Cultural Congress 2017 resolutions to help shape TN50: PM

SYED UMAR ARIFF

BANGI: Resolutions reached at the Cultural Congress 2017 will become among the critical ingredients added to the recipe for the National Transformation 2050 (TN50) plan, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today.

Eleven resolutions, approved at the Congress, include upholding the following: the Malay language as the national tongue; Islam as the official religion; the Rukun Negara as the foundation for national virtue; the sanctity of the Federal Constitution; the importance of the Rulers’ Conference; and the economic achievements of the Bumiputera.

In stressing the importance of culture in shaping the country’s identity and future, Najib said components of the resolutions must be part of the TN50 policy.

“The government will give a serious look at the resolutions reached at the Cultural Congress, and they must be included in the TN50.

“I dream of a modern Malaysian society. I wish to place Malaysia as the 20th best country in the world, not only based on its national per capita income, but on the apogee of its culture and dignity,” Najib said in his speech opening the Congress at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, today.

Although social media has become very much a part of Malaysian culture, Najib, however, cautioned that if left unbridled, the internet could adversely affect local cultures and values, and give rise to ‘bahasa rojak’ (mixed language), at the cost of the Malay language.

“The use of ‘bahasa rojak’ has more or less eroded the integrity of the Malay language, apart from the use of SMS (short messaging system) language. It is indeed a challenge to realise a highly-cultured society.

“(We will also have to look at) how the curriculum at kindergartens is like. What kind of curriculum (is needed) and how can we ensure that the spirit of Rukun Negara is revived as the national philosophy?

“(And what about) the dignity of the Malay language, the polemic between Malay, English and other languages? We do not impose restrictions against learning a second language. (But) we want the people, regardless of race, to be able to converse well in the national language,” Najib said.

Also present were Najib’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor; Cultural Congress 2017 chairman and socio-cultural adviser to the government, Tan Sri Dr Rais Yatim; and UKM vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Seri Dr Noor Azlan Ghazali.