KUCHING: It is to everyone’s benefit to be exposed to multiple languages and be multi-lingual, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
“In order to be able to make sense of and keep up with rapid technological advancements, a good understanding and command of the English language is crucial.
“The English language is known as the international language of communication and is the most common second language in the world.
“Reference books, scientific and academic journals are mainly written and presented in the English language for ease of understanding across the globe,” he said.
Abang Johari pointed this out when officiating at the Sarawak English Language Education Symposium (Seles) 2020 virtual event on Wednesday.
The chief minister said in Sarawak, the English language is used as the official language besides Bahasa Malaysia. It is also the language of the courts.
“Employers, too, have long preferred graduates who can communicate in English as it is the global language for trade and commerce.
“It is for these reasons that I accepted the challenge when the former federal Education Minister offered Sarawak the task of being the first state in Malaysia to teach Science and Mathematics in English,” he said.
Abang Johari said Sarawak had fared well in its implementation of English in teaching and was pleased that the programme garnered widespread community support in a study conducted by Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UiTM) Sarawak.
“We need everyone’s continued support as this is a long term initiative that will enable Sarawakians to excel in the international arena.
“We will provide the support needed to help teachers and students and hope that the Ministry of Education will provide the necessary financial and administrative support,” he said.