26 September 2023

MALAYSIA: Move away from English ‘mistaken’

Start the conversation

Efforts to enforce the use of the Malay language, Bahasa Malaysia, in the Public Service and other Government-related Agencies are a mistake, the G25 group of eminent Malays says.

The group said that there were many areas in which Public Servants had to communicate in English to reach a common understanding on issues and problems as they arose.

“While G25 supports the importance of Bahasa Malaysia in creating a united nation between the various races that form the country, there must also be recognition of the importance of English as the universal language of the international community in many aspects of daily life,” the group said in a statement.

It was responding to Chief Secretary to the Government, Zuki Ali’s call for the Public Service Department to consider punitive measures to enforce the use of Bahasa Malaysia in the bureaucracy.

The G25 said that when discussing and analysing issues such as COVID-19 or economic issues faced by the country, related Ministers and Government officers could analyse the crisis and understand others better by using English.

“It is the language is commonly used in international health and financial organisations such as the World Health Organisation, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and economic research institutes, including those in Malaysia,” it said.

“If punitive action is strictly implemented in the Civil Service, how do the officers do their work?”

The group also predicted that participation in international conferences would be affected, with a potential loss of knowledge and wisdom.

Kuala Lumpur, 30 May 2022

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.