WELL our Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Adenan Satem has been talking about the importance of the use of the English language for quite awhile now.
In true Adenan fashion, he has walked the talk and made English an official language for the State along with Bahasa Malaysia.
“There is no need for any official correspondence between government departments to be in Bahasa Malaysia all the time, you can use English in your correspondence at the same time,” he said.
Now what does that mean?
Well to begin with English can be used for official government correspondence.
While non-civil servants or those who deal very little with the civil service may wonder what the point of that is, the move is significant.
It means the State officially acknowledges how important it is to be able to at least be competent in this international language.
Anyone who surfs the Internet will know that more than half of the content online is in the English language.
While that may not sound significant, the next closest language in terms of content online would be pages in Russian, German and Japanese, which are just around 5% each.
That’s right. Around 55% of Internet content is in English. The rest of the content is many different languages but pages in each of those languages do not even reach 6%.
If Sarawakians are not able to understand this global language, we will just slip further and further behind everyone else in this world.
“I have been labelled as not being nationalistic or patriotic enough by others when I advocate for the use of English in Sarawak. I am just being practical and logical,” said Adenan.
Our Chief Minister has sent a very clear picture to the world on where Sarawak stands when it comes to prioritising the use of the English language.
Let’s make sure he gets the support he rightly deserves.
The story from The Malay Mail
Sarawak makes English official language along with BM
KUCHING, Nov 18 ― Sarawak has adopted English as the official language of the state administration, apart from Bahasa Malaysia, Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem said today.
Adenan told the state civil service gathering this morning that official government correspondence can be in both languages, adding that it was a practical and logical step.
“There is no need for any official correspondence between government departments to be in Bahasa Malaysia all the time, you can use English in your correspondence at the same time,” he said in his speech at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here.
“I have been labelled as not being nationalistic or patriotic enough by others when I advocate for the use of English in Sarawak. I am just being practical and logical,” he said.
The chief minister said the use of English is necessary and unavoidable, also pointing out that it is the language of science.
He cited recent reports claiming that graduates here have been finding it hard to get employment because of their poor command of English and said this proves his point on the need to be proficient in the language.
“I do not know who made the decision not to use English in the past, but it has adversely affected other people now,” he said.
Adenan then urged the state’s civil servants to be skillful in English, reminding them that it is a universal language used as a communication tool across the globe.
On a separate matter, the chief minister issued a reminder to federal officers from other states to serve Sarawak well when they are posted here.
“You are in Sarawak to serve the people here. If you don’t, we will file complaints with your big bosses in Kuala Lumpur, and we have every right to complain,” he said.
He said he will ask federal lawmakers from Sarawak to complain to Parliament if federal departmental heads here do not adequately serve the state.
“The complaints will then become political issues,” he said.
Federal officers not happy with serving in Sarawak can always request for transfers, he added.
“We have no problem with that, but we must insist that you must serve the state well,” he said.