We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham e-Theses
You are in:

Perspectives on language policies in Malaysia

Mariasoosay, Thanaraj (1996) Perspectives on language policies in Malaysia. Masters thesis, Durham University.



Malaysia is a multi-cultural society with major ethnic divisions between Malays, Chinese and Indians, each group having associated linguistic and religious affiliations which intensify the divisions of Malaysian society. Cultural divisions have perhaps a greater significance in Malaysia than in neighbouring Singapore and Brunei Darussalam because of the relative size of the competing ethnic groups. The communal relations issue is central in Malaysian politics and education. It is almost a matter of definition that a study of a language policy in Malaysian education is simultaneously a study of an important part of the politics of a plural society. This study examines the substance and various contexts of language policies in Malaysia, where the national integration of three large language communities is a political objective of long standing. At a time when a number of Western countries are beginning to favour a multi-cultural approach to the problem of integrating an ethnically plural society through education, Malaysia continues to promote monolingualism as its unchallengeable formula, for the supremacy of Malay is a principle strongly rooted in the history and political structure of Malaysia. The decline of the standard of English in Malaysia is also a lively current issue of great concern, even to the Government. The fundamental reason for its concern is not racial but pragmatic: the National Language is very far from being able to take the place of English as a key to international communication and modem technology. Yet measures to reverse the damage seem half-hearted and the political will to emulate the pragmatism of Singapore or Brunei Darussalam by substantially modifying the educational revolution, is lacking at present. This study identifies the major language problems that have surfaced as a result of the Government trying to deal with conflicting pressures whilst implementing policy objectives.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1996
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Oct 2012 11:49

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitter