Govt to amend DBP act to empower Bahasa Melayu

KUALA LUMPUR, March 19 (Bernama) — The government will amend the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) Act 1959 to allow the DBP to take action against any violation of the Bahasa Melayu usage, including at the district level.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said under the current DBP Act, the government agency did not have the power to carry out enforcement on language offences.

“The DBP Act will be strengthened by giving DBP the enforcement powers. For example, the use of Bahasa Melayu on signboards, DBP can take action against language abuse,” he said when winding up the debate at the UMNO general assembly 2021 here today.

In upholding Bahasa Melayu, Ismail Sabri, who is also UMNO vice-president, said all foreign students in the country must learn the language and the matter was agreed by Higher Education Minister Datuk Dr Noraini Ahmad.

Apart from that, the prime minister said a circular had also been issued to agencies, ministries and government-linked companies to use Bahasa Melayu in each of their programmes.

Ismail Sabri said UMNO must champion the effort to uphold Bahasa Melayu as stipulated in Article 152 of the Federal Constitution and Clause 3.5 of the UMNO Constitution.

“The time has come for us to be proud of Bahasa Melayu. Therefore, there is no reason for us to feel awkward when speaking the language even on the international stage because ‘Bahasa Jiwa Bangsa’ (Language is the soul of the nation),” he said.

During his official visits to Cambodia and Thailand last month, Ismail Sabri said he used Bahasa Melayu during a press conference with the leaders of the two countries and would do the same during his visit to Vietnam tomorrow.

“There is no reason why we cannot use our own mother tongue,” he said.

The prime minister said he aspired to make Bahasa Melayu the second language of ASEAN as more than 300 million people in the region used it as a spoken language, making it the seventh most spoken language in the world.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency