Bringing Bahasa Melayu to the fore

Teo (fourth from right) launching the MABBIM meet and unveiling the language body’s latest resource books.

THE Education Ministry wants to widen the use of Bahasa Melayu (BM) not only within the country, but internationally.

Measures to promote it include requiring that students get at least a credit in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), organising the National Language Decade campaign, and working with non-governmental organisations to help improve the mastery of BM especially in vernacular schools.

“We also want Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) to be the go-to body for BM like how the British Council is for English,” Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching said when opening the 58th meeting of the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia Language Council (MABBIM) at Wisma DBP in Kuala Lumpur on April 10.

Held from April 8 to 13, the event saw 11 papers presented at the MABBIM language seminar.

“Over 300 million people speak BM and Bahasa Indonesia globally. We must continue to strengthen our love and pride for the national language. We’ve to double our efforts to make BM a language of choice.

“Closer collaborations between Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei can make that happen.”

In his speech, DBP director-general Datuk Abang Salehuddin Abang Shokeran said, since its inception 47 years ago, MABBIM has carried out various efforts to build and promote BM and Bahasa Indonesia, including publishing dictionaries, and research and resource books, and organising language workshops.

“BM is an important language of communication in South East Asia. We’re drawing up plans to make it an international language amidst the challenges of IR 4.0 (Fourth Industrial Revolution).”

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