PUTRAJAYA, 06 Julai 2023 – “We do not recommend that any other language should become an official language. This has not been found necessary in the past and we think that it might lead to great inconvenience… but we think that it is right that for all ordinary purposes Malay should in due course become the sole official language.”
Peguam bagi pihak perayu, Tn Aidil Khalid, ketika berhujah sebagai peguam perayu kedua, membentang fakta bahawa Suruhanjaya Reid mencadangkan bahawa semua bentuk penggunaan bahasa selain dari Bahasa Melayu, diberikan tempoh had masa kebenaran penggunaannya bagi urusan rasmi hanya sehingga 10 tahun selepas Merdeka.
Beliau memetik dua perenggan dalam muka surat 76 Laporan Suruhanjaya Reid, semasa menyampaikan hujah bahawa Hasrat Suruhanjaya Reid itu sendiri, selepas mendapatkan lebih 100 memorandum dan mengadakan 31 mesyuarat libat urus, memutuskan bahawa Bahasa Melayu harus menjadi satu-satunya bahasa rasmi dalam negara dalam satu jangka waktu yang munasabah.
Laporan Suruhanjaya Reid 1957 di muka surat 76 mencadangkan Bahasa Melayu sebagai Bahasa Kebangsaan, seperti berikut:-
We received a large number of representations on this subject. After giving full consideration to them we have decided to recommend that Malay should be the national language and that for a period of at least ten years English should continue to be used as an official language. There are many citizens of the Federation who have had little opportunity in the past of learning to speak Malay fluently and we think that it would not be fair to them that Malay should become the sole official language in the immediate future. Moreover, we think that it would be impracticable to abolish the use of English before 10 years have 34 elapsed. After 10 years it should be left to Parliament to decide when a change should be made and we have framed our recommendations so as to enable Parliament to proceed by stages if it thinks fit to do so. It may be found desirable first to discontinue the use of English for some purposes and then to discontinue its use for other purposes at some later date. We do not recommend that any other language should become an official language. This has not been found necessary in the past and we think that it might lead to great inconvenience. But in the past it has been found desirable that many notices, announcements and other documents should be published in Chinese and Tamil as well as in Malay and English and we think that this will continue to be desirable for some considerable time. Our recommendations will not prevent this being done, but it is impossible to define the circumstances in which it should be done.
We have been impressed by representations that the existing law may prevent the election to the legislatures of persons whom the electors may desire to elect, and we recommend two changes: in the first place we think that there should be no language qualification for candidates, and we have drafted Article 41 in such a way as to abolish this qualification and prevent its reimposition. Secondly we think that for ten years there should be a limited right to speak in a legislature in a Chinese or Indian language. Our proposal limits this right to those who cannot speak fluently in either Malay or English, and for practical reasons it is necessary to limit the right to cases where a member who can speak the language in question can take the chair and where there can be a record of the speech. We do not recommend the institution of a system of interpreters: it would be cumbrous and expensive and might be difficult to operate. Our recommendation is based on the view that speeches in Chinese or Indian languages should be exceptional and we would not think it right to open the door for the regular use of these languages in debate. There are some purposes, such as the authoritative text of an Act of Parliament and proceedings in Courts of Justice other than taking of evidence, for which it may be found best to retain the English language for a considerable number of years, but we think that it is right that for all ordinary purposes Malay should in due course become the sole official language. Our recommendations are not intended to put obstacles in the way of that transition, but rather to regulate the transition emerge so that it may take place in a manner fair to all communities.
Pendengaran hujah kes Rayuan Saman Sekolah Vernakular semalam bersidang selama hampir 5 jam di hadapan Hakim YA Datuk Supang Lian, YA Dato’ Gunalan A/L Muniandy, YA Dato’ Azizul Azmi Bin Adnan.
Persidangan ditangguhkan ke satu tarikh yang akan ditetapkan dalam pengurusan kes pada 6 Julai 2023 atas permintaan peguam perayu dan peguam-peguam responden.