Don’t ignore the significance of Chinese language

KOTA KINABALU: The universal significance of Chinese language can no longer be ignored, and its mastering would benefit those who intend to do business with China.

“With the rapid growth and rise of China as a global economic powerhouse, learning and mastering the Chinese language is important to those who want to penetrate the China market,” said Datuk Susan Wong Siew Guen, the President of Sze Yi Association West Coast, Sabah.

She said many Malaysian Chinese have now realized that it is a great loss not to be able to read and write in Chinese.

“We are also seeing more and more Bumiputeras enrolling in Chinese schools nowadays and they have learned to speak Mandarin fluently,” she added.

She highlighted this while opening the fifth state-wide Chinese essay competition for Kota Kinabalu zone held at Sabah Tshung Tsin Secondary School hall here, Sunday.

“Since China adopted the Open Door Policy 30 years ago, the country has achieved remarkable growth,” she said. “As such, Mandarin has become one of the most useful languages in the world.”

Wong, who is also the Vice President of the Confederation of Chinese Communities Associations of Sabah and Labuan, noted that Malaysia placed equal emphasis on the Malay, Chinese and English languages.

She pointed out it was a common perception among the people, the Malaysian Chinese included, that English was the only useful language to be learned.

As a result, many Malaysian Chinese have opted to learn English and Malay languages and many opted out of Chinese-medium schools or neglected Mandarin altogether.

The state-wide Chinese essay competition is organized by the Confederation of Chinese Communities Associations of Sabah and Labuan, which was in its fifth consecutive year, was held simultaneously at Ktoa Kinabalu, Sandakan, Tawau, Lahad Datu, Keningau, Tenom, Kudat and Labuan.

The Education Bureau of Sze Yi Association West Coast, Sabah was entrusted with co-organizing the competition for Kota Kinabalu zone.

The competition has attracted 510 participants in Kota Kinabalu this year, an increased from 411 last year. Some 1,000 participants took part in the essay competition throughout Sabah.

She reiterated that the competition aimed to elevate the standard of Chinese essay writing in Sabah and to cultivate the interests in writing among the younger generation.

“The State Education Department also recognized the competition as extracurricular activities, meaning that students who took part in the competition could earn extra points,” she pointed out.

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