My latest on how few people speak the Malay language in urban areas in the Sun Newspaper:
But as a Malaysian, I think I fare pretty well language-wise. This is why the salesman’s reaction was somewhat of a surprise. Pockets of Malaysia are like this, for those who don’t believe me. Of course, it’s not often that a Malaysian gasps when I can’t speak any Chinese dialect and ask my friends, “Is he Malaysian?” Often, it is foreign workers.
But the thing is, Malay is not a difficult language to pick up. Does it have gender for nouns? No. Does it have conjugation of verbs? Nope. Add one word and it becomes past tense. Add another word and it becomes future tense. Add a prefix to a verb and it becomes the passive voice. In addition, Malay is not a tonal language. “Makan” is still “eat” no matter what tone it is said in. Difficult? Not at all!