Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Damned with Bahasa Melayu/Malaysia

A dying language?

Bahasa Melayu or politically correct Bahasa Malaysia is the official language of Malaysia but  its use is very limited in Malaysia and mostly in private contexts. The standard Bahasa Melayu now is becoming an extinct language amongst the very top echelons and those in power . Very few people including the Malays are using the language in its natural and proper form.Sad but true. It is now only used by writers and lovers of the language. Most people who use the language are the low and low middle class  and less fortunate people- a linguistic notion that is perplexing but true.The non-Malays of course would be happy if the Malay language is not used at all. To them the language is just an official language and that's about it. No motivation, no intention and no urgency to learn the language. They can more than survive in this country without using it.What is most important in learning Bahasa Malaysia is just to pass it in high stake examinations and nothing else. Additionally, if the Malay language is used among the non-Malays it will be the "rojak" Malay or I would called it the "Tom Yam" form or the pidgin Malay . What has caused this deterioration and bastardization of the national language of Malaysia? Below are some of the reasons for the the diminishing role of Bahasa Melayu amongst the so called  the Malay elite.

Only slogans
1. I believe one of the reasons for the limited use of Bahasa Malaysia as a premier language in the country is because it has lost it stature as the language of the rich and powerful. The rich and famous in Malaysia will not use the language as they would be more comfortable in using English. It's the language that they have been  using since they were a child. Even the Malaysian Prime Minister was only using English when he was young and had to be taught again Bahasa Melayu by  teacher  . The elite would claim that they would be more expressive in using English than Malay. To them the former satisfies their linguistic and communicative needs. They will only use Bahasa  Malaysia when the situation requires it especially when visiting their constituents. Even at home the political elite would use English . Which language would your expect Najib to communicate with his brother  Jack?
The beauty of Bahasa Melayu

2. Secondly, the beginning of the extinction of the language is because the Malay people are not using the language. The Indo European Sanskrit language died together with the people. If a language is not used it will die. I'm not surprised that Bahasa Melayu in its true form will die  a slow death. The language is now being corrupted by the use of thousands of English words amongst the ordinary young  language users. Look at the blogs and face book users they all use English with some Malay words in between. Nowadays, nobody uses Malay to express their feelings in blogs and face books. I feel that the Malays themselves have to be blamed. Don't blame the Chinese. Don't blame the Indians. Don't blame English You must blame yourselves. You are responsible for the decay and the eventual demise of the Malay language.

3. I believe another factor for that causes the slow death of Bahasa Melayu is the attitude of the Malays themselves. The Malays are too accommodating to the outsiders. They welcome the outsiders with open arms. They never make make it a point to insist on the "pedatangs" to actually learn and  speak the language  in its proper form and manner. They make it easy for  those newcomers to use pidgin or "Tom yam" Malay in order for them to easily adapt their lives in the country. Damn you Malays . You are responsible for the demise of your language. Look at the Chinese in Indonesia they speak like the native Indonesians. The Benggalis in Norwich speak like the Queen of England. The Chinese in Australia speak very much like the native Aussies. The Americans in Tokyo are becoming  like the Japanese. You don't survive in France without the French language. You can't be in Korea without learning Korean. You can't live in Bali devoid of Bahasa Indonesia.

4. They are very few role models amongst the elite who can speak proper Malay. In the BN cabinet the only person who speaks proper Bahasa Melayu and insists on using the language all the time  is just Dr. Rais Yatim. He should be given a nationalistic medal for that. Even the elder statesman Dr Mahathir uses English. Najib is a gone case. We lack good models of people in power who insist on using proper Bahasa Melayu. We had the controversial Samy Velu who can't even speak proper Malay but he was the Indian political  leader for more than 20 years. Damn you Samy. Veteran politician Kit Siang will not even use the language . So does his son the eccentric and Malay hater Lim Guan Eng. The DAP politicians even appointed local council members who can't even read and write in Bahasa Malaysia. Damn you racist DAP.

Bahasa Melayu will soon suffer the fate of the Sanskrit language. I'm not surprised that in 20 years time young Malays will feel "malu" (shy) in using the language. Now, we even have Malay yuppies whose children don't even know how to speak the language.We need to protect and propagate the use of the language.  The future of Bahasa Melayu depends on the Malays and only the Malays". DBP is just useless and all their  moves and actions are merely political. 

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