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By Ashley Sim
KUCHING, June 21: Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong urges the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) to set an example by issuing notices and letters in the English language, since Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg has advocated using English as the official language.
Yong pointed out the Premier recently stated that Sarawak civil servants can use English in official letters.
“The Premier even claimed that the use of English in Sarawak is not against national policy and is a right enshrined in the Federal Constitution in Article 161(3), which grants Sabah and Sarawak the right to use English in court proceedings and in the DUN.
“Therefore, if English is important and we must all know the language, I would like to call on that whatever the Premier has said be put into practice,” she said today at a press conference at the Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) headquarters (HQ) here.
She noted that throughout the years, all government letters were issued in Bahasa Melayu rather than English.
“I am saddened that the use of English has begun to dwindle, as we don’t see it much in practice, particularly in government notices or letters.
“I therefore hope that the DUN, which is the oldest legislature in the country and which, I believe, convened its first session in English, will continue to adopt English as its official language.
“I believe that only in Sabah and Sarawak do we have permission to use English in the DUN; everywhere else, only Bahasa Melayu is permitted.” — DayakDaily