Strengthening of Malay Language as Language of Unity in Private Higher Education Institutions
The Malaysian Constitution has set Malay language as the official language of the country and the medium of teaching and learning (Noraien Mansor & Noor Rohana Mansor, 2013). The usage of the Malay language should not be disturbed as it becomes an important medium in establishing and strengthening the harmonious and unity of the Malaysian society. However, it is found today that the solidification of Malay language has continuously been challenged and undermined it as a national and unity language as a result of the influence and development of the world's new order which shows that the usage of English language has been prioritised in the field of education, employment and communication (Nor Hashimah Jalaluddin, 2010). The emphasis on the importance of science and technology as well as English language has been resulted in losing confidence towards the Malay language among some individuals including the non-Malay students from the private universities and those who are using English language as their learning medium. Furthermore, there is a group of students who are more convenience in using their mother tongues languages than the Malay language. This study aims to discuss the issue of the usage of Malay language in the private higher education institutions and to analyse the weaknesses in the usage of Malay language among the private university students. Hence, a study was conducted on 100 private university students by using random sampling methods. The findings reveal that the level of strengthening of Malay language among the private university students is moderate. This is due to the issues of Malay language usage in the private universities including the students' priorities on the English language, lacking of fluency in Malay language, lacking of co-operation and efforts among the lecturers and university management, lacking of emphasis on constitutional meanings and lacking of confidence on the status of Malay language. Thus, the scenario in strengthening the Malay language among the private university students should not be undervalued but need to be strengthened prior to the threat of destruction as Malay language has the greatest potential in various fields and this generation is able to shape the stability of social relations as well as the continuity of the Malay language in the Malaysian civilization.