DBP names four Malay Language Ambassadors

National 2 minutes, 45 seconds


THE Language and Literature Bureau (DBP) yesterday announced that four individuals from different professions were appointed Malay Language Ambassadors for their contributions towards promoting, upholding, empowering and disseminating the language in the country.

The ambassadors were Malay language teacher at Chung Hwa Middle School in Bandar Seri Begawan Tan Been Tiem, prominent Brunei playwright Mohd Zefri Ariff Zain Arif, Brunei-born singer Fakrul Razi and Brunei Literati Irwan Rino Nordin.

On hand to present the gifts – comprising a gold and silver-threaded material known as Jong Sarat, a certificate of recognition and books published by the DBP – was Minister of Culture Youth and Sports Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Hj Hazair Hj Abdullah.

DBP Director Hjh Aminah Hj Momin said the ambassadors can inspire others in the country to follow their examples in upholding the integrity of the language.

“With such recognition, it can inspire the people in the country to always be loyal to the Malay language by maintaining it in their daily lives. (This) can empower the language and increase its sense of belonging,” said Hjh Aminah during the launch of the annual Language Month celebrations at Muzium Teknologi Melayu in Kota Batu yesterday.

Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Malay Language Ambassador Tan said she will continue to empower the Malay language by actively organising activities for her students.

These include oratory competitions and writing contests, not only for the students of Chung Hwa Middle School but also for other private schools.

As a Malay language teacher at a school dominated by students of Chinese descent, Tan said it is quite challenging to teach her students to speak proper Malay as it is not commonly used in their daily conversations with the family.

“Therefore, we have been trying various methods to engage students (to learn Malay language) through the use of technology in their school’s projects,” said Tan.

In doing the projects, the students will gather data and interview people in Malay, said Tan, who has been teaching in Chung Hwa Middle School since 1993.

Mohd Zefri Ariff, meanwhile, said that he has been encouraging his students to practise the Malay language properly when communicating with others. This includes academic work that the students produce.

This year’s Language Month – themed ‘Daulatkan Bahasa Melayu’, or loosely translated as ‘Empowering the Malay Language’ – will see various activities such as workshops, talks, writing competitions, seminars and dialogues held throughout the year.

The celebration kicked off with a Doa Kesyukuran held at Balai Sarmayuda in Berakas on July 1.

This year’s programme is co-organised by the DBP, Museums Department, Brunei History Centre, Culture and Arts Division under the Ministry of Culture Youth and Sports, and Schools Department under the Ministry of Education.

Yesterday’s event also saw the presentation of prizes to participants of the Pangsura Scientific Essay.

Prizes were also awarded to 87 students for their academic achievement in the Malay subject in the O and A-level examinations.

DBP also presented certificates to three restaurants featuring menus in Malay.

Hjh Aminah said there were a total of 86 menus that were assessed and only eight were selected to enter the final round.

The Language Month, observed every July, aims to promote the proper and correct use of Malay in Brunei.

The Brunei Times