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Bahasa Melayu; the national language of Malaysia?
Lately some ideas came up saying that the standard of our national language is deteriorating. Looking at various aspects of the efficiency of this language, many groups of 'so-called' experts like Gapena and GMP decided to put the blame on one particular subject which is 'PPSMI'. Some of them are even bold but stupid enough to lodge police report because of PPSMI. Haih(Mengeluh).
Well, before putting the blame on any subject. Let's put our thoughts together and think. I mean, some real thinking. What was actually the main purpose of introducing BM into our society again? All I can say is that BM was enforced by our former leaders in order to give Malaysians a language as our own identity. In other words, BM is supposed to be a symbol of Malaysia. This also means that BM symbolises unity among Malaysians. Unity? Look around us. Biar betul? do you really think that this language is serving it's purpose now? My answer is a plain 'no'.
My reasons for saying that the language is not serving it's purpose are as such:
1- Malaysians nowadays are not only divided into 3 major races but also 3 major languages(BM, Tamil, and Chinese languages; Mandarin, Hokkien etc)
2- Malaysians can survive living in Malaysia without being fluent in the language. Take example of a Chinese malaysian.
This is probably the life circle of the Chinese Malaysian:
- Learn to understand Mandarin before entering Chinese-based kindergarten.
- go to SJK(c)
- go to SMJK(c)
- Enter private universities(national or international). Here they will need to learn English language but still mingle around Chinese friends.
- Work for organizations.(Mingle around Chinese colleagues)
- Shopping (Speak Chinese to the promoters because most of them are Chinese. They go to Jaya Jusco, boutiques and chinese grocery shop).
- Go out holiday inside or outside the country. (di mana BM tidak diperlukan sangat)
- Get married(to chinese partner, obviously)
- Read Chinese newspapers or Chinese based materials.
- Have children and teach them Mandarin since they're going to use the language widely.
Now,now. On the instances above, can you tell me when will they need fluent BM? They may need to use basic BM like:
Chinese Malaysian: Saya mau itu/ Ya, kasi dua/ Tidak. Bukan itu/ Apa khabar?.
However, they will never need fluent BM although the language is our 'beloved' national language.
Hence, ask ourselves again. Is BM serving it's original purpose or is it just a requirement for the students to pass SPM? Even then, getting credit for BM in SPM does not mean good command of BM.
Haih.(Yet, the 'experts' are still looking on to the 'minor' PPSMI to be blamed on. It's very pathetic.)
Breakfast by Ann Phifer Reyes
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