BANGI: Former federal minister Rais Yatim has urged Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng to stop issuing press statements in Mandarin, saying statements in Bahasa Malaysia, the national language, is sufficient.
Speaking on the sidelines of a forum in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Rais, who is a PPBM member, said he did not think issuing government press statements in Mandarin was appropriate.
“The national language, which is Malay, is sufficient. This (issuing press releases in Mandarin) has never been done before,” he said.
Rais said in the over 40 years he served in the government, only Malay and English were used as allowed under parliamentary procedure.
Lim has faced a barrage of criticism for defending his use of Mandarin in his ministry’s official statements.
Opposition supporters had accused him of undermining Bahasa Malaysia’s status as the national language.
The DAP secretary-general, however, defended the use of Mandarin for his press statement, saying it was a reflection of the current government’s recognition of multilingualism and globalisation.
Adding that his critics were making “racist accusations”, Lim said he would not bow to them.
“The statements of the finance minister will continue to be published in Malay and English,” he said, adding that Chinese translations would be included where necessary.
He also said he hoped other high ranking officials would follow suit.
Meanwhile, Rais refused to comment on speculation that he might be appointed the next Dewan Rakyat speaker.
It was previously reported that the choice for the next Dewan Rakyat speaker was between Rais and DAP’s Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh.