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Monday, October 24, 2011

Open Letter From Mr. LEE LAM THYE

Politician and social activist

Rejuvenating the nation via English

THE pleas for the teaching, learning and use of the English language must not be made into an issue when it is done in the interest of our future generation and for the sake of our nation’s progress and its future well-being.
As we strive to achieve Vision 2020, it is essential for us to adopt a practical and open-minded approach towards any language that can contribute to the nation’s progress while remaining firm and steadfast in ensuring that Bahasa Melayu is the country’s official and national language.
However, we must also accept the reality that knowledge of one language is insufficient in this modern and technological age. We need to have a command of other languages for progress and development, be it English, Chinese, etc.
We learn and use English as it is an international language for science and technology, business and commerce. We should strive to be bilingual or even multi-lingual now that most Malaysians, particularly the younger generation, have mastered Bahasa Melayu.
English is vital if Malaysians are not to be left behind. The ability to learn and use English or any other language should be seen as a progressive move to improve our knowledge and expertise as well as to enhance our graduates’ employment prospects.
The fear of the English language, which some still regard as a legacy of British colonialism, is clearly misplaced and needs to be rectified.
To overcome this, more needs to be done to convince parents and students, particularly those in the rural areas, on the importance of learning English as a tool for science, technology, business and commerce as well as progress and modernisation.
We must not regard the learning and mastery of the English language as a threat to our cultural or national identity. It is necessary for our economic survival.
Mastering the English language is about rejuvenating the nation. It is about preparing ourselves individually and collectively as a nation in finding our place in the global economy.
PPSMI (the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English) is the right policy judging by the voices expressing support for it, and the least the Government should do is to give this option to parents and students who believe in it.
I urge the Government to take a relook at its decision to abolish PPSMI and to put aside emotions when making decisions that affect the majority of our students, the future generation and the transformation programme that is being implemented.
TAN SRI LEE LAM THYE,
Kuala Lumpur.

Have a nice day...

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