Don't question Sarawak on the use of English as official language, says state premier

·1-min read
Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUCHING, June 18 — Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg today defended the state government’s decision to use English, alongside Bahasa Malaysia, in the state administration.

He said Sarawak is being practical and it does not mean that it is not in line with the national policy regarding the use of Bahasa Malaysia as the sole official language.

“We in Sarawak have accepted Bahasa Malaysia as an official language and also we still retain English as an additional official language which can be used for communication,” he said at the opening of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) triennial delegates convention (TDC) at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here.

He said the use of English in Sarawak is guaranteed by Article 161(3) of the Federal Constitution which relates to the use of English and of native languages in Sarawak.

He said he is aware that there are people who accused him of not following the national policy on the use of Bahasa Malaysia as the only official language.

“It is not (true). I follow, but I have the right as provided for in this book (Federal Constitution),” he said.

He said it is important that Sarawak continues to use the English language as it enters the era of digital, secular, and hydrogen economy.

He asked non-Sarawakian Malaysians not to question Sarawak’s motive to continue using English in the state administration.

“We have to use our brain,” he said.

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