Mastering the English language is important as it is the primary language of global trade and commerce.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said English was also the lingua franca of business, science and technology.
“We need people with good English not only for business dealings with foreigners but also to promote tourism,” he said at the closing of the 11th Pre-School Education Convention here yesterday.
Abang Johari told those present that Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem gave strong emphasis to the English language because he was aware of its immense importance.
“Everywhere you go, you have to speak in English. If you don’t have confidence in the language, you will feel isolated, especially when attending international seminars,” he said.
“Even China and Japan are encouraging its people to learn English to reap its many benefits.”
He added that the state was now giving due emphasis to help preschoolers master English as these young ones could absorb what is being taught quickly.
On a related matter, he urged the people to learn at least three languages: Malay, English and Mandarin, besides their own mother tongue.
“Nowadays, a lot of tourists from China are coming here; hence, we need people who are multi-lingual to promote the tourism industry.”
Among those present were Abang Johari’s wife, Datin Amar Dato Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang, Minister of Welfare, Women and Community Wellbeing Datuk Fatimah Abdullah, Assistant Minister for Early Childhood Education and Family Development Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali, Assistant Minister for Welfare and Community Wellbeing Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail, and Sarawak Islamic Council (Education Service Bureau) director Datu Dr Adi Badiozaman Tuah.
The Borneo Post Online