KUALA LUMPUR: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) director-general Datuk Dr Awang Sariyan said business operators should be more careful with the language when displaying their advertisements or signboards.
"DBP is responsible for monitoring the use of our national language. We have to give greater importance to Bahasa Malaysia as we want it to be preserved and maintained as the official language," said Awang.
"Mistakes such as grammatical errors, incorrect spelling, using bahasa rojak or slang should not happen in advertisements, especially when they are placed in public areas.
"We have no power to issue compounds or fines to the business operators or advertisers should they use improper Bahasa Malaysia on the advertisements.
"We can only highlight their errors and advise them on the appropriate way to write in Bahasa Malaysia. But if they refuse, there's nothing we can do about it.
"This issue is being discussed in parliament. There is a consideration to review the National Language Act so that we can take stern action against those who fail to observe the guidelines," he said.
DBP has also introduced a star-rating on use of Bahasa Malaysia in municipalities since June.
"This programme is to help empower the use of our national language and also to encourage the local authorities to use proper Bahasa Malaysia in advertisement.
"Of course, we allow the use of English on the signboards or advertisements but they must give priority to Bahasa Malaysia and English should be written in lowercase," he said.
Based on the star-rating exercise, local councils which use excellent Bahasa Malaysia will be awarded with a token of appreciation and recognition by DBP.