‘Malay language must be upheld’

National 2 minutes, 2 seconds


THE use of the Malay language should be further emphasised, especially in the era of modernisation, where less priority is given to the nation’s mother tongue, said the acting director of the Language and Literature Bureau (DBP).

“Looking at the competitive environment, the pressure of changes and the dynamic demand to adapt to modernity have generated changes in the communicative trend of today’s generation,” said Hjh Nortijah Hj Mohd Hassan during yesterday’s launching ceremony for Language Month 2016.

This has led to the declining usage of the Malay language, which is one of the core elements in Bruneian culture and heritage, she said.

“This is why DBP is tireless in carrying out our due diligence towards the building and development of the Malay language (in the country),” she said, adding that this includes conducting various studies on languages used by the seven indigenous groups in Brunei and Malay language courses at government agencies.

In her speech, Hjh Nortijah underscored the importance of strengthening the use of proper Malay language to further uphold Bahasa Melayu as the official language in the sultanate.

She also highlighted that Language Month acts as a platform to further glorify the Malay language and disseminate the importance of its usage among the population.

Held at the bureau’s Balai Sarmayuda yesterday, the ceremony was officiated by Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Hj Awang Halbi Hj Mohd Yusof.

This year’s ‘Bulan Bahasa’ also kicked off with the launching of new books published by DBP and their ‘Kegiatan Kebahasaan’ (activities in conjunction with Language Month) by the minister as the guest of honour.

The event also saw presentations of awards to 70 students from across the country who excelled in their Bahasa Melayu and Sastera subjects for A and O-level examinations.

This was followed with a handover of ‘Watikah Ikrar Bahasa’ to representatives of a number of schools in the sultanate in ensuring the prioritisation on the use of the national language in these schools. Five eateries also received souvenirs in the form of mini books titled ‘Let’s Eat’ featuring menus in proper Malay terms for reference usage.

This year’s ceremony was organised by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports in collaboration with the Department of Schools at the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Religious Affairs’ Department of Islamic Studies.

The Brunei Times