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Monday, October 17, 2016

A Sarawakian made Malay the medium of instruction in schools!


I refer to the comments made by Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem on Oct 17, 2016, criticising the policy of making Malay as the medium of instruction for schools, with effect from 1970.
While personally acquiscing with his opinion that it was the primary reason for the decline in the mastery of the English language in Malaysia, I wish to remind Adenan that it was a Sarawakian minister of education who was instrumental in the implementation of the 'stupid' policy.
It was the late Dato' (as he was then titled) Abdul Rahman Yakub, the minister holding the education portfolio in the late Tun Abdul Razak's cabinet, who bulldozed the policy through.
Riding on the nationalism streak, the then education minister ensured that the policy got off the ground and was implemented on schedule.
Henceforth, commenced the decline of the mastery of the English language by Malaysians!
Being able to converse and communicate in the English language does not make one less Malaysian, but it may instead make one respected and acknowledgeable on the global stage.
I, personally, have experienced the melancholy of young Malaysian graduates struggling to write and express themselves in the English language, despite holding a Master’s or Bachelor's degree from Malaysian universities.
May wisdom overcome political short-sightedness!

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