Minister encourages learning Malay language

James Kon

With language as a tool of cultural expression, language skills are key to understand the culture of a nation.

Therefore, a good command of Malay Language among the Chinese community in the country will further enhance their understanding of the values, customs and culture of the Malays in Brunei Darussalam.

This was highlighted by Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong at the 2nd National Malay Language Oratory Competition at Dewan Raya in Radio Television Brunei yesterday.

The minister said such understanding will further enhance community relations in the country, foster a sense of understanding and instil the attitude of respect towards one another that is fundamental to the harmony and well-being of the citizen and people of this country.

Since the Written Constitution of Brunei Darussalam in 1959, the minister said, “The Malay Language has become the official language of the nation. In the education system of the country, we have made use of Malay and English languages as the language of delivery as well as encouraging the learning of other languages such as Arabic, Mandarin, French, Japanese, Korean and others.”

Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong delivering the speech
Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong with the winners. PHOTOS: BRUNEI DARUSSALAM HOKKIEN ASSOCIATION

A good command of foreign languages, he said, “has helped make it easier for students to further their studies overseas to increase knowledge on various fields. The command of foreign language has not affected the skill and the command of the Malay Language”.

On the Malay Language Oratory Competition, the minister explained that “it is participated by the Chinese community in the country and has shown that participants possess the skills in the command of their mother tongue and also the ability and skill in Malay Language. I hope that the command of Malay Language will not only be shown in the competition but also practised in day-to-day life.”

“Among my generation, I really admire and appreciate a number of Chinese persons who not only have the ability to speak fluently and write proficiently in Malay Language, but also have the ability and skill to trigger their thoughts and ideas through poetry in Malay.

“This reflects the high command of the Malay Language among the Chinese community. I hope that this generation also possesses these skills and creativity.”

The minister also expressed, “Alhamdulillah, we are confident that this programme will give an opportunity for students to develop their interest in learning the Malay Language and together maintain and defend it. We also hope that such activities will be perpetuated by various parties including the private sector or non-governmental organisations.”

Ang Chin Gui of Chung Hwa Middle School Bandar Seri Begawan (BSB) emerged champion of Category ‘A’ in the competition. Second place went to Marcus Yong Shi Ping of Chung Ching Middle School, Seria, followed by Koh Zhi Ying of Chung Hua Secondary School in Kuala Belait. Yong Shu Ting and Ryan Yong Cheng Hong from Chung Hua Middle School Kuala Belait grabbed the consolation prizes.

In Category ‘B’, Ling Yi Zhen from Chung Hwa Middle School BSB was crowned the winner, followed by Liew Yi Wen of Chung Hwa Middle School BSB and Wong Wee En of St Andrew’s School. Consolation prizes went to Liow Jia Shiuan of Chung Hwa Middle School BSB and Abdul Hakeem bin Abdul Rahman of Chung Hua Secondary School Kuala Belait.

Lim Eng Hua from Brunei Darussalam Hokkien Association won the Chinese Association category. Second place went to Lim Sze Nee from the same association, followed by Anthony Chieng Kai Huak of Brunei Darussalam Fuzhou Shiyyi Association. Yap Choow [email protected] Chaw Phan and Siti Khairuleena Hing binti Abdullah of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce took the consolation prizes.

Chairman of the Brunei Darussalam Hokkien Association Lim Han Chiong as well as senior officials at the Ministry of Home Affairs attended the event.