Many DAP delegates do not speak the National Language, Bahasa Malaysia


(MMO) – The DAP said it spent RM20,000 on devices to translate its national conference proceedings today from Bahasa Malaysia to Mandarin and Tamil.

DAP organising secretary Anthony Loke noted that former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who was a guest at the conference, had discovered that the party uses Bahasa Malaysia in its conference and sings its party song in the national language.

“Maybe all this while, Umno’s leaders think that we in DAP only use Mandarin in our national conference.

“It is indeed DAP’s policy to uphold the national language and it is also one of DAP’s principles and struggle to uphold Bahasa Malaysia as the national language. But I want to assure the DAP grassroots and members nationwide that even though we uphold the national language, we will not abandon our mother tongues,” he said.

Loke said 100 units of translation devices were offered today to allow for the simultaneous translation of proceedings into either Mandarin or Tamil.

He said this fulfilled a promise by the party to carry out improvements following feedback from party delegates — especially from the older generation from the ethnic Chinese community — that they had difficulty following the debates conducted in Bahasa Malaysia.

“Although all our debates today used the national language, but in this national conference, the party has spent RM20,000 to prepare translation devices to any delegates that needed them,” he said.

“This feature will be present in each national conference starting from this year onwards. If necessary, we will increase it,” he said.

Some of the party leaders today also repeated their speeches in Mandarin, while some party delegates used English.

The booklet for DAP’s party conference this year was in four languages — Bahasa Malaysia, Mandarin, Tamil and English.

“This shows our commitment not just to uphold the national language but also to ensure our mother tongues, the use of the mother tongues — Mandarin or Tamil — will continue to remain in Malaysia,” Loke said.

He added that this was also shown through the policies and allocations for vernacular schools by the Pakatan state governments of Penang and Selangor.