Time to push for BM usage in science and technology

HAFIZAH ISZAHANID

SERDANG: The view of certain quarters who were unconvinced with Bahasa Melayu’s role as a medium language of knowledge as well as the science and technology was baseless. Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s (UKM) Chemical and Process Engineering lecturer Prof Datuk Dr Wan Ramli Wan Daud said this was because, numerous books in the said fields had already been published in the language since the 1980s. In fact, he said, many public universities here had used Bahasa Melayu as the medium language. “The efforts to uphold Bahasa Melayu carried out since Merdeka, especially in education field, was however halted and it was replaced with English language without prior studies,” he said during a forum in conjunction with Empowerment of Bahasa Melayu: Road to the Fourth Industrial Revolution seminar held at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) here today. Wan Ramli said the situation was made even more challenging with the implementation of the Teaching and Learning of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI) policy in 2003. “Studies conducted by Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI) in 2008 as well as international studies like Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) in 2007 revealed the decline of competency percentage in Science and Mathematics after PPSMI was introduced,” he said. He said the findings of studies were not fully recognised and the Dual Language Programme (DLP) was introduced, which was deemed as the spirit of PPSMI by language fighters. “We are a sovereign country and by right, use our own language including in science and technology,” he said. The forum was mediated by Perbadanan Kota Buku chief executive officer Sayed Munawar Sayed Mustar and was joined by former Universiti Malaya vice-chancellor Datuk Prof Emeritus Dr Hashim Yaacob and Malaysian Islamic Understanding Institute (IKIM) director general Datuk Prof Dr Azizan Baharuddin. Meanwhile, Hashim said Bahasa Melayu remained relevant and important, therefore efforts to uphold its stature must be done including to add science and technology publications written in Bahasa Melayu. “Vocabulary and terms in Bahasa Melayu must be added without having to derive from English language. “The fight to uphold Bahasa Melayu is important, but it does not mean that English language is being sidelined,” he added. Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching launched the closing ceremony for the event which was organised in collaboration with UPM and Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP). © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd