Last updated on 20 June 2012 – 09:35am
Song Sook Kin
KUALA LUMPUR (June 19, 2012): The lack of confidence among the Malays in the importance of the national language was raised at a discourse on issues in the national language held at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Berita Harian reported today.
UKM’s Institut Alam dan Tamadun Melayu (ATMA) deputy director Prof Dr Teo Kok Seong raised the issue in an effort to create awareness of the importance of the language among Bahasa Malaysia speakers.
“The effort to uphold the national language among Malaysians becomes even more difficult when Bahasa Malaysia speakers themselves doubt the significance of the language.
“This can be seen when people call for the restoration of English stream schools,” said Teo, adding that it is as though those people have forgotten how the country has achieved much socio-economic success through the usage of Bahasa Malaysia.
“Those who request that the government restore English stream schools need to be educated on the values of Bahasa Malaysia. They have to realise that every Malaysian plays a role in preserving the language,” he said at the discourse.
TV3 personality, Ahmad Fedtri Yahya, agreed there was a lack of awareness among Malaysians of the significance of the national language.
In a comment on the usage of Bahasa Malaysia in social networking sites, he said: “Maybe they (Bahasa Malaysia users on social networking sites) just want to simplify what they want to write. However, at the same time, it is as if they have ignored the proper usage of the language.
“This is a worrying matter as most of those users are youths.”
He hoped measures would be taken to help the younger generation use the language properly.