KUALA LUMPUR: THE Federal Territory National Language Month 2012 started on a high note with the bestowing of the Tokoh Pemartabat Bahasa Melayu Federal Territory Award on Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Institute of Malay World and Civilisation Malay sociolinguistics professor, Dr Teo Kok Seong.
Prof Dr Teo Kok Seong (right) receiving the Tokoh Pemartabat Bahasa Melayu Federal Territory Kuala Lumpur 2012 Award from Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing deputy minister M.Saravanan (second from left) at the launch of the Federal Territory Kuala Lumpur National Language Month 2012. Looking on Tuesday. With them are City Hall director-general are Datuk Salleh Yusup (left) and Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka language development and literature department director Datuk Abang Sallehuddin Abang Shokeran. Pic by Farizul Hafiz Awang
The recognition came as a surprise to Teo, who is also the institute’s principal research fellow.
“I was shocked to receive the award for my efforts to promote Bahasa Melayu.
“This award is my first since being involved in sociolinguistics and Bahasa Melayu in 1979. “My work aims to ignite love and loyalty for Bahasa Melayu,” said the 59-year-old Chinese Peranakan from Kelantan who started as an English language teacher.
His research includes how well Bahasa Melayu is accepted by the Chinese, and the cultural identity of the Malay community.
Teo is not unfamiliar with the use of Bahasa Melayu as it is commonly spoken among members of the Chinese Peranakan communities.
He received his award at the City Hall Auditorium from Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing deputy minister Datuk M. Saravanan, who launched the language promotion which is on until December.
Also present were City Hall director-general Datuk Salleh Yusup and Dewan Bahasa and Pustaka (DBP) Language Development and Literature Department director, Datuk Abang Sallehuddin Abang Shokeran.
Saravanan said City Hall will ensure that the national language is used on ads, signboards and road names, in line with the advertisement bylaw and the business premises advertisement guidelines.
City Hall, added Salleh, will continue to work closely with DBP with regard to the correct use of Bahasa Melayu, and for it to be displayed prominently on advertisements in public areas and business premises.