Many people believe that to create a united Malaysia, one of the main tools is language. And that is why we have an official national language which is Bahasa Malaysia.
It is the medium used in our national schools and also the official language in all of our government offices. Every citizen understands it so they all can communicate with each other.
This is not much of a problem for the Malays because Bahasa Malaysia seems to be their mother tongue anyway and it is spoken at home among family members.
For many minorities in the country (obviously the Chinese and Indians), it may not be the first language they learn because their mother tongue would probably be something else.
So they learn it as soon they start going to school. They have to anyway as it is a requirement if they want to pass the national exams and qualify for university.
Oh yeah, I am sure it is also because they want to integrate into the rest of the society and, well, be united as a nation, as citizens who share a country.
So Bahasa Malaysia is really a unifying language that can bring everyone together. That is the noble intention, I guess. But is it really true?
Well, that is what they want you to believe. Do not be fooled. Bahasa Malaysia is really a language just for the Malays, and the Malay Muslims to be more specific.
Bahasa Malaysia when spoken among the Malays is fine. They use it casually with friends and family, officially at work and spiritually when praying. No problems there.
The trouble only starts when people from other races and religions start speaking Bahasa Malaysia. That is when all hell starts to break loose. And I really do mean hell.
The Malays start getting confused because they now do not know who is Malay and who is not. They will not be able to tell others apart and in turn forget who they are.
“Whoa! That guy has really small slit eyes and he is speaking Bahasa Malaysia! Is he Malay? Wait a minute! Am I Malay? Am I not? Arghhh!” [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]