Proton is holding Bahasa Melayu classes for its expatriate staff, in support of stronger cultural integration its expatriate staff members, the national carmaker revealed in a LinkedIn post. The language classes were initiated by Proton CEO Li Chunrong.

Devised in recognition of the importance of language in communication as well as “a key element towards understanding culture and society in Malaysia”, the Malay language classes were initiated for 20 Chinese expatriates at Proton, and the course will consist of 60 hours of classroom sessions across 30 two-hour classes held once a week.

In these sessions, topics covered will include basic Bahasa Melayu language skills and an introduction to Malaysian norms and culture, the Malaysian automaker wrote in its post.

The language classes began on April 14, and are led by the president of the Han Culture Centre of Malaysia, Datuk Goh Hin San, and deputy editor of Majalah Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, Norsuhaila Ibrahim.

Vice president of HCA at Proton, Amran Tomin expressed confidence that the learning of Bahasa Melayu will help foster closer relationships between those with a better command of the language, which will in turn lead to a better understanding of employees as well as customers.

The language skills will be applicable to export markets such as Indonesia as Proton continues to expand its presence, the carmaker said.