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Penang goes ahead with multi-language signage

PENANG, 7 Nov 2008: The Penang government will proceed with its plan to put up road signages in various languages in heritage areas despite objections from various parties.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the state government would proceed with the plan as it was not throwing away the signage in Bahasa Malaysia but was adding other suitable languages for the benefit of tourists.

The state government was not disputing the position of Bahasa Malaysia as the country’s official language and was in fact respecting it, he told reporters at his office here, today.

“To me, the question that we are brushing aside the language does not arise because we are not discarding or replacing it with another language. It’s just that we are adding a language that is suitable to the location for the convenience of tourists who come to the state,” he said.

As such, he said the state government would proceed with the plan although there were many objections as well as a suit filed by the Gabungan Graduan Melayu Muda against the state government.

However, Lim said the state government must abide by the court if it decided that having multi-language signages could not be done.

He also said that the issue should not be politicised because the use of Arabic language and the Jawi script besides Bahasa Malaysia had already been practised in Kuala Lumpur and Johor.

In another development, Lim welcomed the Shah Alam High Court decision to release blogger and Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamarudin from detention under the Internal Security Act (ISA) after it allowed a habeas corpus application today.

He said the decision would set an example for other ISA detention cases including the five Hindraf leaders, and signify that the ISA would soon be irrelevant. — Bernama


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