KUCHING: Mandarin might be the next language that the state would focus on after the full and successful implementation of English as the medium of instruction of Science and Mathematics in school.
Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin Jawong talked on this during a press conference after officiating at the Malaysian English Language Teaching Association (Melta) International Conference 2019 at Riverside Majestic Hotel here yesterday.
Earlier, when reading out Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s speech during the opening of the international conference, he paused and added that perhaps after Sarawak has fully implemented the English language programme, Mandarin would be the next one in line to be focused on.
“I am not joking. Just look at the population of China (1.4 billion). Mandarin will most
definitely be a popular international language to converse in,” he said.
“Right now we are focusing on English first. Look at the Europeans; they are starting to learn Mandarin. They see the world changing and they are not just looking on.”
Manyin further added that learning Mandarin would be made optional for students.
On the issue of introducing ‘khat’ (Jawi script writing) in school, he told reporters that he preferred the chief minister to comment on it as it is rather controversial at the moment.