Language policy in Malaysia: Reversing direction

Saran Kaur Delip Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

62 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

After Independence in 1957, the government of Malaysia set out on a program to establish Bahasa Melayu as official language, to be used in all government functions and as the medium of instruction at all levels. For 40 years, the government supported a major program for language cultivation and modernization. It did not however attempt to control language use in the private sector, including business and industry, where globalization pressure led to a growing demand for English. The demand for English was further fuelled by the forces of the internationalization of education which were met in part by the opening of English-medium affiliates of international universities. In 2002, the government announced a reversal of policy, calling for a switch to English as a medium of instruction at all levels. This paper sets out to analyze the pressures to which the government was responding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-260
Number of pages20
JournalLanguage Policy
Volume4
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2005

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language policy
Malaysia
government function
instruction
official language
demand
internationalization
modernization
private sector
globalization
Government
Language Policy
industry
university
language
education
Medium of Instruction

Keywords

  • Bahasa Melayu
  • Economics
  • English
  • Language modernization
  • Language planning
  • Language policy
  • Language reversal
  • Politics and nationalism
  • Science and technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language

Cite this

Language policy in Malaysia : Reversing direction. / Delip Singh, Saran Kaur.

In: Language Policy, Vol. 4, No. 3, 09.2005, p. 241-260.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Delip Singh, Saran Kaur. / Language policy in Malaysia : Reversing direction. In: Language Policy. 2005 ; Vol. 4, No. 3. pp. 241-260.
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