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National Language Acts 1963/1967 [Act 32]

1 Short title, application and commencement   cite [+]

(1) This Act may be cited as the National Language Acts 1963/1967 and shall, subject to subsection (2), apply throughout Malaysia.

(2) This Act shall come into force in the States of Sabah and Sarawak on such dates as the respective State Authorities may by enactments of the Legislatures of the respective States appoint and different dates may be appointed for the coming into force of different provisions of this Act in those States.

2 National language to be used for official purposes   cite [+]

Save as provided in this Act and subject to the safeguards contained in Article 152(1) of the Constitution relating to any other language and the language of any other community in Malaysia the national language shall be used for official purposes.

3 Use of translation   cite [+]

Nothing in this Act shall affect the right of the Federal Government or the Government of any State to use any translation of official documents or communications in any other language for such purposes as may be deemed necessary in the public interest.

4 Continued use of English may be permitted   cite [+]

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong may permit the continued use of the English language for such official purposes as may be deemed fit.

5 Use of English language may be permitted in Parliament and Legislative Assembly   cite [+]

The President of Dewan Negara, the Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat and the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of any State, or other person performing for the time being the functions of any such office, may permit any member of either House of Parliament or of the Legislative Assembly to use the English language in addressing, or otherwise participating in the work of the House or the Legislative Assembly, as the case may be.

6 Authoritative text of laws   cite [+]

The texts-

(a) of all Bills to be introduced or amendments thereto to be moved in Parliament or the Legislative Assembly of any State;

(b) of all Acts of Parliament and all subsidiary legislation issued by the Federal Government;

(c) of all Enactments and subsidiary legislation issued by any State Government; and

(d) of all Ordinances promulgated by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong,


shall be in the national language and in the English language, the former being authoritative unless the Yang di-Pertuan Agong otherwise prescribes generally or in respect of any particular law or class of laws.

7 Written laws enacted prior to 1 September 1967   cite [+]

(1) Where any written law enacted before the first day of September 1967, has been translated into the national language the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may prescribe the translation of that law to be authoritative.

(2) Nothing in section 6 shall apply to the amendment of any written law enacted before the first day of September 1967, until that written law has been translated into the national language and the translation has been prescribed to be authoritative.

8 Language of Courts   cite [+]

All proceedings (other than the giving of evidence by a witness) in the Federal Court, Court of Appeal, the High Court or any Subordinate Court shall be in the national language:

Provided that the Court may either of its own motion or on the application of any party to any proceedings and after considering the interests of justice in those proceedings, order that the proceedings (other than the giving of evidence by a witness) shall be partly in the national language and partly in the English language.

9 Script of national language   cite [+]

The script of the national language shall be the Rumi script:
provided that this shall not prohibit the use of the Malay script, more commonly known as the Jawi script, of the national language.

10 Form of numerals   cite [+]

The form of numerals in the national language shall be the Arabic form of numerals.


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