KUALA LUMPUR, June 22 — The enculturation of Malay language as the official language among Malaysians will continue to face great challenges if enforcement efforts on the use of the national language are not carried out.

Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) board of control chairman Prof Datuk Dr Awang Sariyan said the enforcement aspect is important to preserve the dignity and the strengthening of the Malay language as the national language of Malaysia as it is closely related to a country’s identity.

Awang said the enculturation of national language simply using ‘dakwah’ approach through the ‘reprimand’ and ‘advice’ provided under the current DBP Act 1959, had to be changed in order for the DBP to have a ‘source of power’ against those who did not respect the language.

“In the context of the Malay language in Malaysia, we have to understand that despite its name, it is not only for Malays. Malay language was made the country’s official language.

“All Malaysians have to see Malay language as a language that belongs to them,” he told Bernama after launching the 64th anniversary celebration of the DBP at Menara DBP here today.

Awang said the draft amendments to the National Language Act 1963/67 which empowers DBP to enforce laws related to the use of Malay language is expected to be brought to the Cabinet for approval and later tabled in the Parliament. — Bernama