KUCHING: Prime Minister Najib Razak today advised Malaysians to master various languages in order to foster better trade ties in a globalised world.
He said being proficient in several languages would benefit them greatly.
He cited as an example English, the lingua franca of the world, that was becoming increasingly important.
He also said Mandarin was a good language to learn to better communicate with China, a country fast emerging as the largest economy in the world, Bernama reported.
However, Bahasa Malaysia must not be neglected, he said, as it was an effective communication tool to unite the various communities in the country.
Speaking at the launch of the SJK Chung Hua No 4 new building here today, Najib said he had personally encouraged his own son to learn Mandarin, Bernama reported.
“We want people to prosper, not only academically, but also to be instilled with good values… just like the Chinese who believe in good character and good values.
“There is one Chinese proverb I like very much — ‘whenever you drink water from a well, you must never forget the person who dug the well’.”
The school’s new building that cost RM4.6 million, consists of a multi-purpose hall, school office, eight classrooms and a canteen. Work that began in November 2015, was completed within four months.
The prime minister allocated RM1.5 million for the construction with Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg allocating RM800,000 and project contractor, Lee Onn Group, donating RM1.33 million.
Star Online reported Najib as saying the government would continue to support the growth of Chinese education in the country.
“When I took office as prime minister, there was a shortage of teachers in Chinese schools. I called for a meeting and soon enough, the problem was addressed.
“I also embarked on supporting the national education blueprint, making sure Chinese schools are here to stay and continue to serve the nation,” he said.
Najib added that the opening of Xiamen University in Kuala Lumpur last year — the first overseas campus approved by the Chinese government — was testimony that the Malaysian government was committed to providing quality education.
The news portal said Abang Johari gave his assurance that the Sarawak government would continue its policies on Chinese education introduced by his predecessor, the late Adenan Satem, which included recognition of the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC), awarded by independent Chinese schools.
He said the state government would increase its annual funding to Chinese schools to RM6 million.
Najib is expected to visit Lundu tomorrow before ending his three-day working visit to Sarawak. -FMT