Don't mix Bahasa with other languages in songs

MALAYSIA - Mixing Bahasa Melayu with other languages in song lyrics is considered tainting the language, even if the song is popular and likeable, said Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) director-general Datuk Dr Awang Sariyan.

Berita Harian quoted him as saying that although some local artistes would do this to garner listeners' attention, it was considered wrong in terms of language usage.

"I do not agree when the national language is mixed with other languages because it does not reflect the Malaysian culture.

"For a long time, DBP has discussed with private broadcasting stations to use the language properly, because it will also be used as a reference," he said.

Dr Awang's statement came in the wake of a recent decision by Anugerah Industri Muzik (AIM) that hip hop songs must have 60 per cent Bahasa Melayu lyrics to qualify for nomination.

Veteran lyricist Habsah Hassan added that there was no reason for songwriters to mix languages, no matter the genre of music.

However, local hip hop artistes maintained that their music represented the musical tastes of Malaysians from all races.

Joe Flizzow had said hip hop was universal and covered many languages, while singer and radio presenter Hunny Madu (pic) said it was unfair if the decision applied to all hip hop songs as the music was also presented in vernacular languages.