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COMMENT | You aren't Malaysian if you can't speak Malay?

COMMENT | At the heart of the contention over our schools, language undergirds the discourse. It is not uncommon to hear this grouse: “How could they not speak Malay, the national language, after so many years living in this country?”

Not an insignificant segment of society also believes that the Malay language is so intertwined with national identity that if one refuses or is unable to speak the language, one’s citizenship could be revoked.

To be clear, I believe most Malaysians do speak Malay. They just don’t speak proper Malay, which is inadequate to certain quarters’ expectations.

Nothing is new here, as we Malaysians are prone to be trapped in a loop arguing over the same contentious issues over and over again.

Political scientist Wong Chin Huat coined the “1946 Question” in which he asked...

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