JOHOR BARU: It is high time that Malaysians change their way of thinking that mastering a foreign language is the only way for the country to achieve developed status, says Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Sahruddin Jamal.
“It is up to us, the people of Malaysia, to bring our national language to a higher level by practising it in our daily usage, whether it is in business, debate, writing, documentation or research in language, ” he said, pointing out that it has been 62 years since independence.
To this end, Dr Sahruddin said all government ministries, departments and agencies are encouraged to use the national language during formal affairs and events at all times.
He noted that the public sector was the best implementer of government policies and could be a good example for the private sector and the general public as a whole.
“More often we are easily influenced by the usage of other languages aside from Bahasa Malaysia especially with the advent of new technology and innovation in this borderless world.
“In order to overcome this, I strongly urge each and everyone of us to enhance our usage of Bahasa Malaysia not only in our day-to-day communication but in also in our own technology and innovation, especially when giving explanations or sharing information, ” Dr Sahruddin said.
He said this in a speech at the launching ceremony of Gerakan Dekad Bahasa Kebangsaan 2019 at Capital City Mall here.
His speech was read by the state government deputy secretary Datuk Dr Badrul Hisham Kassim.
Dr Sahruddin said Bahasa Malaysia’s importance as a language of communication and commerce could be seen in its use online.
“As of April 2019, Bahasa Malaysia is one of the most used languages online with over 169 million users, just behind English, Mandarin, Spanish, Arabic and Portuguese, meaning that we have the chance to make it the most used language if we use it often enough, ” he said.
He also pointed out that the national language is unique in that it has influences from a variety of languages, such as Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian, Chinese and Portuguese, and was the most common language in conducting business, communication and writing in the early history of the country.