Civil service told to use BM

SEREMBAN: All official government correspondence must be only in Bahasa Melayu from now on, says Public Service director-general, Datuk Mohd Khairul Adib Abd Rahman (pic).

The directive includes agreements, minutes, emails, notices, memoranda, notes, reports, and internal documents for meetings involving Malaysians, he said of the latest effort to strengthen the use of the national language in the civil service.

Similarly, all official events attended by Malaysians should also be conducted solely in the national language, and these include opening remarks and speeches.

Adib said civil servants should ensure this directive is strictly adhered to at all levels.

“It is the responsibility of the respective department heads to ensure the correct usage of Bahasa Melayu in both written and spoken form.

“Public officers must also have a good command of the language, including spelling, pronunciation, terms and grammar to ensure they are able to communicate well when carrying out their duties, ” he said in the directive posted on the Public Service Department website.

Mohd Khairul said the latest move was also in line with National Language Act 1963/67, which stipulates that the national language should be used for all official events.

“As such, all government agencies must be highly committed and treat this effort to strengthen the use of the national language in official events seriously, ” he said.

Adib said all departments should also appoint Munsyi Muda Bahasa (Malay language expert), whose task include monitoring the usage of the national language.

This individual will assist his department, among others, to ensure the proper and correct use of Bahasa Melayu in all documents and speeches.

Adib said the individual would also be the link between his department and Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) whenever there was a need to verify the correct use of Bahasa Melayu.

“All agencies will also be required to conduct an audit on the official use of Bahasa Melayu to ensure it was used correctly.

“They have to do internal audits every year, while DBP will do it for them at least once in three years, ” he said, adding that DBP will also grade the agencies for this.

He said the audits are important to gauge the quality of Bahasa Melayu used by these agencies.

Adib said government agencies were also encouraged to use Bahasa Melayu in their foreign correspondence, accompanied by an English version.

However, he said agreements with foreign parties should be drafted in English, and this can be translated into Bahasa Melayu for reference or record purposes.

“Meetings, discussions and presentations held with non-Malaysians in attendance can be conducted in either Malay or English, ” he said.

Adib said all transactions at government counters should also be conducted in the national language.

However, for the benefit of non-Malaysians, counter staff are allowed to communicate in a language both parties can understand.

He said department heads should also send their staff for continuous training to ensure they have a good grasp of Bahasa Melayu.

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