction of Malay Studies Department since 1961. It is sad to see when foreigners who are strange to the Malay language are able to appreciate it, while we, who were born and live in the environment that support the language, ignores it.

We should start making efforts to learn the language, improve our competency of the language so that we are able to appreciate and speak it. Malaysians should take this challenge to be good in both Malay and English. Competency in both languages allows us to communicate effectively, suggesting efficient and confident Malaysians.   Dr Siti Suriani Othman, Senior Lecturer, Communication Programme, Faculty of Leadership and Management, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia NST Home Opinion 18 Jan 2015

Tags: language, melayu
Subscribe

  • All professions deserve equal respect

    DOCTOR, lawyer, accountant and engineer are the four horsemen of wealth. They represent a stable job, a good income, a beautiful house and the…

  • Monster bosses need not be tolerated

    I have heard numerous complaints from a number of friends about how horrible their bosses are, and how unsympathetic certain companies are towards…

  • When your boss is a nightmare

    APRIL 27 — Complaining about your boss is probably a global pastime, though now it is the national pastime if you think of our PM as…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 0 comments