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Adenan Satem, English Second National Language, Sarawak, Sarawak autonomy, Sarawak Education, Uncategorized

Adenan: Impractical to ignore English

DON’T be narrow-minded about the use of the English language. That was the practical advice of our Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Adenan Satem.

English is the third most used primary language in the world after Mandarin and Spanish.

It is the language of Science and Technology, Commerce, Literature and Diplomacy.

That probably explains why half of webpages are in English.

When our CM declared English as the second official language of the State, he wisely took into consideration all these factors.

He wants to ensure that Sarawakians have the language skills necessary to keep pace with the rest of the world.

Adenan doesn’t want us Sarawakians to be left behind and is not mincing his words about how vital it is not to reject English.

“The country is facing a dilemma by constantly churning out thousands of unemployed graduates who can’t even form a sentence in English.

“It is high time we realise that English ought to be the second language in Malaysia. The first language is of course Bahasa Malaysia, being the national language that we are proud of. But why can’t we be bilingual at the same time?”

As usual, Adenan gets right to the core of the issue without politely beating around the bush.

“I know there are some lingual-nationalists among us. They disagree to the official adaptation of the English language, saying it is the language of our colonial masters. This is true, but English is no longer the language of the Anglo-Saxons. It is the language of the world and if you don’t want to be left behind, you must join the bandwagon.

“Otherwise, you will be left behind and look stupid,” he said.

Let’s ensure we don’t get left behind and look stupid Sarawakians.

The report from The Borneo Post:

Adenan: Be practical, adopt English as second national language to keep pace with the rest of the world

By Geryl Ogilvy Ruekeith

KUCHING: The whole nation, particularly lingual-nationalists, must be practical in matters relating to adopting English as the country’s second national language to ensure a more efficient and competitive human capital development on par with global advancement.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem said the people should not be narrow-minded on the usage of English, seeing that it has become the language of the world.

English has become the global language of commerce, science, technology, literature as well as the medium of interaction between countries and to ignore English would be impractical, he said.

Adenan reminded that past education policies – placing an emphasis on Bahasa Malaysia while ignoring the importance of English – had failed when it came to human capital development.

He attributed the high number of unemployable graduates to their non-proficiency in the English language, which he opines has set the country back by 10 years.

“The country is facing a dilemma by constantly churning out thousands of unemployed graduates who can’t even form a sentence in English.

“It is high time we realise that English ought to be the second language in Malaysia. The first language is of course Bahasa Malaysia, being the national language that we are proud of. But why can’t we be bilingual at the same time?” he questioned.

“I know there are some lingual-nationalists among us. They disagree to the official adaptation of the English language, saying it is the language of our colonial masters. This is true, but English is no longer the language of the Anglo-Saxons. It is the language of the world and if you don’t want to be left behind, you must join the bandwagon.

“Otherwise, you will be left behind and look stupid,” he said when officiating at the launching of “Books for Asia” programme in Sarawak at the State Legislative Assembly complex here today (Feb 15).

Adenan, when stressing the need to learn English on top of Bahasa Malaysia, pointed out many countries have adopted a certain language as their national language without forgetting English. He cited Singapore as being practical, where English is widely spoken by its citizens despite Mandarin and Malay being the native language.

“There was a time, I remember, when a federal minister said that we (the government) will not entertain any correspondent if it is not (written) in Bahasa Malaysia. That is not the right move.

“That is why we have turned down the policy in Sarawak. I don’t care what Putrajaya says, English ought to be the second language in the state. Now you are welcome to write in English or Bahasa Malaysia to correspond with the state government,” he stated.

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