WHILE I totally agree that the proficiency of the English Language among Malaysians has eroded over the last few decades, we shouldn’t fool ourselves into thinking that all Malaysians are proficient in Bahasa Malaysia (BM).
Recently, I was at the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) office in Kuala Lumpur, waiting to be attended by a customer services officer.
It was both a surprise and disappointment to observe how fellow Malaysians were struggling to speak to the officers in BM.
I must say that despite their Bahasa Pasar or “broken Malay (BM)”, the officers were patient and courteous in answering queries and making sense of what the “customers” were trying to say.
What saddens me is that there are Malaysians who are not making the effort to speak in proper BM even 60 years of Merdeka.
While I am a proponent of learning English, the global language and speaking it well, just as I would with other languages like Mandarin, Spanish and Arabic, I cannot understand why the locals are indifferent or reluctant to be proficient in BM.
They don’t seem to have any regard for the national language of the country.
Aren’t they not proud to speak the language and speak it well?
I think the government must act now to motivate all Malaysians to fully embrace Bahasa Malaysia in their daily lives.
TUNKU RAZMAN TUNKU TAN SRI SHAHRIMAN
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