Cosmopolitanising Bahasa Malaysia

By Zairil Khir Johari

March 2012 FEATURE
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At its height, the Malay language was the lingua franca of a quarter of the world, the de facto language of communication and commerce within the motley cluster of 25,000 islands making up the Malay Archipelago. Today, while Malay is constitutionally entrenched as the national language of our country, it has not been able to achieve the status of a “cosmopolitan language” the way its linguistic cousin has in, for example, Indonesia.Dynamism leads to cosmopolitanismAny language is a reflection of...

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Zairil Khir Johari

is the Penang state executive councillor for public works, utilities and flood mitigation, and the state assemblyman for Tanjong Bunga.