Malay Language Skills in Brunei

Permanent Secretary of Culture, Youth and Sports, Hj Mohd Rozan (L) presents a prize to Eunice Lo Ying Ci from Chung Ching Secondary School, Seria, for winning the essay writing competition held by Mekar Magazine yesterday at the Language and Literature Bureau's Balai Sarmayuda in Berakas. Pictures: BT/Saiful Omar
Bandar Seri Begawan, 25 November 2012 - BRUNEI may face a situation in the future where young people today grow up to be ineffective communicators if they continue with the habit of writing of typing incorrectly as a result of the tendency to use shortened words on social networking sites and text messaging.

To counter the onset of this dire situation, today's students need to use the Malay Language correctly and should be avid readers, said Hj Mohd Rozan Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Yunos during the Mekar/Juara Writing Competition Prize Giving Ceremony for primary and secondary students yesterday.

The permanent secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports said, "The incorrect use of the Malay language is becoming common nowadays, especially in children and teenagers. This happens when they shorten their words when typing on social networking sites and may incorporate the habit when they write their compositions," he said.

Hj Mohd Rozan then said that if the habit of writing or typing incorrectly continues for ten to twenty years, the country will have people who are unable to communicate properly. This could lead to ineffective communication in society and may cause misunderstandings.

He also said that people should make full use of their free time and one activity they could turn to is to read as reading can assist in developing a society intellectually and shape a creative and dynamic mindset.

"Among the objectives of holding this competition is to instill a culture of reading. This is so that knowledge gained from reading can be established in written form and can also be shared with peers," he said.

The activity of reading among locals still needs to be improved as it not as popular when compared to people from other countries like Japan, China and some European countries whereby they bring along books with them on trains and busses, Hj Mohd Rozan added.

Hjh Sariani Hj Ishak, chairperson of the ceremony, also stressed that the Malay language is facing various threats due to globalisation.

She said that there are those who feel that "only with the English language can people and their country advance even though there are many countries that advance without the use of the English language".

"These people then assume that the promotion of the Malay language will counter development and advancement."

Winners of the essay writing competition in a group photo with the guest of honour, Awg Hj Mohd Rozan bin Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Yunos, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youuth and Sports and Hjh Aminah binti Hj Momin, Director of the Language and Literature Bureau. - ACHONG TANJONG
Hjh Sariani also advised that children should be guided from early on to enable them to realise that they possess of a language that can improve the standards of their nation.

The prize giving ceremony was held yesterday at the Balai Sarmayuda at the Language and Library Hall (Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka). The objective of the competition is also to familiarise students with writing with the correct usage of the Malay language and to encourage an interest in reading among the youth.

This year's competition was open to students from primary and secondary schools in the country.

-- Courtesy of The Brunei Times --

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