Bandar Seri Begawan - Misusing the Malay language is an unfortunate but common practice among Bruneians these days, according to the Culture, Youth and Sports Minister.
Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Dewa Major General (Rtd) Dato Seri Pahlawan Hj Awg Mohammad Hj Daud also expressed his concern over the use of bahasa rojak in everyday life and how it `pollutes` the local language and culture.
Speaking during the officiating of the Mari Bercerita Competition 2007 at RTB`s Dewan Raya yesterday, the minister said, "This competition requires proficiency in the Malay language and yet, the rampant use of bahasa rojak is a pervasive trend in our society."
He defined bahasa rojak as a mix of the Bruneian mother tongue with a second language, usually English, and states that this habit is deemed as "polluting the language"..
The minister hopes this is merely a passing trend whereby teenagers not only communicate with their peers in bahasa rojak but also with their parents. "Where has the essence of being a Malay gone when we cannot even become a role model to society by using proper Malay language?" he lamented.
Pehin Dato Hj Awg Mohammad cautioned the public that it was imperative to monitor and discourage the use of such language among today`s generations in order to preserve the dignity of the Malay language as the national language of Brunei Darussalam.
"Today`s children are our greatest assets. To become our future leaders and administrators, their education needs must encompass not just formal education institutions but also, physical and spiritual development," the minister added.
He went on to say that "the Mari Bercerita Competition is held as an annual project by the Language and Literature Bureau in an effort to broaden children`s minds through reading”
He said that storytelling was undoubtedly an innovate tool to promote creative thinking and learning among the nation`s students and indirectly strengthened a reading culture in the sultanate.
"There is an urgent need to cultivate forward-thinking teenagers in further developing this country" he said.
He added that his ministry was continuously engaging in efforts to further enhance the local reading culture through improving and expanding library services.
Several new libraries have been opened in the sultanate such as the Kampung Pandan Library in the Belait district as well as the Brunei-Muara District Library.
There are two more libraries that will be opened to the public in the near future in Kampung Lambak Kanan and Kampung Sengkurong.
The minister was very positive that these community libraries would encourage citizens to read more, especially young children
Source: www.brudirect.com (25 Juni 2007)