Minister debunks Violet’s claims that English usage in DUN waning

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KUCHING: Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah has debunked claims by Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong that the usage of English in the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) was slowly waning.

Abdul Karim, the Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister, said that Sarawak recognised and practised the national language Bahasa Malaysia.

At the same time, he reiterated that Sarawak had the option to use English as another language of communication.

“So, saying that the use of English is starting to fade – nothing could be further from the truth,” he told New Sarawak Tribune.

“In fact, I have not heard YB Violet Yong or YB Chong (Chieng Jen) using Bahasa Malaysia in their DUN debates, which shows that English is very much entrenched in Sarawak as well as our national language.”

Abdul Karim was commenting on Yong’s remark that Sarawak DUN should lead by example on the use of English in line with the Sarawak government’s stand as well as to issue all official notices in English.

“For all these years, the DUN official notices and letters are not written in English. I am kind of sad that the use of English has started to fade away. We do not see much in practice anymore, especially in official notices and letters,” Yong told the media on Tuesday (June 21).

However, Abdul Karim said Yong was out of order as she was asking for all DUN official notices to be in English so as to be “in line with the Sarawak government’s stand”.

“Let me correct her…the Sarawak government as well as DUN’s stand is that Bahasa Malaysia remains as an official language of the country. As far as Sarawak is concerned, we have the right to use English as another option of official language.”

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