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September 16, 2004

Include Malaysian Sign Language in education, Government urged

From: The Malaysia Star, Malaysia - Sept 16, 2004

PETALING JAYA: The Government should incorporate the Malaysian Sign Language or Bahasa Isyarat Malaysia (BIM) into the school curriculum to be used as the medium of communication, said a sign language interpreter.

YMCA Self Reliance Centre for the Deaf executive-in-charge Lucy Lim said this would help in the development and education of the deaf and increase the pool of instructors and interpreters.

She said, however, the BIM was not recognised in Malaysia, unlike Thailand, Japan and New Zealand where they recognised their own sign languages.

She pointed out that the present use of Bahasa Malaysia Kod Tangan to teach the deaf in schools was slow, tedious and not as effective as BIM.

"The instructors are deaf adults trained in BIM and deaf culture to teach those who can hear and the deaf," she said.

"The interpreters learn sign language as well as sign language interpretation. They serve both the deaf and the hearing community.

"At the moment, to become an interpreter, one has to learn sign language first. And to learn sign language, one must have the sign language instructor. "Both are essential for the development of the deaf community," she added.

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