THE usage of Bahasa Melayu is deteriorating owing to the public’s insensitivity to the language, Utusan Malaysia reported.
It quoted Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim as saying that they were destroying the language by using it in a rojak manner.
He said those people who used the language in this manner were not conscious of the status of Bahasa Melayu.
Dr Rais was concerned that there were more and more people in the country who did not know how to use the language properly.
This, he said, was because they did not inherit the method of using the language correctly and the tendency to mix it with other languages, especially English.
He added that the national language must be safeguarded to ensure that its status would always be respected by all generations.
Dr Rais said that his ministry would embark on several language culture education programmes to revive and protect Bahasa Melayu as the nation’s heritage.
The paper said the Malay language issue was once again in the limelight following the ban by RTM on singer Anita Sarawak’s songs Seksis and Diva and hip-hop group Ruffedge’s Tipah Tertipu, which were said to contain rojak language.
It said that according to Dr Rais, most Malaysians spoke “half-eel, half-snake” language.
In racing for development, this matter was rarely given attention, he added.
Citing TV3’s programme Sure Heboh as an example, Dr Rais expressed disappointment over the attitude of private television stations which were fond of mixing the languages.
He added that his ministry would liaise with related ministries such as Education and Information and agencies like Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka to tackle the problem.
Berita Harian reported that the lack of follow-up programmes by responsible parties to help the orang asli Muslim community had resulted in some of them becoming apostates.
It said Regent of Pahang Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah urged the parties to take the matter seriously to ensure that the community remained as Muslims.
Otherwise, he said, the efforts to spread Islam among the orang asli would only be a waste of time and money.
He urged the Orang Asli Affairs Department to launch follow-up programmes and not rely solely on those drawn up by the Pahang Religious Department.