PUTRAJAYA, April 10 — It is possible that the Malay language (Bahasa Melayu) can be used as the second language, apart from English, in discussing international issues in the Asean region, says Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.
He said the member countries of the Language Council of Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia (Mabbim) could be the driving force behind the effort.
Citing the European Union which used 26 languages in its administrative affairs as an example, Saifuddin said multilingual usage in regional affairs was not unusual.
“So if Asean added another one, the Malay language, it is not impossible, so Mabbim member countries can mobilise the effort,” he said at a dinner function to celebrate the Mabbim delegation at the Wisma Putra tonight.
The Mabbim council, comprising three countries — Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia — was established to plan and monitor the development of the Malay and lndonesian languages in the region.
Themed ‘Bahasa Melayu/ Indonesia sebagai Bahasa Utama Dunia’, the Mabbim 58th conference was organised by the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) and currently being held in Kuala until April 13. — Bernama