‘Empowering the Malay Language’ is a theme that demands people to bear the trust with full awareness that the Malay language is the identity of the nation and Brunei’s people, which should be empowered by every level of society in the Sultanate.
This was said by Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Awang Haji Nazmi bin Haji Mohamad during the Language Month Celebration 2022 organised by the Language and Literature Bureau (DBP) yesterday.
Awang Haji Nazmi said synergy of all parties including ministries and government departments, the private sector as well as non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and individuals in Brunei Darussalam are needed to realise this aspiration.
“All parties play a very important role towards realising the importance of the Malay language in their daily lives to elevate it to the dignity it deserves.
“During the International Malay Language, Literature and Culture Congress Series held recently, it was highlighted that Malay language is not an obstacle to acquiring quality knowledge, including in the field of science and technology,” he said.
The minister believed that the efforts through the approach of compatriots in being equally active in upholding the language are important in elevating Malay language as a language of knowledge.
“In facing the Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR 4.0), we must be more creative in empowering the Malay language, he added.
The IR 4.0’s quick pace and the existence of COVID-19 pandemic have changed people’s lifestyles, but it does not mean culture also needs to be changed, let alone the use of language.
“This is not a stumbling block for our society to learn because we also recognise that knowledge is largely sourced from foreign languages,” said the minister.
He added all that remains is the policy to utilise knowledge and technological sophistication in addition to filtering cultures that are not in accordance with the philosophy of the country, Malay Islamic Monarchy (MIB), as it all aims to preserve identity.
He said initiatives and activities through a national approach are important in the continuation of dignification and strengthening of the Malay language.
To continue to strengthen the Malay language, Awang Haji Nazmi called to strengthen the policies established in the Constitution of the State of Brunei 1959, circulars, legislations, and Malay language empowerment programmes so the official language continues to be used and practiced by all walks of life and people of Brunei Darussalam as it remains a highly educated world language.
“Ultimately, in support of this aspiration, Malay speaking groups must continue to play a leading role to continue to develop the language in their tracks in a more organised manner,” said the minister.
Awang Haji Nazmi urged cooperation to strengthen the Malay language as it is a shared responsibility.
“This is the national trust to all of us, whether in the government or the private sectors, that we need to cultivate well, as children of Brunei who love their mother-tongue and homeland,” he said.