KUALA LUMPUR, April 2 ― The agreement reached by Malaysia and Indonesia to continue to work together to uplift the status of Bahasa Melayu will increase the chance of making it as the Asean and international language.

Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) Board of Governors chairman Prof Datuk Seri Dr Awang Sariyan said this was because Bahasa Melayu which has about 300 million speakers, was also used in Indonesia, Brunei, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar and Timor Leste.

“Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s proposal is a continuation of efforts that have been started for decades at the regional level and Indonesia has been a friend in championing the struggle for almost 50 years.

“The effort to unite the Asean regional countries through language means a lot,” he said in a statement, here today.

Yesterday, Ismail Sabri was reported to have said that would continue to make efforts to uplift the status of Bahasa Melayu, which may become an Asean language one day.

The prime minister also said that the two countries had agreed to use Bahasa Melayu as a language of communication at every international conference.

In the meantime, Awang Sariyan said efforts to make Bahasa Melayu as the official language of Asean required strong support from all Malay-speaking countries. ― Bernama