KUCHING, Nov 15: Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak Baru (PBDSB) believes that Sarawakians will reject the proposal to impose up to RM1,000 penalty for the wrong usage of Bahasa Malaysia.
The party quoted a report by Chinese daily Nanyang Siang Pau that amendments will be made to the National Language Act 1963 and Education Act 1996 in Parliament.
If the amendments were to be passed, then Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) will be the enforcer of the new law.
“PBDSB believes that Sarawak would not agree to a fine up to RM1,000, if found guilty of using incorrect Bahasa Malaysia, including in advertisements online; which is to be enforced by Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka.
“This is not the first time such an issue had surfaced. Previously, in early January this year, an academician from Peninsular Malaysia, a professor from Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) Datuk Zainal Kling, had proposed that all Malaysian children must learn the Malay language before being given blue identity cards.
“Now, the issue is back to stir up sentiments of Malaysians again,” said PBDSB.
PBDSB also highlighted the recent statement by Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz who asserted that English was a threat to ethnic culture and the national language, and that English language advancement should be stopped.
The party pointed out that Bahasa Malaysia – the official national language – has always been a mandatory subject even in Chinese and Indian vernacular schools as well as national schools.
“Many Sarawakians today are well educated and widely knowledgeable about the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and the rightful position of Sarawak in Malaysia.
“Based on the above mentioned, we do not know if we should either weep or laugh in dismay. If such fines are to be enforced and imposed, it shall be truly ridiculous and does not reflect the true spirit of a democratic ‘secular state’ at all.
“We urged all federal ministers in Sarawak to take heed once again on this issue,” said PBDSB.