AS chairman of the English Speaking Union Malaysia (Esum), I share the views of Thomas Kok, “Three measures to improve English proficiency” (The Star, June 1) on the low level of English proficiency in Malaysia.
I support the request by many to bring back English medium schools to address this decline and to have Malay as a compulsory subject and Tamil and Chinese as a second language.
Most schools in England have two or three languages as part of their syllabus and students there are doing well.
The implementation of our national school system will get the support of all races and hopefully we can strengthen our multiracial, multicultural and multi-religious society further through this.
Why do we encourage so many international and private schools when we should be improving our own school system?
We must start with the young and we can only do this if we have teachers who can teach English. I agree there are not enough of them. The issue of the declining standard of English must be addressed before the situation deteriorates further.
There are many retired teachers of English and those who were educated in English who
are willing to help teachers improve their proficiency in the language. We should tap this market.
Many say Bahasa Malaysia is our national language that unites and identifies us as Malaysians.
I do agree, but I also say that English is a global language that needs to be mastered if we want to compete in this borderless world.
TUNKU DARA NAQUIAH