English in the legal field is important due to past laws
SHAH ALAM - Malaysia still needs the English language in the legal field, as the legal system and past laws were written in English, said Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali.
The Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Sabah, Sarawak Affairs and Special Functions) said that Bahasa Melayu was the official language for states under Malay authority and it remained so along with the use of English language when the British became those state's protectors.
According to MalayMail, Armizan also said that Article 152 of the Federal Constitution guaranteed the dignity of the national language, specifically the Malay language after the nation gained independence.
"However, in terms of the legal field, Malaysia still needs the English language as our country still uses the legal system of the common law, equity and cases relating to those are in the English language.
"There are many laws of the country, especially laws that were used before Merdeka and laws passed by Parliament after Merdeka until September 1, 1967, which are in the English language, and those laws are still in effect, apart from several laws which have been translated to the Bahasa Melayu," he said in a written parliamentary reply yesterday.
"Among efforts to dignify the use of Bahasa Melayu in the legal field is the proposal by the Attorney-General’s Chambers for the edition of the Federal Constitution to be translated into Bahasa Melayu to replace the original text in the English language as the authoritative text," the Malay Mail reported
The parliamentary reply was given in response to a question by Parit Buntar MP Mohd Misbahul Munir Masduki.
Misbahul was questioning on what steps were being taken to promote the use of Bahasa Malaysia in all matters, especially in finance firms which he claimed were still using English in their client agreements.