Report: Use laws to compel vernacular schools to adopt the Malay language, preacher says

THE Government must enforce the use of the Malay language by amending the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) Act 1959 to compel its teaching and learning at vernacular schools, said independent preacher Prof Mohd Ridhuan Tee Abdullah.  

According to Utusan Malaysia, Ridhuan accused vernacular schools of refusing to strengthen the use of Malay language appropriately in their classes.  

“Vernacular schools are Government schools and aided by the latter. They should comply with the directives issued by the Education Ministry (MOE), which includes strengthening the use of Malay.  

“But until today, the Government has failed to act against the schools on the matter, with the Malay language only being taught for 180 minutes a week,” he said, at the International Symposium on Bahasa Melayu held at Wisma Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka.  

Mohd Ridhuan Tee Abdullah

Elaborating, Ridhuan alleged that Chinese vernacular school refused to heed MOE’s directive to increase Malay language classes to 240 minutes a week, citing it would hamper their students from mastering Mandarin on par with the Chinese in China.  

“This is what I call as ‘crafting a nation within a nation’. While they argue against assimilation in favour of integration, they come up with social unity concept.  

“They claim that unity happens at mamak outlets as diverse races interact there. My question is, do they use Malay to speak there? Not at all,” he mentioned.  

Ridhuan added that as long as the DBP Act was not amended to strengthen enforcement, the Malay language would not become the preferred language of multiracial Malaysia.  

He then stressed the need to use authority in nation-building, adding it was bizarre that Malaysia had to come up with campaigns to promote the use of the national language when it should be something entrenched in all citizen’s hearts and minds.  

“Do what you must. I think it’s better to place DBP under the Prime Minister’s Department as it is clear that there is no point parking it under the MOE.  

“When it comes to nation-building, there is no other way than using laws like what Thailand and Indonesia did. Everyone must assimilate to the national language,” Ridhuan quipped. – May 24, 2022


Main photo credit: MalaysiaGazette

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