National Language Decade to make Bahasa Malaysia main language of choice

12 Jul 2018 / 18:41 H.

PUTRAJAYA: Dewan Bahasa and Pustaka (DBP) will launch the National Language Decade to formulate a comprehensive plan to make Bahasa Malaysia as the main language of choice in the country, says Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik.
He said the plan would, among others, ensure that Bahasa Malaysia as the national language would not be affected by the ministry's efforts to improve the level of English proficiency among the people.
"Improving the people's command of English as the language related to economic strength which will also improve their marketability is one of the ministry's main focuses.
"However, efforts to uplift the status of the national language will continue to be taken, not only at national level, but also regional and global levels," he said at the ministry's monthly assembly at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC) here today.
The assembly, held together with the ministry's Aidilfitri celebration, was also attended by Deputy Minister Teo Nie Ching and Secretary-General Datuk Dr Mohd Ghazali Abas.
Meanwhile, Maszlee said the National Reading Campaign, which was introduced in the 1990s, would also be revived to enhance the reading culture among the people.
He said all agencies under the ministry would be involved in reviving the campaign over two years' time, besides forging cooperation with other ministries.
The minister said the reading culture among the people had yet to reach a satisfactory level and in fact, was lagging far behind the developed nations.
"The campaign, which will be led by DBP, will take on an aggressive, radical and unconventional approach as we aim to make Malaysians known to the world as the people who read the most," he said without providing detailed information on the approach.
He said the efforts also aimed at uplifting the status of DBP to be on a par with the British Council, Goethe Institute and Nippon Institute which were famous for upholding the national language of their respective countries.
In another development, Maszlee said the Pakatan Harapan-led government would implement all pledges in its election manifesto, including to recognise the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC), an examination sat by Chinese independent school students.
"We will make sure that whatever our policy is, there will be no u-turn and no flip flop in our decision, and that it will be very comprehensive," he said and jokingly added that it would not take 60 years for the recognition to materialise.
The Pakatan Harapan manifesto clearly stated that they will recognise the UEC for admission into public universities with the condition of a credit in Bahasa Malaysia at Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) level. — Bernama

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