Did you know that besides Bahasa Melayu, English is still Sarawak’s official language?
The only state in our country that still recognises English as the official language, the stance was re-iterated by the Unity Government late last year as reported by the Borneo Post following the Sarawak State Government’s request.
Now, the East Malaysian state is also expanding the use of English in mosques, whereby Sarawak Premier, Datuk Seri Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg announced that a new mosque in Kuching will deliver Friday Khutbah or sermons in English.
According to the Sarawak Public Communication Unit (UKAS), the mosque is currently being developed at Kuching’s Jalan Simpang Tiga and would replace the Darul Ittihaad Mosque.
Abang Johari added that once completed, the mosque will deliver sermon in English to make it easier for those who are not well-versed in Bahasa Melayu to understand.
According to another report by the Borneo Post, the Sarawak Premier was quoted as saying,
“We will request the [Sarawak] Islamic Religious Department for the sermon during Friday prayers to be conducted in English.”
“This will enable more people to understand the sermon especially non-Malays who are Muslims and not fluent in Bahasa Melayu but more proficient in English.”
Abang Johari further elaborated that this will be similar to the Al-Falah Mosque at Singapore’s Orchard Road which has been using English for Friday sermons. He added,
“In Singapore, there is a mosque not far from Ascott Hotel where the sermon is in English,”
Besides that, the Sarawak Premier also commented that the number of Muslims in the state has increased from 28% to 34% according to the 2020 statistics from the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM).
So, what do you guys think of the statement by Abang Johari? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.