A number of ministers have stated their intent to make Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian language) an internationally-spoken language, despite many locals apparently struggling to speak the language properly amid a barrage of English and a proliferation of slang and colloquialisms.
Education and Culture Minister Mohammad Nuh rallied the 10th Bahasa Indonesia Congress to make Bahasa Indonesia an internationally spoken lingua franca.
"Let's make it a global language and contribute positively to the world," Nuh said on Monday.
He was speaking in front of more than 1,100 teachers, students and literary buffs present at the congress. The event, which this year had the theme Strengthening Bahasa Indonesia at the International level, coincided with the commemoration of Youth Pledge Day, the anniversary of when Indonesian nationalists pledged to unite the country through the collective use of Bahasa Indonesia as the national language.
A number of representatives from language centers from around the world also attended the congress, including the language and literature councils of Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, Timor Leste, Japan and Germany.
Separately, Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan, expressed hope that Indonesian would become the official language of ASEAN.
"We hope Indonesian can be recognised in the 21st century by the world and it will be able to influence the world's geopolitical map," Gita said as quoted by Antara news agency on Monday.
"I hope Indonesia will become a dynamic nation and that the national language can continue to develop, in terms of grammar, vocabulary and style."