Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Brunei Town

Promoting Malay language in youth

Izah Azahari

The Language and Literature Bureau (DBP) organised an online Malay Language Forum yesterday, centred on ‘Youth and the Malay Language’ in conjunction with the 38th National Day celebration.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin attended the event as the guest of honour alongside permanent secretary and deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS), heads of departments, senior government officers, students, as well as language and literature enthusiasts.

DBP Acting Director Suip bin Haji Abdul Wahab in his welcoming speech highlighted that the Malay Language Forum is part of the bureau’s annual project to strengthen and uphold Malay as the country’s official language.

“The strength and greatness of a nation’s civilisation is highly dependent on its language ability. Thus, there is no denying that the Malay language is a machine for the development of the nation’s civilisation,” he said.

The acting director added that the forum debated and discussed in more depth on issues and matters related to the use of the Malay language among youth today.

The panels’ views and thoughts served as catalysts for increasing the sense of ownership of the Malay language, which is a symbol of national identity, he said.

The panellists comprised Dr Aliamat bin Omar Ali, Noradinah binti Haji Jaidi and Haji Abdul Rashid bin Haji Damit, chaired by Hajah Norati binti Bakar from the DBP.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin at the forum. PHOTO: DBP

The forum revolved around six main objectives – echoing and enlivening the 38th National Day celebration; creating a sense of love and patriotism towards the country through a sense of love for the Malay language; analysing issues related to the Malay language from the youth’s perspective; instilling love among the youth, students and the community towards the Malay language; strengthening the status of Malay as the national language; and expanding general knowledge both locally and abroad.

The forum also aimed to encourage the youth to speak Malay and appreciate the noble values of the language as well as place the youth as alert agents for future change to achieve the goals of the National Youth Policy and Strategy.

Also discussed was the youth’s efforts in mastering the Malay language using the whole-of-nation approach.

Among other discussions were the challenges of the Industrial Revolution 4.0 faced by the youth.

There are three strategies in upholding the Malay language – fostering a sense of love; education and initiatives by DBP.

The forum touched on the importance of the community, especially the youth, in having a sense of responsibility in upholding Malay sovereignty to prevent it from being marginalised.

“Playing a role are the youth and the community in working together to prioritise the Malay language and preserve Jawi writing; Both roles are equally responsible in ensuring the Malay language is embedded in the soul of society.

“The elevation of the status of the Malay language in the youth as a reflection of the national identity, is dependant on the acceptance of the language within the community and future generations to prevent it from being seen as solely for the the Malay community,” said the DBP.

As one of DBP’s efforts in maintaining the Malay language in line with Brunei Vision 2035, the forum was held to promote love for the Malay language and Jawi writing as treasure troves of Malay cultural heritage that need to be preserved.

The Malay Language Forum was open to the public and can be viewed via the Zoom application link and the Facebook page Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka.