Empower BM but do not cast English aside

PRIME Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob made history when he delivered his 20-minute speech in Bahasa Melayu (BM) at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on Sept 24 Malaysian time. His eye-catching baju melayu also attracted much attention from the attendees at the session as well as people back home.

Our leaders have been trying to empower BM into a language of knowledge since the 1970s, but their efforts haven't produced the desired results so far. When this important project was launched half a century ago, Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) tasked a team of experts to translate English technical terms into BM. Unfortunately, the team could hardly keep up with the speed of changes taking place in the fields of science and technology.

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