Education minister pushes ICT in Malay language development

National 2 minutes, 14 seconds


“WE MUST infuse the strides in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to further develop the Malay/Indonesian language, and not see it as a disadvantage,” said the Minister of Education yesterday.

In his opening speech at the 54th MABBIM (Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia Language Council) seminar, Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Awg Abu Bakar Hj Apong said that despite English being the universal language and now being perceived as the language of internet users, “we must not see it as a threat”.

“We need to balance these developments and take advantage of the advanced technology to cultivate the use of Malay language, and not see it negatively as the developments of Info[rmation] and Communication Technology will continue to bring waves of change and challenge to everyone across the globe,” said the minister.

He noted that the theme for MABBIM this year, “Memperkukuh Peranan Bahasa Melayu/Indonesia Sebagai Penghela dan Wahana Ilmu Pengethauan Teknologi dan Seni” (Strengthening the Role of the Malay/Indonesian Language as a Mode of Knowledge in Technology and Arts), warrants high expectations.

According to the Education Minister, the greatest challenge faced in using the Malay language is when being applied to the field of science and technology.

“The developments in [ICT] at this time is found to be more challenging when it comes to the Malay language, as it challenges Malay language users and the field of Science,” said YB Pehin Dr Hj Awg Abu Bakar Hj Apong.

Despite the challenges, the minister revealed that in the past three years, statistics have shown that O-Level students in the Sultanate perform better in their Malay language examinations compared to English language, which proves that students still prioritise their mother tongue.

Statistics show that 91.29 per cent of students passed their Malay language O-Level examination with 74.42 per cent obtaining grade A-C.

On the other hand, only 86.95 per cent of students passed their English language O-Level examination with 52.31 per cent obtaining grade A-C.

“The statistics demonstrate the ability of students in the Malay language is still striking compared to the English language. It also shows that the exposure of a second language does not affect native language skills,” added the minister.

During the two-day seminar held at Rizqun Hotel yesterday, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS), Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Hj Hazair Hj Abdullah, also officiated the 54th MABBIM as well as launched the new MABBIM book.

The MCYS minister also presented the MABBIM Figure Award, MABBIM Research Award and MABBIM Special Award to recepients in recognition of their significant contribution to MABBIM and to the field of language.

The Brunei Times