PETALING JAYA: A remark by Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang criticising these preferring to talk English over the nationwide language has riled up a number of senior figures, with some questioning whether or not the PAS president comprehends the significance of English.
Abdul Hadi had labelled Malaysians who favour English as those that are nonetheless “trapped in a colonial mindset”, and are bent on wanting Bahasa Malaysia to be deserted – an announcement that drew an instantaneous response from former ambassador Datuk Noor Farida Mohd Ariffin.
“Does Abdul Hadi realise that English is used all over the world?” mentioned Noor Farida, who was additionally involved that the federal government is presently discouraging civil servants from utilizing English and threatening them with punishment.
“Do these politicians expect our officials who attend international meetings to speak in BM?
“Even in Asean, the official language is English,” added Noor Farida, who beforehand served 5 years on the Commonwealth Secretariat in London.
On May 24, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali mentioned that he hoped the Public Service Department would think about motion in opposition to those that didn’t take directions to make use of Bahasa Malaysia within the civil service critically.
“They (Indonesia) are being pragmatic. You can hardly accuse President Joko Widodo of having a colonial mentality,” mentioned Noor Farida, who added that the Indonesian authorities’s current coverage is to encourage college students and civil servants to be taught English.
Moderation advocate Mohamed Tawfiq Ismail regarded Abdul Hadi as taking a narrow-minded view of language and tradition.
“It goes contrary to any progressive thinking or any advancement in expanding people’s minds in the present and the future.”
Tawfiq, the eldest son of the late Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman (former deputy prime minister), mentioned historical past has proven that the nation’s founding fathers at all times prioritised English with out sidelining Bahasa Malaysia.
“The founding fathers felt the national language is important. But they did not diminish the fact that learning other languages is helpful for national progress,” he added.
The public are additionally unimpressed with Abdul Hadi’s remarks, with Bunyamin Harun saying that an individual who’s proficient in English shouldn’t be labelled as belittling Bahasa Malaysia.
Balasingam Velu mentioned the colonial period is Malaysia’s previous and it has nothing to do with English proficiency.