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Singapore may have to teach Bahasa Melayu using English

In Singapore, Bahasa Melayu may have to be learn using English in the next 40 years.

Similarly, a scenario that may occur in Singapore, according to linguist Dr. Mohamed Aidil Subhan when delivering a talk in a series organized by the Sustainable Scholars Malay Heritage Foundation recently.

Mediacorp News reported, in the lecture, Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Education Nanyang Technological University (NTU-NIE) presented the topic ‘Malay upheld, English Hitching a ride – Planning Perspectives Bahasa Melayu in Singapore Towards 2065’.

He, among others, expressed concerns about the use of Bahasa Melayu as the less become the main language in the Malay family.

Using Census data, Eid said, in 1980, over 97 per cent Malay families use Bahasa Melayu as the primary language at home.

However, in the last 40 years after the census found that the number plummet to the Malay family.

Aidil said there should be a change in the way the language is taught.

“Currently, we teach Bahasa Melayu using Bahasa Melayu.

“Maybe by 2065, we need to teach Bahasa Melayu by using the common language for Malay students may no longer be the common language of the students when at home,” he said.

He said parents should use the domain of the home as a space for the use of Bahasa Melayu.

In his talk, he tells a personal experience to show how the use of language in the home position to educate young children about the use of the Malay language and vocabulary.

“I remember, I went to a school, a student said to his teacher: ‘My teacher can’t finish my homework’. His teacher asked why. He said: ‘Let me help my grandfather clean the bathroom’.

“When I hear ‘bathroom cleaner’, I feel syahdu. Because of the term cleaner, no one uses it anymore,” he said.

According to him, the public should understand that the Bahasa Melayu language, also gone through a rapid evolution.

“People have to identify planning Bahasa Melayu as the national language, official languages, mother tongue and language heritage,” he said.

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