Review legal provision to elevate country’s heritage, civilisation: Rais

CYBERJAYA (Bernama) – Some provisions contained in the country’s laws and development plans with regard to the Malay language, heritage and nationhood should be reviewed towards enhancing the country’s heritage and civilisation.

Socio-economic advisor to the Malaysian government, Tan Sri Dr Rais Yatim who said this, cited the National Transformation Plan 2050 (TN50) which needed to have a soul based on the Malay language, the nation’s heritage, Rukun Negara and the institution of Malay royal rulers.

“The situation is not ideal yet and if we don’t study again these elements, maybe Islam Hadhari, Vision 2020 and TN50 will not have a clear continuity,” he told reporters after delivering his keynote address at the ‘Gathering of Heritage and Civilisation Scholars’, yesterday.

He said it was worrying when the role of Bahasa Melayu or Malay language, for instance, did not achieve the status as a language for knowledge, trade, law and as an international language in this country.

“We will lag behind…America, United Kingdom and the rest of Europe will continue to ‘colonise’ the world (through their language).

Socio-economic advisor to the Malaysian government, Tan Sri Dr Rais Yatim delivering his talk during the ‘Gathering of Heritage and Civilisation Scholars’. – BERNAMA

“Therefore, we should rise with our Malay culture together with a mixture of non-Malay cultures which will be the foundation for nation building,” he added.

Rais also said that the National Heritage Act 2005 needed to be enhanced, especially through its Section 68 which provided power for the registration of the nation’s heritage.

“Language is one of the heritage. Thus, we make language a new beacon so that its registration (as a national heritage) would be the foundation for new knowledge and the translation field.

“The Malay royal rulers should also be registered as a heritage institution. This has not yet happened. This is a heritage we should not forget.

“We shall make the call for these through our capacity of advising the National Council of Professors, National Heritage Council, Yayasan Budi, the Education Ministry and Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP),” he said.

The two-day gathering from yesterday discusses high-level heritage in Malay civilisation with the presentation of 60 working papers.