KUALA LUMPUR: The Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) hopes the government will make it compulsory for foreign lecturers and students in all public tertiary institutions (IPTA) to sit for the Bahasa Melayu Qualification (KBM) test beginning next year.
DBP Director-General Datuk Dr Awang Sariyan said to date, only the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) has made the test compulsory under its Centre for General Studies.
“By right, all IPTAs should have started making it compulsory for foreign students and lecturers to sit for the KBM test in September as the module for it had been prepared by the DBP, but it is yet to be implemented,” he said in a press conference held in conjunction with the GENTA Bahasa II celebrations to be held on Dec 14.
He said the vice-chancellors of all IPTAs had agreed to set the KBM test last September but it was not enforced and only a small number of candidates had shown interest in taking the test.
He said as such the government should set a policy to make it compulsory for every lecturer and student to sit for the KBM test in the effort to uphold the National Language.
Dr Awang said the KBM would also be required in stages of other foreign workers in the country.
He added that in line with the move, the DBP had prepared a working paper to be submitted to the Cabinet through the Ministry of Higher Education and Ministry of Human Resource.
He pointed out that the KBM test is not new to foreigners as other countries had conducted similar tests in their own languages.
Dr Awang said the KBM test which is in three stages – basic, middle and advanced – would be made compulsory by April or May next year.
He pointed out that the DBP was implementing the test with the cooperation of the Malaysian Examination Council which included all the vice-chancellors.