KOTA SAMARAHAN: The state government would welcome the setting up of a China-Sarawak Institute to train Sarawakians before sending them for tertiary education in China.
Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Datuk Amar Michael Manyin Jawong urged Asean China Education and Culture (Acec) to consider the proposal and hoped it would take shape and be located in Kota Samarahan.
“I suggest that we set up a China-Sarawak Institute similar to GMI (German-Malaysia Institute), where students study for one year and become fluent in German before being sent to Germany.
“The same applies here where you have to recommend to your superiors to set up one in Sarawak, so that in one year they will be quite fluent in Mandarin,” Manyin said.
He said this when officiating at the closing of the International Conference on Innovative Sciences and Technologies for Research and Innovation at UiTM Kota Samarahan here yesterday.
Also present were Acec executive director Yang ChengCheng, UiTM Rector Prof Datuk Dr Jamil Hamali and other dignitaries.
Manyin echoed Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s call for Sarawakians to be fluent in three languages, namely Malay, English and Mandarin.
“This doesn’t mean Malay is not important. It is our national language and our identity; unites us all, and we should be proud of it, but in order to survive, we need other languages.
“Today, English is the language of commerce, science, technology and diplomacy but not very far from now, Mandarin will be the language of commerce,” he said.
He said China with its 1.4 billion people is currently the second largest economy in the world, adding that in five to 10 years, Mandarin will automatically be a language of commerce.
Manyin said he did recommend to Yang for Acec to invite Sarawak students to take up tertiary education in China universities.
“But when I got a letter from your council asking us to nominate two or three students to pursue tertiary education in universities in China, I couldn’t find one.
“That is why Mr Yang, we will welcome if you set up one similar to GMI here in Sarawak. Call it China-Sarawak Institute, so that in one year they will be able to follow the courses in your tertiary institutions
“This is my request, but whatever Acec has done for Sarawak, we are grateful, appreciative and we hope that is not the end and we hope there will be a China-Sarawak Institute hopefully here in Samarahan.”