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Idea To Use Foreign-Language Methods To Teach Malay

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WEDNESDAY'S report ('Malay taught as foreign language may halt decline in fluency') gave the impression to some members of the Malay community that the role of Malay was being lowered to that of a foreign language.

As a result, Mendaki received several calls from members of the community expressing their concerns.

Students at a Mendaki forum we organised on Tuesday who raised the question, and guest of honour, Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim, who replied, clearly shared a common concern in improving and evolving the teaching of Malay to maintain its functionality.

Promoting the use of the Malay language was a key concern among the participants at the forum which is part of the continuing outreach by Mendaki to engage youth on issues concerning the community.

Dr Yaacob's remarks were made in reply to a question on the use of formal Malay and colloquial Malay.

He noted that as the use of English at home becomes more prevalent, more creative ways must be found to keep Malay vibrant and relevant.

He also stated that Singapore is unlike, for instance, the rural northern states of Malaysia where Malay is the predominant language compared with the more urbanised Malaysian cities like Kuala Lumpur or Johor Baru, where English is also rising in usage.

He cited the use of the movies of the late P. Ramlee (an evergreen Malay entertainment icon), Malay adventure stories and Malay classical literature as content that could be made to teach Malay contextually and creatively to the young.

To spur further discussion, he suggested that methods used in teaching foreign languages could be explored, to find out if these offer more ideas in teaching Malay to children who do not use Malay as a primary language at home.

The discussion on the issues raised at such forums are collated and directed to relevant agencies as feedback.

The views on continuing to enhance the teaching of Malay will be shared with the Malay Language Learning and Promotion Committee.

Moliah Hashim (Madam)

Chief Executive Officer

Yayasan Mendaki


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I have no idea wat Yakult is talking about..

What I see is its being downgraded to "Foreign" language..not mother tongue..


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