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Friday December 23, 2005

DBP cannot fight bahasa rojak alone

I REFER to the various views on “bahasa rojak” and other related matters published in The Star’s opinion pages over the last two weeks.  

On behalf of Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka and the Jawatankuasa Penyelarasan Bahasa dalam Media Penyiaran, Kementerian Penerangan (Committee on Language Coordination in Broadcasting Media, the Information Ministry), I would like to highlight the following: 

  • IN OUR efforts to develop and modernise Bahasa Malaysia to befit its status as our official and national language, we have engaged in systematic development and planning of the language over the last 50 years. This includes the coinage of terminologies in almost all academic fields, compilation of monolingual, bilingual and specialised dictionaries, and research on language corpora. The product of all these are available and have been disseminated to the public through our website www.dbp. gov.my, various publications, courses and talks; 

  • THE assimilation of foreign words is inevitable in all languages. Thus borrowing or loaning of words from other languages is a common phenomenon. For example the English borrowed “amok”, “sarong” from Malay and the French borrowed “pantoun”, the Japanese borrowed “forku” (for fork). To ensure the borrowing of foreign words into Bahasa Malaysia is done systematically and correctly, DBP has formulated guidelines in accordance with the Malay grammatical and spelling rules. The guideline known as “Pedoman Pembentukan Istilah” and “Pedoman Umum Ejaan Bahasa Melayu” is available at our website; and 

  • THE use of “bahasa rojak” in our society is alarmingly serious and this may lead to the degradation of Bahasa Malaysia. Furthermore, the usage of “bahasa rojak” reflects the incompetency of Malaysians. 

    We realise it is impossible to stop the public from speaking whatever forms of languages they want in private or informal settings. 

    However, as in the case of films and TV dramas, the use of “bahasa rojak” can be avoided as the dialogues are prepared in formal scripts. 

    We do not want our efforts in developing and modernising Bahasa Malaysia to be undermined by the liberal use of “bahasa rojak” and undisciplined language usage, especially in formal and official settings. 

    I would like to take this opportunity to invite the public to refer to DBP on matters concerning the usage of Bahasa Malaysia. 


    DATUK DR  



    Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, 

    and Vice Chairman, 

    Committee on Language 

    Coordination in 

    Broadcasting Media, 

    Ministry of Information. 

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