| Zee Yusri |
“IN THIS modern era, Malay is seen merely as a ‘side’ language compared to other languages. It could very well be on the verge of extinction if we fail to defend it.”
This was highlighted by the guest of honour, Hajah Nortijah binti Haji Mohd Hassan, Acting Director of the Language and Literature Bureau (DBP) during the opening ceremony of the 7th MABBIM Talk at Balai Sarmayuda, DBP, yesterday.
She highlighted that DBP, as the parent body, has held several programmes and activities that contribute to enhancing the Malay language as a dynamic, innovative and productive dialect whilst leading the strategic transformation of the world language, in line with current developments.
MABBIM has also played a role towards the empowerment of the Malay language since its inception in 1972, including enrichment and creating various terms in the Malay language.
“These efforts contribute to the intellectual thought elements to drive future generations to not only becoming a nation of speakers and practitioners in the Malay language but to also nurture passion and a sense of ownership of the Malay language,” the acting director said.
Progress is not only seen in the proliferation of the terms used but can also be observed in the role and objectives of the Malay language. This can further produce a generation that has high virtues.
Due to people’s eagerness and dependence in learning a foreign language, most forget that, as a Malay resident, the country’s mother tongue should be treated with sovereignty.
Some people may think the Malay language does not encourage the development of the nation itself – why does this happen and as Malays, what should be done to erode these negative reactions?
“The answer is in us and how we position the Malay language as it must be accompanied by a sense of spirituality and purity to form the personality, character and intellect of the individual. It also depends on how we respond and address the speaker’s native language,” expressed Hajah Nortijah.
She urged everyone to uphold the Malay language as a practical international language. People should promote it as a landmark and take pride in their native tongue.
“We are responsible in defending our Malay language. Strategic plans and support of all parties should be established to jointly develop intensive efforts to realise the empowerment of the Malay language. Through unity and equality, we can strenghthen the language, which is not easily influenced by challenges and obstacles that lie ahead,” concluded the acting director.
The event was followed by a talk entitled ‘Enhancing the Role of Malay Language As Scholars’ Thoughts Discloser: Barriers, Opportunities and Strategies’ by Dr Yabit bin Alas, the facilitator of the 7th MABBIM Talk event.