KUALA LUMPUR, 28 Oct 2008: The Penang government was today told not to politicise language in its recent move to have road signs in different languages. Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said the move was disrespectful of the recent call by the Council of Rulers that had reminded people not to question what was enshrined in the Constitution.
“The use of the national language should be practised to strengthen unity among the people,” Shafie said after witnessing the measuring of the longest Chinese landscape painting in Malaysia by the Malaysia Book of Records company today.
The painting by Puan Sri Catherina Lee measured 585.9 meters and took eight years to complete.
Mohd Shafie said the use of several languages was not necessary as the people understood Bahasa Malaysia and knew the names of roads in their areas.
“The primary function of road signs is to show location, not to promote language. Tourists, too can read road signs,” he said.
On the Umno party polls, Shafie, who is an Umno supreme council member, said the proposal by Datuk Seri Rais Yatim that aspirants state their vision and mission was unnecessary.
“Umno members know their candidates and know how to choose,” he said.
Shafie is now eligible to contest for a vice-president post after getting 45 nominations while Rais has eight for the same post.
The required number of nominations to be eligible for contest is 20. — Bernama