Bahasa Melayu, Language That Can Unite Malaysians – Dato’ Seri Mohd Najib

By Asmahanim Amir
Pictures by Abd Raai Osman and Ikhwan Hashim

BANGI, 19 April 2017 – Bahasa Melayu should be used a means to unify Malaysia’s multicultural society, said Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak.

He said the organizations that are entrusted to uphold the Malay language should be given a bigger scope to ensure that Malay language be used as the main language in every day interactions.

“This includes the use of Bahasa Melayu in legal matters and trading, as an initiative to increase the value of the language,” he said while delivering his speech at the Launching Ceremony of Cultural Congress 2017, in UKM recently.

He added that in order to promote the usage of Bahasa Melayu, the local authorities (PBT) must be sensitive and are advised to avoid using other languages when naming housing estates, shopping malls or roads.

Nowadays, said Dato’ Seri Najib, there are a lot of challenges in ensuring the status of Bahasa Melayu as the official language of the country, is protected.

“The influence of social media like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter is the latest threat in our effort to uphold the Malay language.

“It seemed to intensify the influence of other cultures, which are different from ours and introduces a rojak (mixed) language which to some extent, has sabotaged the integrity of Bahasa Melayu,” he said.

He said that every effort made by scholars, culture activist and NGOs will help to sow seeds nourished with cultural values, as was demonstrated by the 2017 Cultural Congress.

Also present at the ceremony is the wife of Prime Minister, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Chairman of Cultural Congress 2017 and also Malaysia Socio-Cultural Advisor, Tan Sri Datuk Seri Utama Dr Rais Yatim, UKM Board of Director Chairman, Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr Ibrahim Saad and UKM Vice-Chancellor, Prof Dato’ Seri Dr Noor Azlan Ghazali.