FRANCIS PAUL SIAH
MoCS wishes to inform PKR president Anwar Ibrahim that his instruction for all government events and press conferences to be conducted in Bahasa Melayu is “plain silly and absurd”.
First of all, we have to seriously ask Anwar what is wrong with speaking both BM and English or other languages to a mixed audience at official events.
Even press conferences are also covered by journalists from the foreign media. That being the case, Anwar’s instruction could be described as “stupid” because it is not in tandem with the government’s effort to encourage Malaysians to pick up different languages.
We also have to ask the incoming prime minister since when did Bahasa Malaysia became Bahasa Melayu.
Isn’t the official language of our multi-racial nation Bahasa Malaysia? Was it ever officially changed to Bahasa Melayu – meaning the “language of Malays”?
MoCS is shocked that Anwar is now talking about upholding Bahasa Melayu as the official language of the country.
If the motive is political expediency on Anwar’s part, which involves pandering to a certain group, then Malaysians have reasons to worry of the future directions the incoming prime minister would be heading to.
Perhaps Anwar has to be reminded again that not all Malaysians are in favour of him succeeding Dr Mahathir Mohamad as prime minister.
It is possible they have valid reasons not to.
As for Sarawak, MoCS feels the pressing need to inform Anwar that English is an official language in Sarawak, as decreed by the late Chief Minister Adenan Satem.
At official events, Adenan was comfortable in speaking Bahasa Sarawak (a mix of bazaar Malay, Iban and even a spattering of Hokkien) and this was actually something which endeared him to many Sarawakians.
A great leader does not have to instruct or insist on a certain language to be spoken as long as the speaker’s message is understood by his audience.
This is something which Anwar, as the incoming prime minister, should take a cue from.