Former minister Zaid Ibrahim urges prime minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob to get his priorities right.
PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob should speak on issues that affect the nation rather than lecture the people on the use of Bahasa Melayu in the workplace, says a former minister.
“Our national language is important, but this is an old issue and these are modern times where the use of English is common as the international language,” said Zaid Ibrahim.
“He should not be lecturing or reprimanding anyone. He should be using every opportunity he has to address the public to talk about the big issues such as labour, the cost of living, the economy and the health crisis,” he told FMT.
Zaid, a former law minister, was commenting on reports that Ismail had reprimanded government agencies, government-linked companies and the private sector for prioritising the use of English over Bahasa Melayu at their events, meetings, and conferences, and on their products.
Ismail told these agencies and firms to use Bahasa Melayu widely in programmes organised by them, Bernama reported.
Zaid said Malaysians do use Bahasa Melayu but also other languages when they have to, and there was no need for Ismail to be “sentimental” over the language.
“Enough of all this. People are suffering. There is no need to redirect everyone’s attention. Tell us your plans or your stand on important issues. That is what the people and the market want to hear,” he said.