“It is high time that all the Malay organisations mobilised all their resources and called on the government to restore the Malay seat in Parliament through a Constitutional provision” stated T.K. Azoor, Attorney-at-Law, making his Presidential Address at the “HariBahasaMelayu Ke-10” [10th Malay Language Day] held at the New Town Hall, Colombo 7 recently. The function was held in conjunction with the 127th Birth Anniversary of National Hero, Al Haj Dr. T.B. Jayah, organised by the Conference of Sri Lankan Malays [COSLAM] to preserve, popularize and develop the Malay Language which had been declared an “Endangered language” by UNESCO, 10 years ago.
Speaking further, Azoor enumerated the disadvantages faced by the community in not having a voice in Parliament since 1993 and the numerous representations made by COSLAM to have this glaring omission rectified.
The chief guest Wan Zaidi Wan Abdullah, High Commissioner of Malaysia in Sri Lanka, in his speech commended COSLAM for all the efforts made during the last 10 years to preserve the Malay Language which was an essential component in maintaining the identity of the community.
The Al Haj Dr. T.B. Jayah Oration was delivered by Dr. Ameena Cassim Ph.D., Senior Lecturer of the University of Peradeniya. She pointed out the salient features of the life and times of Dr. Jayah with reference to the teachings of the Holy Quran.Thirty prize-winners who had excelled in the Malay Language, Oratory and Essay Competitions held in connection with HariBahasaMelayu Ke-10 were awarded their prizes with the Principal of Zahira College, Colombo, Tryzviiy Marikkar performing the honours. They were from Puttalam, Akbar Town Wattala, Hambantota, Kirinda and Malay Colony Ambalantota.
Two special features were the awarding of the ANUGERAH MASYARAKAT MELAYU [Malay Community Award] to Edward Chandrasiri, author of the treatise “Malaywarunge Abhimanaya” which documents valuable details of the community and the release of the first Malay-Sinhala Dictionary jointly authored by B.D.K. Saldin and Prof. Vinni Vitharana.