Royal call to standardise usage of Jawi spelling
Rokiah Mahmud

His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Malik yesterday expressed hope that an integrated and coordinated standard and methods could be used in educational institutions, government agencies and the public sector in the country in the standardisation of Jawi spelling. HRH delivered a sabda during the launching of the National Conference on Jawi Spelling, Methodology and Coordination at Indera Samudra Hall of The Empire Hotel and Country Club.

HRH expressed his hope that the conference would have fruitful discussions and provide solutions in order to overcome confusions that have occurred in the correct usage of Jawi spelling and scripts.

"The conference is being held at the right time as the problems need to be resolved immediately and most importantly the usage of Jawi shall continue to be used in the country."

HRH congratulated the organising committee for its initiative in empowering the usage of Jawi in various fields and aspects. HRH added that it reflects the committee's commitment and efforts as well as its initiative to provide the correct usage of Jawi spelling in the country.

HRH expressed his optimism that every individual in the country would be literate in understanding, writing and reading the Jawi script.

"I hope that the usage of Jawi writing will effectively be spread widely in the country."

HRH went on to say that there are still many areas that need to be addressed and looked into in improving and inculcating the usage of Jawi in the country. Efforts need to be made in reviving and empowering Jawi writing.

"With such commitments it would demonstrate the uniqueness and prominence of this country as a Malay Islamic Monarchy, make us into a Zikir nation and help achieve Brunei's Vision 2035 and be blessed by Allah the Almighty," HRH said.

HRH Prince 'Abdul Malik then officiated the opening of the National Conference on Jawi Spelling, Methodology and Coordination and later received a 'pesambah' presented by the Minister of Religious Affairs.

The National Conference on Jawi Spelling, Methodology and Coordination carries the objective in preserving, protecting and enhancing Jawi in Brunei Darussalam so that its existence in the country is guaranteed.

Earlier, HRH was greeted on arrival by the Minister of Religious Affairs, Pengiran Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohammad bin Pengiran Haji Abd Rahman and Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hazair bin Haji Abdullah.

The ceremony commenced with a recital of al-Quran read by Awangku Amirul Aiman bin Pengiran Haji Merzuki, a 4th year student at Religious University Training College of Seri Begawan.

In his opening remarks, the Minister of Religious Affairs said that judging on the advancement of technology today, the use of Jawi writing is feared to be under threat with the emergence of multiple spellings and lack of uniformity which could lead to confusion amongst the community.

The minister also outlined the objectives of the conference which are to serve as a medium in identifying the correct methods of Jawi spelling and its methodology and hoped to develop a more standardised and uniform spelling in order to overcome the issues.

The minister expressed his gratefulness for the cooperation and efforts shown by religious and general educational institutions as well as the Language and Literature Bureau in upholding Jawi writing in the country.

After the speech, a presentation of premier paperwork was delivered by Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Yahya bin Haji Ibrahim, the Syar'ie Chief Judge on a topic entitled "Issues and Methods on the Usage of Jawi spelling".

Before leaving the conference, HRH Prince 'Abdul Malik signed a royal parchment.

The two-day conference includes three segments of discussions namely the presentation of premier paperwork, presentation of three main papers and a forum. Meanwhile on the second day of the conference the participants will attend a workshop to discuss and analyse the premier and main paperwork delivered on the first day.

With the theme 'Reinforcing the Jawi Spelling as the Nation's Heritage', the conference has been joined by some 200 participants representing various government ministries and departments, the Islamic Education Department, Higher Education Institutions as well as individuals.

The conference is organised by the Ministry of Religious Affairs, and Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, coordinated by Religious Teachers University College of Seri Begawan and the Language and Literature Bureau. The conference is also held in collaboration with the Department of Schools and Department of Islamic Education. - Borneo Bulletin (5 July 2012)