KUCHING: Sarawak will continue to emphasise using English as a second official language, asserted Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He emphasised that to have good command of technology, one needed to be well-versed in the English language.

“The state will give emphasis to English alongside Bahasa Melayu, because if one has a good command of the language, one can deepen one’s knowledge in science and mathematics,” he stressed.

The chief minister said this when officiating at World Skills Malaysia Sarawak 2019 at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here yesterday.

Abang Johari (in suit) flanked by Manyin (on his right) and Annuar (on his left) with the winners of the fifteen categories in the World Skills Malaysia Sarawak 2019. Photo: Ramidi Subari

His view was echoed by Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin Jawong.

Manyin pointed out that the state would be the first to teach the Science and Mathematics subjects in English.

“In fact we are the only one. Sarawak will be training some 2,800 teachers in preparation for them to teach the subjects in English.

“This will commence in January next year. We hope to get all of your support especially the parents.”

Manyin viewed that English proficiency is pertinent especially in the digital world.

He highlighted that manuals were now 100 percent written in the English language.

“All the manuals provided now are in English, how can employers let you operate expensive machineries if you don’t understand the manual,” he expressed.

Among those present at the event were Education, Science and Technological Research Assistant Minister Dr Annuar Rapaee; Welfare, Community Well-Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Assistant Minister Datuk Francis Harden Hollis; Transportation Assistant Minister Datuk Dr Jerip Susil; permanent secretary to the Ministry of Education, Science, Technological Research Datuk William Patrick Nyigor and Department of Skills Development director Sudirman Suratin.