In Malaysia, misuse the language, get fined
Associated Press
Oct. 6, 2006

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Malaysia plans to levy fines for incorrect use of its national language and will set up a specialized division to weed out offenders who mix Malay with English.

Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Rais Yatim said fines of up to $271 can be imposed on displays with any wrong or mutated form of Malay, the Star newspaper reported Thursday.

Fines will be imposed after a first warning, according to a report in the national news agency Bernama.

Most Malaysians speak Malay, also known as Bahasa Malaysia. English is widely spoken but a mutated form, known as "Manglish" - a mishmash of English, Malay and other local dialects - is commonly used in the Southeast Asian nation.

Critics have said Malaysia's decision to sideline English in favor of Malay is hurting its global competitiveness.