Council Being Formed To Elevate Bahasa Melayu, Says Rais
KUALA TERENGGANU, April 26 (Bernama) -- The Information, Communications and Culture Ministry is in the process of setting up the Council to Promote Bahasa Melayu to elevate Bahasa Melayu which is the fifth most used language in the world, said its minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim.
He said Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) had been selected as the coordination centre to elevate Bahasa Melayu regionally with the cooperation of Kelantan and Pahang.
"Terengganu has been chosen to manage the council as the state is still rich in "Malayness".
"Because of this, it is apt that Terengganu be given the opportunity to make a success of the programme (establish the Council to Promote Bahasa Melayu). Furthermore, it is the state where the "Batu Bersurat" (an archaelogical discovery involving the language) was found," he said.
Rais told this to reporters after delivering the keynote address at an international forum on Bahasa Melayu themed 'Elevating Bahasa Melayu: Issues and Approaches" organised by UMT's Social Development Faculty at its campus here Thursday.
Also present were UMT Vice-Chancellor Datuk Prof Dr Ibrahim Komoo and his deputy, Prof Dr Yahaya Ibrahim.
Four panellists participated in the forum which was chaired by the faculty's director, Prof Dr Ibrahim Mamat.
They were Director of the Department of Language and Literature Development of Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka Rusli Abd Ghani; Prof Akhmad Fauzy of Universitas Islam Indonesia in Yogyakarta, Indonesia; First Dean of the Faculty of Interpretation and Translation of Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, South Korea, Prof Dr Chun Tai-hyun and Lecturer in the Malay and Linguistics Department of Universiti Brunei Darussalam Dr Pengiran Mohamed Pengiran Damit.
Elaborating further, Rais said his ministry would assist the effort by producing a documentary on regional languages including the discovery of the Batu Bersurat in Terengganu for the benefit of future generations.
He said he would be holding discussions with vice-chancellors of the relevant universities in Southeast Asia including UMT to forge greater collaboration in the matter to further boost Bahasa Melayu as a language of knowledge and intellect.
He said Bahasa Melayu had great potential to be an international language of communications, knowledge and commerce.
In relation to this, he said, all Malaysians and not just Malays were responsible to champion the greatness of the language.
"And not just my ministry alone. So long one has a Malay name or is a Malaysian citizen, all must play a part in promoting Bahasa Melayu because it is the national 'lingua franca'.
"In fact, Bahasa Melayu cannot be politicised as a language of just one group. Whatever political party, whether DAP, PKR or even Umno, all must love Bahasa Melayu," he added.