Fatimah: English just as important

Fatimah (second from right) speaking to Sarawak Society For The Deaf president Albert Wong and other members on the planning for the Malaysia Deaf Games, which will be held in Sarawak next year.

Fatimah (second from right) speaking to Sarawak Society For The Deaf president Albert Wong and other members on the planning for the Malaysia Deaf Games, which will be held in Sarawak next year.

KUCHING: Sarawak’s Welfare, Women and Family Development Minister indicates the state will not back down from its English as the second official language policy.

Datuk Fatimah Abdullah, who keeps a watching brief on education for the state as the matter falls under the purview of the Federal Government, said the Sarawak government wanted as many people as possible to be bilingual or better.

“I also don’t see how learning two languages well would make us less patriotic. I ‘sayang’ Sarawak, I love Malaysia,” Fatimah said yesterday.

Pressed for more comments, the minister replied she did not want to repeat the criticism of others whom had sparked negativity.

“We never said we should not use Bahasa Malaysia. In fact, look at the Malaysia Education Blueprint – both languages are stressed. Here, we are trying to do something we hope will provide the right environment for everyone in society to realise the importance of English,” Fatimah said.

She added that it made sense to encourage the state civil service to be English proficient as Sarawak was wooing more international investment. “We encourage foreign companies to come here. We emphasise the Sarawak Corridor of Renewal Energy. One way to improve is to be multilingual.”

Fatimah was speaking to reporters after a briefing on the Malaysia Deaf Games, which will be held in Sarawak next year.

It was the second time this week Fatimah had defended Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem’s English as an official language alongside Bahasa Malaysia policy.

by  YU JI

Read more @ http://www.thestar.com.my/Metro/Community/2015/11/26/Fatimah-English-just-as-important-Ministry-hopes-to-provide-right-environment-for-everyone-to-realis/

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