KUALA LUMPUR, May 24 — The Public Service Department (JPA) needs to look into corrective and punitive actions that can be imposed on those who deliberately take lightly Service Circular No. 1 2020 on empowering the use of the National Language in public service.
Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali said this was because, in the civil service, the move to strengthen the Malay language as the main language among agencies and civil servants had always been top priority.
“This circular not only details the role of agencies and civil servants in official affairs locally and abroad, but also states the government’s serious commitment to enforcing monitoring of its implementation through language audits.
“However, if we look at it closely, audit alone is not enough, because no action can be taken against irresponsible parties not complying with this directive as some are less interested in recognising the efforts in elevating its status,” he said at the closing ceremony of the Symposium on Internationalisation of Bahasa Melayu at Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP), here today.
He said the purpose was not to intimidate but to ensure that the Malay language is not taken lightly as the national language.
“This is in line with the message delivered by the Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob) at the opening ceremony of this symposium last Sunday, where the Prime Minister said that the DBP Act needs to be amended to allow DBP to better implement laws and regulations on the use of the language, ” he said.
Mohd Zuki said the existing act, circulars, or regulations do not provide for legal action that could be taken against those who do not comply with the instructions on national language usage.
He also reminded all government departments, including statutory bodies, to ensure that all instructions and regulations contained in the constitution, state laws and circulars related to the Malay language are always complied with.
“This includes the local authorities, district and land offices in relation to strict enforcement on the use of Malay language in advertisements and signages.
Similarly, government-linked companies (GLCs) or companies limited by guarantee (CLBGs), must ensure that efforts to uphold the Malay language are always strengthened,” he said.
-In addition, he said the government would issue instructions from time to time to ensure that priority is always given to the use of the Malay language among civil servants, thus making the Malaysian civil service the role model to other sectors.
On the initiatives taken to strengthen the use of the Malay language, he said the language audit at every government department and statutory body would be intensified and improved from time to time, and the Munsyi Muda Bahasa programme would serve as a language reference officer in federal government departments.
To intensify the use of the national language at the international level, he proposed that institutions of higher learning and authoritative bodies take the initiative to reimplement the Malay Studies Chair in selected continents.