Ethnicity versus National Language: A Study in Malaysian Universities Setting

Persaingan di antara Etnisiti dan Bahasa Kebangsaan: Kajian dalam Persekitaran di Universiti Awam Malaysia

Authors

  • Siti Nor Azhani Mohd Tohar Pusat Pengajian Teras, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia, 71800 Nilai, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia
  • Adlina Ab Halim Jabatan Pengajian Kenegaraan dan Ketamadunan, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
  • Siti Nor Baya Mat Yacob Pusat Pengajian Teras, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia, 71800 Nilai, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia

Keywords:

Malay language; multi ethnic; nationalism; assimilation; ethnocentrism; higher education

Abstract

Abstract: The national language is an assimilation instrument for fostering racial unity in a multi-ethnic society. Nonetheless, ethnocentrism always plays a crucial role in upholding the national language across ethnic groups in Malaysia. A study in Malaysian higher education institutions (HEI) was conducted on 407 undergraduate students from Universiti Malaya (UM), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Universiti Selangor (UNISEL), and Multimedia University (MMU) using stratified random sampling to determine the differences in upholding the national language based on ethnic groups through three key dimensions, namely, i) fluency in speaking in the national language, ii) recognition of the importance of the national language, and iii) sophistication in the use of the national language. The results showed that there were significant differences in the upholding of the national language among the various ethnic groups. It was found that the Chinese students do not uphold the national language as much as the Malay and Indian students. This indicates that ethnicity plays a major role in determining the future of upholding the national language as the language of Malaysia. As Malaysian citizenship, ethnocentrism toward language should be managed to ensure assimilation of a multi-ethnic society through the most important medium, the Malay language as the national language of Malaysia.

 

Abstrak: Bahasa kebangsaan merupakan instrumen asimilasi dalam memupuk perpaduan kaum dalam kalangan masyarakat multi etnik. Walau bagaimanapun, etnosentrisme menjadi faktor penting yang sering dimainkan dalam isu memartabatkan bahasa kebangsaan oleh kumpulan etnik di Malaysia. Satu kajian di institusi pendidikan tinggi (IPT) telah dilaksanakan ke atas 407 mahasiswa sarjana muda dari Universiti Malaya (UM), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Universiti Selangor (UNISEL) dan Universiti Multimedia (MMU) menggunakan pensampelan rawak berstrata untuk menentukan perbezaan dalam pemartabatan bahasa kebangsaan berdasarkan kumpulan etnik melalui tiga dimensi utama, iaitu i) kefasihan dalam bertutur bahasa kebangsaan, ii) pengiktirafan berkenaan kepentingan bahasa kebangsaan, dan iii) kecanggihan dalam menggunakan bahasa kebangsaan. Dapatan menunjukkan bahawa terdapat perbezaan yang signifikan dalam memartabatkan bahasa kebangsaan dalam kalangan etnik pelbagai. Dapatan mendapati bahawa mahasiswa Cina kurang memartabatkan bahasa kebangsaan berbanding mahasiswa Melayu dan India. Ini menunjukkan bahawa etnisiti memainkan peranan penting dalam menentukan masa depan pemartabatan bahasa kebangsaan sebagai bahasa yang menjadi tanda kesetiaan terhadap Malaysia. Sebagai warganegara Malaysia, etnosentrisme terhadap bahasa perlu dihindari bagi memastikan asimilasi masyarakat pelbagai etnik berlaku melalui medium paling penting, iaitu Bahasa Melayu selaku bahasa kebangsaan Malaysia.

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Published

2024-05-31
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How to Cite

Mohd Tohar, S. N. A., Adlina Ab Halim, & Siti Nor Baya Mat Yacob. (2024). Ethnicity versus National Language: A Study in Malaysian Universities Setting: Persaingan di antara Etnisiti dan Bahasa Kebangsaan: Kajian dalam Persekitaran di Universiti Awam Malaysia. Sains Insani, 9(1), 14-23. Retrieved from https://sainsinsani.usim.edu.my/index.php/sainsinsani/article/view/607
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