DAP to lobby Cabinet and Penang State Exco
to decide at their next meeting on Wednesday to officially recognize the
fourth International Mother Language Day which falls on Friday, February 21
by Lim Kit Siang
DAP will lobby the Cabinet and the Penang State Exco to decide at their next
meeting on Wednesday to officially recognize the fourth International Mother
Language Day (IMLD) which falls on Friday, February 21.
It might be too late for the Federal and Penang State Governments to
organize a full-scale programme to celebrate the International Mother
Language Day this year on Friday, but a modest but meaningful commemoration
programme is still feasible. In any event, the official recognition by the
Federal and Penang State Governments, although four years after its
proclamation in 1999, is better late than never and could be regarded as a
celebration of sorts.
In order to lobby the Cabinet and Penang State Exco to take the decision at
their next meeting on Wednesday to formally recognize the IMLD, DAP will
email all the Cabinet Ministers and Penang State Exco members tomorrow,
presenting a case for such a Cabinet and Penang State Exco decision, giving
the background for the proclamation of Feb. 21 as the International Mother
Language Day by UNESCO in 1999 and why the Malaysian and Penang State
Governments should be in the very forefront to commemorate the IMLD.
Malaysia and Penang are the home of several mother-tongues, making them the
most ideal places where the IMLD should be celebrated with the greatest
vigour and meaning. In fact, the question Malaysians and Penangites should
be asking is why the IMLD had been ignored and neglected by the national and
state governments in the past three years, especially when Malaysia was one
of the 28 countries which seconded the proposal adopted by UNESCO in 1999 to
declare Feb. 21 as the IMLD.
Should the Cabinet and the Penang State Exco formally recognize the IMLD, at
the very least, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and and
the Penang Chief Minister, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon should issue their
respective International Mother Language Day Message to mark the fourth IMLD
In fact, there is no reason why the Penang Municipal Council (MPPP) cannot
be the first municipal or city council in the country to accord formal
recognition to and celebrate the IMLD - which could be turned into a boost
for the declining tourism in Penang. The Penang State Exco at its meeting on
Wednesday should also direct the MPPP and MPSP to be the first two municipal
councils in the country to recognize - and organize programmes to mark - the
IMLD as well.
Lim Kit Siang, DAP National