Sat, 29 Oct 1994

Governor wants correct use of Bahasa Indonesia

JAKARTA (JP): Governor Surjadi Soedirdja urged Jakartans yesterday to use correct Bahasa Indonesia in his address commemorating the 66th Youth Pledge Day.

The governor's speech, which was read by Deputy Governor Tb. M. Rais, said that he will keep on reminding the people of the importance of using correct Indonesian language, especially since more and more people from foreign countries have started to learn Indonesian.

Indonesia celebrates the youth pledge every year to commemorate the historical oath which was taken by representatives of young Indonesian activists on Oct. 28, 1928. The pledge was aimed at uniting all young people throughout the country to fight Dutch colonialist forces in Indonesia.

The young activists pledged that they would have only one nation, one country, and one language, Bahasa Indonesia.

Although the Indonesian archipelago has nearly 400 ethnic languages and dialects, Bahasa Indonesia, the country's official language, is spoken by 83 percent of the population.

This is not the first time the governor has called to use correct Indonesian. In August he urged the public to avoid using foreign words which already have Indonesian equivalents.

He said that the use of good and correct Indonesian will strengthen national unity and reinforce our cultural personality.

Surjadi was apparently referring to a large number of billboards and notice boards using foreign words across the city.

In an effort to spread the use of proper Indonesian language to business entities employing billboards and banners, the directorate of Socio-Political Affairs Office of the Jakarta administration conducted a three-day course for the managements of hotels, restaurants and department stores in August.

Meanwhile, J.S. Badudu, a professor of Indonesian literature at Padjadjaran University in Bandung, West Java, said that Indonesians must be aware that the language is a national asset.

He said that the awareness should not only arouse Indonesians' sense of pride in possessing the national language but also should challenge the Indonesian people to use it correctly and properly.

Surjadi also said that the spirit of the youth pledge should inspire all members of the Indonesian Civil Servant Corps (KORPRI) to do their utmost with a high degree of integrity.

"As the people who carry out the nation's development tasks, KORPRI members are obliged to help create the image of a clean and dignified government," he said. (mas)