Dewan Bahasa hails decision to make Fridays Jawi Day

Dewan Bahasa Dan Pustaka supports the government’s decision to popularise Jawi script. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Dewan Bahasa Dan Pustaka (DBP) fully supports the government’s decision to make Friday a Jawi Day, said its board of directors chairman, Awang Sariyan.

He said the government’s decision provided the opening for the Jawi script to be placed in its legitimate position as the official script for Bahasa Malaysia for nearly a thousand years before the Roman alphabet was accepted as the official writing for the national language.

Awang said in the era of the Malay Sultanate, for hundreds of years, the Jawi script was used for all areas, such as religion, law, matters relating to national administration, history, medicine, weaponry, epics and literature (prose and poetry), in fact, even in the field of diplomacy.

“The letters and the agreement between the governments in the Malay world with foreign powers such as the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the English were written in Jawi. Jawi and the Malay language were accepted by all nations, even during British colonial rule.

‘’Therefore, there is no basis for any party representing any particular race to reject the effort to expand Jawi writing,” he said in a statement to Bernama here today.

Awang, who is also the incumbent holder of the Za’ba Chair of Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, said as an initial effort to popularise it, Jawi writing should be used for the display of information in public places, business premises and offices, as well as documents in addition to the Roman alphabet.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri, in his statement, declared Friday as Jawi Day, starting today, in an effort to preserve and reinforce some of the traditions and cultures that had shaped Malaysia to this day.

He said Jawi writing is recognised in the Federal Constitution, as enshrined in Section 9 of the National Language Act 1963/67.

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