KUALA LUMPUR, May 4: Malaysia and Indonesia can work together to continue to improve and propel the Malay language (Bahasa Melayu) as the language of the archipelago, said Minister of Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim.
Rais said the move was essential to ensure that Bahasa Melayu, which now had a total of 300 million speakers worldwide including Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Singapore and some other provinces, did not fade away.
“For Bahasa Melayu to progress it must become a language of industry, rated differently but be able to portray itself as the language of the archipelago and for this reason, the whole of Asean needs to be given attention,” he told reporters after launching a Chinese-Malay Master Dictionary authored by Dr Yang Quee Yee and presenting a special lexicography award to the author at the Sultan Abdul Samad Building Complex.
“For a nation to be successful, language is the pillar and towards this end, we must have a workforce which is committed to strengthen Bahasa Melayu,” he said.
According to Bernama, on the dictionary, Rais said it would help forge even closer ties between the Malay and Chinese communities in the country.
Yang, 82, who has been involved in lexicography for more than five decades, has published numerous Chinese-Malay and Malay-Chinese-English dictionaries.
The Chinese-Malay Master Dictionary is the latest edition in the market to cater for the needs of students and the public.
It can obtained at selected bookstores and retails at RM89 a copy in Peninsular Malaysia and RM99 a copy in Sabah and Sarawak.