‘Pre­serve value of Malay lan­guage’

> Perak Sul­tan calls for wise for­mula to cre­ate bilin­gual so­ci­ety

The Sun (Malaysia) - - FRONT PAGE -

KUALA LUMPUR: The Sul­tan of Perak, Sul­tan Nazrin Shah ( pix), yes­ter­day said it would be un­for­tu­nate if the Malay lan­guage were to lose its knowl­edge, ad­min­is­tra­tive and com­mer­cial val­ues in an era of glob­al­i­sa­tion and in the cor­po­rate world.

He said at one time, driven by the height­ened spirit of In­de­pen­dence, var­i­ous lo­cal au­thor­i­ties changed street names from those of colo­nial fig­ures to lo­cal lead­ers.

“To­day, the re­verse is tak­ing place. More and more hous­ing es­tates, parks, com­mer­cial build­ings and tourist at­trac­tions ap­proved by the lo­cal au­thor­i­ties carry English names,” he said at the Royal Ad­dress or­gan­ised by De­wan Ba­hasa dan Pus­taka here.

The Sul­tan crit­i­cised huge govern­ment-linked com­pa­nies, helmed by Malays, for show­ing dis­re­spect to the na­tional lan­guage and not pro­vid­ing gen­uine sup­port to en­ti­ties strug­gling to up­hold the na­tional lan­guage.

He said al­though the na­tional lan­guage is as­sumed to have no in­ter­na­tional value, it is a lan­guage that not only safe­guarded his­tor­i­cal links but also up­held the na­tional iden­tity.

Sul­tan Nazrin Shah called for a wise for­mula to cre­ate a bilin­gual so­ci­ety in ef­forts to de­velop hu­man re­sources of a global na­ture with­out marginal­is­ing the na­tional lan­guage.

He said in ac­cept­ing it was im­por­tant for the peo­ple, es­pe­cially the Malays, to mas­ter a uni­ver­sal lan­guage in ac­quir­ing knowl­edge and skills, the coun­try should be care­ful about the meth­ods em­ployed so that what was gained is not lost.

“We must not dis­miss the Unesco find­ing that mother tongue is the key to ef­fec­tive learn­ing,” he said.

The Sul­tan added that meth­ods to en­able the peo­ple to mas­ter English should be for­mu­lated prop­erly.

“It is easy to for­mu­late a pol­icy, but be­fore an idea is trans­lated into pol­icy, it is oblig­a­tory to scru­ti­nise the im­ple­men­ta­tion mech­a­nism. Delve into any prob­lem in depth to come up with a more ef­fec­tive so­lu­tion,” he said.

Sul­tan Nazrin Shah said the dig­nity and glory of the Malay lan­guage as the na­tional lan­guage was part of the spirit of the In­de­pen­dence agree­ment.

“That spirit must be kept alive, the torch of the strug­gle should be kept lit at all times.

“(No one) can erase the sta­tus of the Malay lan­guage on this Earth ex­cept those Malays who are more in­ter­na­tional in char­ac­ter and do not at all ap­pre­ci­ate their her­itage,” he said, adding that they should up­hold the will of the Malay Rulers, who had handed power to the fed­eral ad­min­is­tra­tion. – Ber­nama

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