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State Secretary: S’wak civil service can still use English in official communications

Posted on 25 Oct 2023
Source of News: The Borneo Post Online

Mohd Abu Bakar said Anwar’s reminder does not apply to the Sarawak civil service. – Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING (Oct 25): Sarawak civil service can use English in official communications, said State Secretary Datuk Amar Mohd Abu Bakar Marzuki.

When contacted, he said Sarawak will “not follow the reminder” made by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today, that all government departments should not entertain any letters written in a language other than the national language Bahasa Melayu.

“That does not apply in Sarawak,” he said when contacted.

According to Bernama today, Anwar had reminded all government departments not to entertain any letters written in a language other than the national language.

In his speech at the opening of the National Language Decade carnival and National Reading Decade here, Anwar said he noted that there is a tendency by some parties to deny the fundamentals of the Federal Constitution which requires them to communicate with government departments in national language.

“So, I would like to give a reminder (to all government departments), that if they receive a letter from local companies or public and private universities in a language other than the national language, just return it to the sender.”

“The empowerment of culture, language, and literature is an integral part of nation-building, so let us not underestimate it.

“And I hope this reminder is duly noted. The directive is clear, and the Director-General of Public Service (KPPA) Datuk Dr Zulkapli Mohamed is also here…that we shall not entertain any letters written in a language other than the national language,” he said.

Article 152 of the Federal Constitution states that the Malay language or Bahasa Melayu is the national language.

Anwar said such an action would not make Malaysia narrow-minded because the government does not undermine the importance of English proficiency.



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