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The Role of National Language in Bringing Malaysia’s Multiracial Community Together

Question:

Discuss about the International Perspective On Malaysian Initiative.

Malaysia is a multiethnic nation which plays major role in the growth and development of a nation. It has contributed a lot for the sustainable growth of the country. There are 13 states, 3 Federal Territories and 2 states of Sabah and Sarawak situated I Borneo. The main traders of Malaysia are Indonesia, India, China and Europe. The national language plays an important and effective role to bring the society together. The national language of Malaysia also helps to bring Malaysia’s multiracial community together by developing many ideas to adopt the national language by all the races of the Malaysia (Expat Go staff, 2015).

Whenever any country follows the national language, then it denotes that the country is taking steps to boost patriotism. In an Article 152 of the Federal Constitution, it was stated that Bahasa is the language which is majorly used in the country and has been proved as an effective tool that helps to combine all the races.

One of the major way to promote the national language can be done by promoting racial unity. There has always been a unity in the races of the Malaysians and they have similar beliefs as well. People run behind power, some people have high power while other are losing powers and those who are losing power will always follow the “Divide and Rule” policy rather than focusing on the rule of “Unity is Strength”. They always try to disrespect the rule of unity and control the mind of others too towards the disunity (Nambiar, 2017).

The government of Malaysia believes in unity and peace. A country can be in the state of peace when it will start avoiding unnecessary primitive policies that takes place within the country. We can examine that the administration of Malaysia has provided upper class facility along with third class mentality. In today’s era, age and competition also has a crucial role to identify the classification of racism. Racism is further categorized globally based on several fields. A strong leadership is required to unity the country and also unite the Racism. Leaders can make the complex decisions and provide good evaluation of all the decision making skills. They are responsible for all the activities that are involved in the smooth growth the country (Star online, 2015). To develop the country economically, the mentality of the people must be changed. The third class mentality must be transformed to upper class mentality which will automatically generate unity and equalism in the country and create a new and innovative perception in the minds of people.

Once Abraham Lincoln, the Ex-president of USA stated that the questions based on the races often takes place based on the power and position that one hold on. Every single individual can stand alone but if anyone want to test the character of the person, power must be given to him/her. It is the power that identifies the real value of the person.

Promoting Racial Unity through Education

Later, the government of Malaysia added that they will promote the racial unity only by promoting the national language that will create a wide usage and encourage the individual to adopt the national language and motivate patriotism (Baharudin, 2011).

Since Malaysia is a pluralistic country, it aims at focusing and understanding the openness by accepting the Bahasa Malaysia as their National language. One must admire the national language of the country and follow it with a great pride. It was also stated that Muhibbah spirit that exists between Malaysians is the major significance of strength factor which must be protected during the life in order to ensure stability and peace in the country. This spirit helps to create harmony in the Malaysia. Every Malaysians must admire this spirit in order to lead a harmonious life (Banton, 2010).

Besides of the several beliefs that contribute to the unity and peace of a country like Malaysia, there are still some issue that needs to be identified and resolved as soon as possible. A country like Malaysia can be more developed if it wishes to promote racial unity. There are few misconceptions that has created unnecessary facts such as the Chinese are monopolizing the economy which have made everything free for the Malays and the Indians can now breed gangsters. This misconception is widely spread throughout the country which has created a different perception of the people living there (Jomo, 1986). Malaysia is still considered to be a harmonious country and they still produce products that are beneficial for the community. They still work together, eat together and live together. Let us take an example of government sectors and private sectors, people are still working together in a team and has been supporting each other continually and developing a mutual understanding and bond between each other. All the TV channels have the option to switch their language to Malay, Chinese or Tamil along with their subtitles with no qualms.

Let us take an example that state the unity of races in Malaysia. Whenever a person visits a shopping mall then we can see the people of all the races enjoying there. They enjoy together and unite together. They include Malay, Indian, Chinese and many more at a single place which shows the perfect example of unity. They live together if they have same common interest and challenges (Rowley & Bhopal, 2005).

Malaysia being the contested politics of language has a belief that national language has the power to create and enhance the national integrity. Along with this context, minority languages are hampering the official language and thus destroying the national unity of the country as well.

It is often believed that the country citizens must speak national language and avoid using other languages. But this can only be possible when a country prohibits the use of other languages within the country. Use of education also plays a significant role in the country and helps to promote the integrity. Education is the ethnic power which must be used within the country to eradicate poverty and generate literacy. When an individual is educated, it will ultimately create a feeling of nationalism and patriotism within himself/herself. In the country like Malaysia, education works as a basic vehicle to promote Malay nationalist and restore the honor of the country. It is very necessary to use Malay as the main medium of communication. For this, the influence of English language must be reduced and avoided at the highest priority (Ting & Ling, 2013).

Misconceptions and Reality of Racial Unity in Malaysia

In an article published in the year 2016, a language expert stated that every Malaysian must be fluent enough to speak their national language and this would help a country to gain national unity and integrity. Datuk Dr Teo Kok Seong, the principle Fellow of University also claimed allowing the use of national languages prevents the country unity (Meilin, 2017). When a country start using many language as their national language, then there can never be unity. Is becomes very difficult to unite the people who uses multiple languages because there will be no common similarities between the races and perception. A lesson can be learnt that a country must one language and prioritize the same language as their national language (Crystal, 2012). A lecturer of the Institute once stated that Malaysia should work hard in order to strengthen the use of their national language within the country. The diversity must be maintained in the country but at the same time, the use of national language must be taken into consideration. The use of national language helps to enhance the federal constitution and increase the sovereignty of the nation as well. The language of the country always reflects the personality of the person. If a person speaks the national language very fluently, then it shows that he/she is the true citizen of the country and has high level of patriotism towards his/her country (Fernando, 2012).

Every schools in Malaysia must focus on implementing a single stream education system where they will use national language as a major priority and ensure the national unity. The schools and colleges must use single language throughout the system which will automatically help students to use their national language as a common medium to communicate. Because it is usually seen basically in the primary schools that they have seven different streams such as public schools, Chinese schools, Tamil schools, private schools, religious schools, Chinese independent schools, international schools and home schools (Malaysia, 2015). So, it time to reunite all those streams in a single streams to encourage the unity and integrity. A common Malaysia school should be there that will convert all those streams into single education stream and students will learn about the Malaysian cultures and ethics. This will help every student to share their common ideas and national integrity. Many Tamil schools and Chinese schools must be closed that promote the Racist tendencies and encourage them.

Conclusion

Thus, it can be concluded that every country must use their national language as a medium to communicate. Use of national language develop a feeling of patriotism and integrity within the nation and the country as well. Despite of the use of national language in Malaysia, there are many misconceptions that has been followed by the citizens of the country. Likewise, Malaysia should focus on empowering the national language and fostering its signification among its citizen.

References

Baharudin, S. A. (2011). Culture and Governance in Malaysia Survival as a Nation. Ethnic Studies Paper Series, No. 2. KITA, UKM: Malaysia.

Banton, M. (2010). Ethnic Relations: An International Perspective on the Malaysian Initiative of 2007. Ethnic Studies Paper Series, No.9. KITA, UKM: Malaysia. 

Crystal, D. (2012). English as a global language. Cambridge university press.

Expat Go staff. (2015). National Language of Malaysia. Viewed on 20th February, 2018. Available at: https://www.expatgo.com/my/2011/09/08/national-language-of-malaysia/

Fernando, J. M. (2012). Elite intercommunal bargaining and conflict resolution: The Role of the Communities Liaison Committee in Malaya, 1949-1951. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, 43(2), 280-301.

Jomo, K. S. (1986). A Question of Class: Capital, the State and Development in Malaysia. Singapore: Oxford University Press

Malaysia. (2015). Malaysia - Speaking the Language. . Viewed on 20th February, 2018. Available at: https://www.expatfocus.com/expatriate-malaysia-language

Meilin, M. (2017). BM proficiency key to national unity, language expert says.  Viewed on 20th February, 2018. Available at: https://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/bm-proficiency-key-to-national-unity-language-expert-says#iZ8E9HsdT5QE1cvc.97

Nambiar, M. (2017). What-do-you-think-of-Malaysian-racial-unity. Viewed on 20th February, 2018. Available at: https://www.quora.com/What-do-you-think-of-Malaysian-racial-unity

Rowley, C., & Bhopal, M. (2005). The Role of Ethnicity in Employee Relations: The Cases of Malaysia. Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 43(3), 308-331

Star online. (2015). Use Bahasa Malaysia to promote unity. . Viewed on 20th February, 2018. Available at: .https://www.thestar.com.my/metro/community/2015/10/20/use-bahasa-malaysia-to-promote-unity-bahasa-malaysia-can-help-bring-people-together-says-minister/

Ting, S. H., & Ling, T. Y. (2013). Language use and sustainability status of indigenous languages in Sarawak, Malaysia. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 34(1), 77-93.

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