Honor Bahasa Melayu as it Reflects Brunei National Heritage and Identity (BruDirect (Brunei))

Towards sustaining the dignity and sovereignty of the Malay language, the Language and Literature Bureau (DBP) yesterday launched the Language Month, with the objective of continuously raising awareness among the people – citizens, permanent residents and foreigners-living in the country to honour the Malay language as the official language of the country.

Yesterday’s ceremony, which was launched by the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Darn Seri Setia Awang Haji Hazair bin Haji Abdullah, took place at the Malay Technology Musuem in Kota Batu. It began with the recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah and Doa Selamat followed with speeches by the DBP Director Hajah Aminah binti Haji Momin and the minister.

In his speech, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports highlighted the need for the people and the community to display a joint ownership towards the Malay language, which has a vital role in interpreting the constitution, regulations and policy as the nation’s communicative language in administration and management.

The minister pointed out the need for positive action and reaction among the community to empower the language as this will enable the community to sustain and develop the perfection, purity and beauty of the language. He also stated that the people and community should be proud of the Malay language’s status as a lingua franca that drew the attention of the world and that they should continue to play their role in showing their commitment in upholding and empowering the Malay language as the official language and to ensure its precise and accurate application among every member of the community.

After the speeches, the minister officially launched the book Perkembangan dan Pencapaian 5 Tahun DBP’ and the prototype of the digital publication of ‘Nakhoda Manis’.

The event then continued with the announcement of the Language Ambassadors 2015 and the presentation of its accreditation to the recipients, who are Tan Been Tiem, Mohd Zefri bin Zain Arif, Fakhrul Razi and Irwan Rino bin Nordin.

Tan Been Tiem has been a teacher at Chung Hwa Middle School (CHMS) since June 1993 and has a strong passion for the language. She proceeded to master it and is currently the head of the Malay language Department and teaches the language for upper secondary at CHMS. She has also received awards such as the Best Teacher Award by Rotary Club, a silver recipient for CHMS Live@Edu Website Design Competition and the first runner-up in the 2012 Innovative Educator Competition for Bahasa Melayu Project.

Meanwhile multi-talented Awang Mohd Zefri Ariff is no stranger in the field of culture, literature, theatre, media and youth movement in the country and has presented numerous working papers and workshops in Asia. He holds several portfolios in NGOs and community services and is currently a lecturer in Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) as well as leading the Kumpulan Putra Seni. As an active individual in literature, culture and youth, he has been awarded with the SEA Write Award and Meritorious Youth Leader Award.

Singer and freelance composer Fakhrul Razi is a local artist who brought glory to the country after making history as the first Bruneian artiste to qualify at the finals of the World Championship of Performing Arts (WCOPA) and brought home four gold, two silver awards and an Industry Award. He was crowned as the Best Soul/R and B/ Jazz Singer and his original composed song ‘Senyuman Gelapmu’ (Thy Darkened Smile) was chosen as the Best Song at WCOPA.

The fourth recipient, Irwan Rino also has his fair share of achievements. His passion for Pantun’ and ‘Mukun’ began during his teenage. He has represented the Projek Mukun MoU between Radio Televisyen Brunei (RTB) and Radio Televisyen Malaysia Sarawak, Radio Televisyen Malaysia Sabah, Radio Televisyen Malaysia, Labuan and RRI Kalimantan, Indonesia.

The minister also presented awards to the winners of the Esei Ilmiah Pangsura where Siti Nadhrah binti Norzelan emerged as the champion while the first and second runner-up went to Hajah Sariani binti Haji Ishak and Siti Norrul Aishah binti Hanapiah. He also presented awards to 87 excellent students in Malay and Malay Literature (GCE ‘0’ and A Levels) and the Lantera Bahtera award to three selected restaurants using the Malay language in their menus.

Various activities and competitions are being carried out to enliven the celebration until 2016, among them are the 8th MABBIM Lecture, 21″ MASTERA Conference, Language Roadshow and Workshop on Short Story Writing and Speech Competition. Several competitions to mark the celebration of the Language Month are also being organised, such as National Jawi Khat, Borneo Logo Design and Story Telling Competitions.

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