Sunday, November 22, 2009

Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi's idiotic comment

Another idiotic comment from our Minister. Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi, the Deputy Education Minister deserved to receive the flakes from all quarters for his idiotic comment on the English language. I'm sure his children are probably studying in foreign universities using English as the learning medium. An ability to master another language doesn't mean a person is unpatriotic.

Deputy Education Minister Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi’s comment that the private sector should use Bahasa Malaysia and not English has been criticised by many quarters.

Chairman of the centre for public policy studies at the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam said Malaysians need to move fast to become what the Prime Minister had called a high-income nation.

“When you deal with foreign investors, most if not all will certainly not understand our local language.

“We have to be pragmatic and progressive in this era of globalisation.

“Malaysia cannot be regressive and stay in isolation as a middle-income nation,” he said yesterday.

On Tuesday, Dr Mohd Puad reportedly said Malaysians in the private sector should use Bahasa Malaysia and not English.

The private sector, Dr Puad said, had tarnished the image of the national language by not using Bahasa Malaysia.

Parent Action Group for Education chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said Dr Puad’s suggestion was a retrogressive one and would defeat the Prime Minister’s call for the people to move forward to turn Malaysia into a high income nation.

“In fact, as the international lingua franca, the use of English had even exceeded the use of Chinese and Indian languages as the international language of communication.

“Certainly, our private sector needs to attract foreign investors here and they must communicate in English,” she added.

Malaysian English Language Teaching Association president Dr Ganakumaran Subramaniam said English was a necessity for the private sector to do business with global industry players.

“To ask the private sector to communicate in Bahasa Malaysia does not make business sense,” he added.

Ter Leong Yap of the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Malaysia said as English was the common communication tool among businessmen, problems in the usage of the language would become a barrier to business growth.

Kota Belud MP Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan said Malaysia was losing its edge to China, Vietnam and even Laos and if English was going to be the language of international communication, then the country could not afford to lose out.

He said there was no intention by the private sector to be unpatriotic, but it needed to move fast to ensure business success in a time and financially-sensitive environment.

“The Deputy Minister’s comment is off-target, and to generalise the notion that someone is unpatriotic for not using the national language, especially when they are involved in trade, is far off.

“One size doesn’t fit all,” he said.

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Brian Barker said...

I think we need an international lingua franca as well.

I notice that Barack Obama wants everyone to learn another language, but which one should it be? The British learn French, the Australians study Japanese, and the Americans prefer Spanish.

Why not decide on a neutral non-national language, taught worldwide, in all nations?

An interesting video can be seen at A glimpse of Esperanto can be seen at

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