The creation of a Bahasa Malaysia (BM) proficiency test can potentially resolve the current controversy involving the recruitment of doctors who do not possess SPM-level qualifications for the language.
Thousands of Malaysians sit for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (Toefl) or the International English Language Testing System (Ielts) every year and it is high time Malaysia created something similar for BM, several policy experts say.
"If it needs to be formally measured, then all we need is a professional certificate of proficiency in BM that can be taken by anyone at any time," Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas) chief executive Wan Saiful Wan Jan told Malaysiakini.
The existence of such a certificate would also make it possible for people of any profession to take the test, if they want to work in Malaysia, Wan Saiful said.
"Why can't Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) just create that professional proficiency test? That will help make BM a language learned and spoken by professionals from all backgrounds..."