Bahasa-bahasa Orang Asal/Asli merupakan asas kepada identiti mereka (BM/ENG)

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Orang Asli demanding their rights - File photo courtesy of Komas

[ENGLISH VERSION BELOW] Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia Malaysia (Suhakam) meraikan 9 Ogos 2019 sebagai Hari Antarabangsa Orang Asal Sedunia, yang mana Pertubuhan Bangsa-bangsa menetapkan tema pada tahun ini sebagai Tahun Antarabangsa Bahasa Orang Asal.

Perkara 13 Perisytiharan Pertubuhan Bangsa-bangsa Bersatu mengenai Hak Orang Asal(UNDRIP) menyatakan bahawa “Orang Asal mempunyai hak untuk menggiatkan semula, menggunakan, membangunkan dan mewariskan kepada generasi yang akan datang sejarah, bahasa, tradisi lisan, falsafah, sistem penulisan dan kesusasteraan, dan untuk menamakan dan mengekalkan nama sendiri untuk komuniti, tempat dan orang perseorangan”.

Daripada 137 bahasa yang ditutur di Malaysia,lebih daripada 100 merupakan bahasa Orang Asli/Asal, setiap daripadanya datang dengan budaya dan tradisi yang unik. Pemeliharaan bahasa-bahasa ini bergantung kepada penggunaan dan penyampaian yang berterusan dari satu generasi ke generasi, yang mana ditentukan oleh pemeliharaan komuniti-komuniti Orang Asal/Asli serta budaya mereka.

Walaupun bahasa Orang Asal di Sabah dan Sarawak masih terus berkembang, ada sebahagian daripadanya, terutamanya daripada golongan Orang Asal yang terpencil termasuk bahasa-bahasa lain yang ditutur oleh sebahagian daripada 100,000 Orang Asli di Semenanjung Malaysia semakin diancam kepupusan.

Bahasa memainkan peranan penting dalam kehidupan seharian dan ia amat penting dalam melindungi hak asasi manusia, menjaga keamanan dan pembangunan lestari.

Ini dapat dilaksanakan melalui kepelbagaian budaya dan dialog antara budaya.

Bahasa-bahasa Orang Asal/Asli khususnya adalah penting kerana ia merupakan asas kepada identiti serta pelbagai isu Orang Asal/Asli yang lain terutamanya pendidikan, pembangunan sains dan teknologi, biosfera dan alam sekitar, kebebasan bersuara, pekerjaan dan penyertaan sosial.

Di Semenanjung Malaysia, cabaran-cabaran yang seringkali dialami oleh kanak-kanak Orang Asli merupakan rintangan bahasa. Ini kerana mereka membesar dengan bahasa yang berbeza daripada bahasa yang diajar di sekolah. Perkara ini memberi kesan kepada penyertaan mereka dalam sistem pendidikan dan kecemerlangan dalam pelajaran. Ini mengehadkan keupayaan Orang Asli untuk terus memajukan kehidupan mereka.

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Unesco menggalakkan pendekatan pendidikan dwibahasa atau pelbagai bahasa yang berasaskan bahasa ibunda, yang mana merupakan faktor penting untuk pendidikan yang inklusif dan berkualiti. Kajian menunjukkan bahawa ia mempunyai kesan positif terhadap pembelajaran dan hasil pembelajaran.

Sejak dua dekad yang lalu, terdapat beberapa usaha untuk mengiktiraf pelbagai bahasa Orang Asal/Asli secara formal dan melalui sistem pendidikan seperti pengiktirafan bahasa Iban sebagai subjek sekolah di Sarawak pada awal 1990an dan pengenalan semula bahasa Kadazandusun di sekolah pada tahun 1997.

Di Semenanjung Malaysia, program pengajaran bahasa Semai dilaksanakan pada tahun 1998 di sekolah-sekolah Semai. Program ini merupakan usaha komuniti Orang Asli Semai yang bekerjasama dengan pihak Kerajaan khususnya jabatan pembangunan kurikulum, Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia.

Suhakam menyokong usaha ini dan berharap agar pendidikan formal juga diberikan kepada komuniti Orang Asal/Asli yang lain di Malaysia.

Suhakam akan terus menyokong, mempromosi dan menganjurkan pelbagai program bagi menegakkan hak Orang Asal/Asli di Malaysia khususnya bagi merapatkan jurang dan mewujudkan persekitaran yang sesuai ke arah memastikan akses sama rata kepada pendidikan berkualiti bagi kanak-kanak Orang Asal/Asli, yang juga penting bagi memperkasakan komuniti Orang Asal/Asli.

English version

Orang Asli/Asal languages cornerstone of indigenous identity

The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suharam) observed 9 August as the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, which is complemented by the observance of 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages by the UN.

Article 13 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) states: “Indigenous peoples have the right to revitalise, use, develop and transmit to future generations their histories, languages, oral traditions, philosophies, writing systems and literatures, and to designate and retain their own names for communities, places and persons”.

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Of the 137 living languages spoken in Malaysia, more than 100 constitute indigenous languages, or Orang Asli/Asal languages, each associated with unique cultures and traditions. The preservation of these languages rely on the continued use and transmission from generation to generation, which in turn is determined by the preservation of indigenous communities and their culture.

Although Orang Asal languages in Sabah and Sarawak continue to thrive, some of them, particularly those of smaller indigenous groups, and those spoken by some 100,000 Orang Asli in Peninsular Malaysia are in danger of extinction.

Language plays a crucial role in the daily lives of all people and is pivotal in the areas of human rights protection, peace-building and sustainable development, through ensuring cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue.

Orang Asli/Asal languages in particular are significant as they are a cornerstone of indigenous identity and are involved in a wide range of other indigenous issues, notably education, scientific and technological development,

biosphere and the environment, freedom of expression, employment and social inclusion.

In Peninsular Malaysia, a frequent challenge experienced by Orang Asli children would be the language barrier, as the language that they are raised with differs from that which is taught in school. This directly affects their ability to participate in the education system and to excel in their studies. Understandably, this constrains the ability of Orang Asli to live life

to their full trajectories due to this educational limitation.

Unesco promotes mother tongue-based bilingual or multilingual approaches in education, which is an important factor for inclusion and quality in education. Research shows this has a positive impact on learning and learning outcomes.

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In the past two decades, there have been some efforts to recognise various indigenous languages in a formal and educational capacity, such as the recognition of the Iban language as a school subject in Sarawak in the early 1990s and the reintroduction of the Kadazandusun language in schools in Sabah in 1997.

In the peninsula, the Semai language teaching programme was implemented in 1998 in Semai schools. This programme was made possible through the efforts of the Semai indigenous Orang Asli community who engaged with relevant government authorities, particularly the curriculum development division of the Ministry of Education.

Suhakam supports these efforts and hopes that this formal education recognition can be extended to other indigenous communities in Malaysia.

Suhakam will continue to advocate, promote and continue organising various programmes to uphold the rights of indigenous peoples in Malaysia particularly to bridge the gap and to provide an enabling environment towards ensuring equal access to quality education for indigenous children, which is also instrumental to the empowerment of the indigenous community.

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