Parliament and State Assemblies should  allocate one day for every meeting whether lasting  two weeks or two months where English is used to encourage command of the language

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya,  Thursday) Parliament Speaker, Tun Mohd Zahir Ismail has suggested that English be partly used in future Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara proceedings in an effort to improve the command of the language among leaders. 

He said that at present the National Language Act and the Dewan’s Standing Orders did not allow for members to use English except to quote special references.  

One workable way to encourage command of English among leaders and Malaysians is to allocate in Parliament and the State Assemblies one day for every meeting whether lasting two weeks or two months where English is used. 

This should be part of a nation-wide campaign to encourage Malaysians to master the  English language in order to restore partially  the high standard in the language which Malaysians had lost in the past quarter of a century – with great cost to Malaysia’s international competitiveness in the era of globalisation, liberalization and information and communications technology.  

The proposal to allocate one day for every Parliamentary and  State Assembly meeting for the use of English language is and should not be seen as a dimunition or detraction of the status of Bahasa Malaysia as the official and national language – which is not questioned in any manner but reflection of a more open, relaxed and self-confident manner by Malaysians in dealing with the complex challenges of the 21 century.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman