Learn Bahasa Malaysia

Learn Bahasa Malaysia

‘Bahasa’ means ‘language’, and Bahasa Malaysia (Malaysian language) is a variant of Malay, a major Malayo-Polynesian member of the Austronesian family of languages that spans from Madagascar in Africa to Hawaii in the United States of America. Malay or its variant is adopted as the national language of Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and to a large extent Indonesia, where it is known as Bahasa Indonesia. Its status as an official language of many states throughout history also makes it the lingua franca of over 300 million people in Southeast Asia, including in parts of Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, East Timor and southern Philippines.

Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (Malay for ‘the language and literary authority’) or DBP is the government body in charge of monitoring and regulating the standardised version of Malay in Malaysia. It works hand-in-hand with Majlis Bahasa Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia (Language Council for Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia), a regional body that monitors the evolution and guides the use of the language in the region. DBP produces Kamus Dewan whilst its Indonesian counterpart Badan Pengembangan Bahasa dan Perbukuan produces Kamus Besar Bahasa Indonesia (the Great Indonesian Dictionary), the two authoritative points of reference for the language.

Would you like to communicate with locals during your Southeast Asia tours like a pro? DBP in collaboration with language institutes in Malaysia offer various opportunities to learn Malay at different levels, be it for leisure, academic or business purposes. If you have yet to arrive in Malaysia and would like to learn the basics, many providers such as Udemy, FutureLearn and L-Lingo offer a beginner’s course online, some are even for free! Should you want to learn more and at higher levels, you may search for the right course at one of the language institutes below.

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Sarah Azreen Abdul Samat

Sarah has over 22 years of experience in corporate finance transactions involving equity issuance, mergers and acquisitions, fundraising, corporate restructuring, and corporate valuation, amongst others. She began her career in investment banking with Malaysian International Merchant Bankers Berhad in 2001 after obtaining her professional qualifications from PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Later in her career, she joined other investment banking institutions in Malaysia such as AmInvestment Bank Berhad, Maybank Investment Bank Berhad and RHB Investment Bank Berhad.

Presently, Sarah sits as Non-Independent Non-Executive Director of Reneuco Berhad and Independent Director of Pharmaniaga Berhad. She is currently the Executive Director of 3p Capital Advisers Sdn. Bhd., a company licensed with the Securities Commission Malaysia to provide advisory services to the capital market players.

Tuan Haji Ismail Bin Mohamed

Tuan Haji Ismail Mohamed sits on the Board of Director for Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS). He obtains his Bachelor Degree in Business Administration from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).

Prior to sitting on the EMGS Board, he was also appointed to be the Board of Director to KEJORA from 2013 to 2018, and several companies such as Permodalan Darul Takzim Sdn Bhd, Perbadanan Usahawan Johor Sdn Bhd, PIJ Holding and Ranhil SAJ Sdn Bhd. Tuan Haji Ismail Mohamed also co-founded Pertama.

He started his career by setting up a company and being the founder of JYBB Enterprise. His career came to prominence when he became the co-founder and the Chief Executive Officer of Pertama Polyerethane Technology (M) Sdn Bhd and subsequently became the Special Officer to the Minister of Education in 2013.

Ismail Mohamed is acknowledged for his expertise in Agriculture and Agro-based industry, landing him being appointed as the Chairman of the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Committee of the Johor State, the Chairman of Agro KEJORA and the Chairman of the Johor State Agriculture, Agro-based industry, Entrepreneurial Development and Cooperatives Committee.