Does Asean need a second language?

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 07 Apr 2022

SINGAPORE: Malaysia is at it again. Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob has recently proposed making Malay or Bahasa Melayu the second language of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) to “elevate Malaysia’s national language (to) the international level”.

This is not the first instance that Malaysia has proposed using Bahasa Melayu as an official language in Asean. Former prime minister Najib Razak made a similar proposal in 2017, but no Asean-wide agreement resulted, as other member states clearly did not share the same aspirations.

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