Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said that government officials speaking at conferences and other engagements abroad must only use Bahasa Malaysia (BM).
“In this day and age, there are modern gadgets that allow languages to be translated in real time without any delay.”
“So the issue of interpretation being slow is no longer there. It is time we improved our Bahasa Melayu.” Ismail said in a press conference in Bangkok yesterday (26 February).
He also said that there is no reason for Malaysians to feel weird talking in BM in other countries when others are proud of using their native languages.
“It is our national language and we should be proud of using it,” he said.
During the visit in Bangkok, Ismail said he spoke BM at all functions except for one where all the foreign dignitaries present used English to deliver their speeches.
He then call for this move to be emulated by all, while citing to the speech where Water and Environment Minister Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man used BM to deliver his keynote address at the COP26 event in Glasgow last year
Ismail also said that Malay is the most spoken language in the Asean region, and that he will consider proposing to the grouping that it be made its official language.
In November 2021, Ismail has reprimanded private companies, government-linked companies (GLCs), and government agencies for not prioritising the use of Bahasa Melayu (BM) in their workspace.
“I hope every conference and meeting, among other things, must use BM after this. Who else can uphold the dignity of BM except ourselves?” Ismail said, adding that Malaysians should feel proud of our national language as it is ranked the 10th most popular language in the world.
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