BANGI, May 20 — The efforts of the government under Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to elevate the Malay language as the official language at home and abroad is the right move which gives a sense of national identity as well as serves as a call to action for the coming generations, said Dewan Negara president, Tan Sri Rais Yatim.

He said that if the language was not prioritised as enshrined in Article 152 of the Federal Constitution through the National Language Act then the people would lose out as “losing a language is to lose a culture and losing a culture is to lose a country”.

“We should no longer be apologetic in upholding the Malay language as a national language. We must carry on and create terms in the National language again. “There used to be a lot (of Malay books) in engineering, medicine, and technical but now the books are gathering dust... we will empower Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka again, revive the teaching of the language with all purity such as ‘pantun’, ‘seloka’, ‘gurindam’, parables and proverbs,” he told reporters after launching the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) Cultural Feast and the establishment of ‘Tabung Istana Puteri Bongsu’, here today.

During the ceremony, Rais as the founder of Yayasan Budi, also contributed RM50,000 to the Puteri Bongsu Fund, aimed at sponsoring community activities based on the Malay civilisation heritage, setting up a gallery for artifacts from the Malay world as well as promoting recreational activities in keeping with the old Malay palace environment such as horseback riding, archery and traditional Malay games. — Bernama