DR YAACOB IBRAHIM: “IT MAY BE TIMELY FOR US TO TEACH MALAY AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE”

yaacob ibrahim

I was shocked, angry, furious and disgusted by what Dr Yaacob Ibrahim said recently. He was addressing more than 200 Malay-Muslim pre-university students gathered at a theatre in Ang Mo Kio for a dialogue session aimed at sharing ideas to benefit the Malay-Muslim community. A student from Innova Junior College asked him what could be done about the decline in Malay fluency among the community. His answer…..

We are not in Kelantan or Kedah, where everyone speaks Malay in and out of the classrooms… it may be timely for us to teach Malay as a foreign language rather than as a mother tongue.

At first I thought he was being misquoted. But he wasn’t. That is the exact words coming from him. I was shocked.

Isn’t Dr Yaacob Ibrahim a Malay? Isn’t him also the Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs? How could he made such a suggestion that will marginalize the entire Malay community in Singapore?

Malay Language is the National language of Singapore. Our National Anthem is in Malay to reflect Singapore’s Malay heritage. Military footdrill commands are in Malay. 13.4% of the Singapore population is Malay and Malay language is their mother tongue.

Now, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, tell me. How can we teach Malay Language as a foreign language? I am not a Malay. I’m a Chinese. But when I saw that news article, I was very angry and frustrated for all my Malay friends. As the Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs, you are supposed to stand up for Malay’s rights. Yet you suggested making their language a foreign language on a land that used to be own by them. You should be ashamed of yourself.

If the locals’ mother tongue become a foreign language, then what is going to be the national language? Does that means that we going to become foreigners in our own land? With the influx of new citizen, sometimes I’m worried that we Singaporeans will become minority in our own country.

Maybe the GRC system will be changed to make Singaporeans a minority race.

DKSG

*The author blogs at http://blog.dk.sg