PETALING JAYA: PAS President Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang might have a "stuck mindset" when it comes to English, says Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim.
The Parent Action Group for Education (PAGE) chairman said that it is short-sighted to label Malaysians preferring to speak English over the national language as having a colonial mindset.
"Perhaps Abdul Hadi is the one with a 'stuck mindset'. The world is too diverse and dynamic, and moving at a faster pace than one can imagine," said Noor Azimah.
"A 'stuck mindset' of thinking that there is still a struggle between BM and English, and imagining that there is still a colonial mindset is not only myopic, but it is also sadly revealingly insecure," said Noor Azimah on Monday (July 4).
On Sunday (July 3), Abdul Hadi said in a statement published on Harakah Daily that Malaysians who prefer English over BM are still trapped in a colonial mindset.
Abdul Hadi also criticized Malaysians who constantly belittle the Bahasa Malaysia language.
“Their souls are still trapped with the former colonists who previously enslaved them,” said Abdul Hadi.
Abdul Hadi also claimed that there are Malaysians who prioritize the usage of English in official events and English.
“In fact, advertisements in shops and the market, as well as the names of cities and roads are named in English, even though a majority of its target audience do not know English," said Abdul Hadi.
“At the same time, they do not care about whether their audiences consist of Malaysians who do not know English,” he added.
On May 24, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali was quoted as saying that he hoped the Public Service Department (JPA) would consider action against those who did not take instructions relating to the use of Bahasa Malaysia in the civil service seriously.
On June 21, Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) board of governors chairman Datuk Seri Awang Sariyan proposed that those who do not respect the national language be fined up to RM50,000 or sentenced through imprisonment through several amendments.
Awang said the proposed punishment would need an amendment of the DBP Act 1959 and added that the amendment is currently in the final stages of discussions before it is presented to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob in July.