KUCHING: Those in the civil service should be encouraged to learn and raise their standards of English in order to have world class civil servants apart from the use of Bahasa Malaysia.
In saying this, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Lee Kim Shin pointed out that we are now living in a globalised world and an ICT era where English is widely used.
“It is an international language. To gain the latest knowledge in science and ICT, especially various softwares and apps, we need to have working knowledge of the English language,” he said when contacted by the New Sarawak Tribune.
Following this, he explained that when the government officers go overseas to attend training courses, workshops, seminars, conferences or deliver conference papers, meetings and others, English is the language that is widely used.
“It is therefore an irony to ever think of coming up with a policy to take punitive action against the civil servants for speaking or using the English language.
“Such a move is uncalled for and instead of progressing and keeping up with globalisation trends, our country will be going backwards.
“Nevertheless, as far as Sarawak is concerned, we have the right to use English as an official language apart from Bahasa Malaysia as stipulated in the Constitution and under the Malaysia Agreement 1963,” he said.
Tourism, Creative Industry, and Performing Arts (MTCP) Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah recently stated that enforcing the use of Bahasa Malaysia in the civil service with punitive measures is ‘silly and stupid’.
“Civil servants should not be penalised for speaking English because it is widely used for business and communication around the world.
“Additionally, English is frequently used by civil servants and in the State Legislative Assembly,” he said in response to Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali’s call for the Public Service Department (JPA) to consider punitive measures to enforce the usage of Bahasa Malaysia in the civil service.
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