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“Disrespect” Bahasa Malaysia And You May Face Legal Action Under A Proposed Law Amendment

“Disrespect” Bahasa Malaysia And You May Face Legal Action Under A Proposed Law Amendment

Kirat Kaur

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Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) has proposed that the government amend the DBP Act to help raise public awareness in using the Malay language responsibly.

What you need to know: The amendment to the DBP Act would allow DBP to take legal action against anyone who “does not respect the national language” in a bid to strengthen Malay as the national language and a world major language.

Who said what: The Malaysian Translators Association (PPM) states that the Malay language should be promoted in all areas including administration, education, law, media and so on in accordance with its function as the national and unifying language.

The association asserts that law enforcement is one measure that can be used to regulate and ensure the correct use of the language while raising awareness in a multiracial society on the existence of the national language.

How it got here: The Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka Act was introduced in 1959  to promote the development of language and literature in Malaysia via a Board of Control of the DBP.

The act outlines 6 objectives of the board in regards to the national language which are:

  1. to develop and enrich the national language in all fields including science and technology
  2. to develop literary talent, particularly in the national language
  3. to print or publish or assist in the printing or publication of books, magazines, pamphlets and other forms of literature in the national language and in other languages
  4. to standardize spelling and pronunciation, and devise appropriate terminologies in the national language
  5. to encourage the proper usage of the national language
  6. to encourage the usage of the national language so that it will be extensively used for all purposes in accordance with the law

Read more: 

DBP Act amendment set to raise public awareness on use of Malay language (Bernama)

Dewan Bahasa Dan Pustaka Act 1959 (AGC Portal)

Empower DBP to act against those disrespectful of Malay language, board of control chairman suggests (Malay Mail)


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