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DBP Wants Bahasa Malaysia To Be Known As Bahasa Melayu Again

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KUALA LUMPUR: First they fight for it, now they want it out.

A proposal will be made to the Cabinet to change the term for the national language from Bahasa Malaysia to Bahasa Melayu.

Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) chairman Prof Datuk Seri Dr Md. Salleh Yaapar said that a ministry had agreed to DBP’s suggestion.

“We have managed to convince the ministry to revert to the use of Bahasa Melayu, which was (earlier) changed to serve the political interests of some,” he said at a forum titled “Challenges Facing National Language in the Globalisation Era.”

He however did not name the ministry.

Dr Md Salleh listed the use of the term Bahasa Malaysia as one of the challenges the language faced.

He also noted that many, including the Malays, were pushing for the use of English as the medium of instruction.

“I call upon language enthusiasts to fight these traitors who are becoming increasingly daring,” he said.

DBP coordinating body member Prof Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Abu Bakar said the notion that English was needed for a country to be developed was outdated.

“Only when we go overseas to countries like Germany, Japan and China do we realise that we have been conned,” he said.

Dr Abdul Latif said he was not saying that English or other languages should not be taught in school, but that Malay should be the first language.

In order to maintain the importance of the language, he said steps must be taken to ensure that it remained the principal language used in government agencies and education institutes.

“We see a lot of journals being produced in English. If it is in Malay, you cannot get promotions. Universities have to change this.”

He added that it was time universities stopped chasing after top spots in world ranking and concentrate on producing journals and other educational materials in the national language.

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