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Make Bahasa Melayu, Bahasa Indonesia As Languages Of Knowledge And Commerce

Last update: 24/09/2011
By Ahmad Fuad Yahya

BUKITTINGGI (WEST SUMATRA), Sept 24 (Bernama) -- Malaysian and Indonesian journalists and culture experts have been urged to jointly enhance the status of Bahasa Melayu and Bahasa Indonesia as the languages of knowledge, art and commerce.

Minister of Information, Communications and Culture Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim in making the call said elevating the status of the two languages which were spoken by 300 million people in Asean would make the languages respected internationally.

"The terminology committees of Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka and Pusat Bahasa Indonesia must find ways so that our languages have common general principles and applicable terms in the region," he said here Saturday.

He was speaking at the 2011 Meeting of Journalists and Culture Experts of Malaysia and Indonesia which was participated by senior journalists and the culture experts from both countries. It was officiated by Indonesian Minister of Communications and Information, Tifatul Sembiring.

Earlier, he proposed that Bahasa Melayu and Bahasa Indonesia were made the lingua franca of Asean which could be compared with other leading world languages such as French, Mandarin, Japanese and Arabic languages.

Rais also told seminar participants to accept the fact that the people of Malaysia and Indonesia are of the homogeneous stock and shared common cultural practice.

"Let us now look at our similarities and put aside our differences.

"If we do not strengthen these similarities, both languages would end up as losers," he said.

The culture of the two communities in the two countries could become contentious issues and create misunderstanding among the people.

The minister also told seminar participants to put up a network of actions to rebuild the language and culture to reflect the community's social daily lives.

The findings of the seminar he said should be brought to the governments of the two countries for follow-up actions.

Meanwhile, Tifatul in his opening speech expressed his support for Dr Rais's call that journalists and culture experts of the two countries highlighted the similarities of langauge and culture to improve bilateral ties.

In protecting the cordial relations between the two countries, the media should practise balanced reporting to cool down issues and not to sensationalise issues to improve ratings.