Graduates urged to give emphasis to English language to compete globally

JOHOR BARU: Malaysian university graduates should put in more efforts to master English language if they want to compete with their counterparts in the globalised world.

Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said it was worrying that the standard of English among local graduates was declining over the years.

He said mastering the language was important as it was the lingua franca (common language) widely used the world over in international meetings, conferences, seminars and press conferences.

“Apart from mastering English, you (graduates) must also have the communications skills to express yourselves well before the international audience,” said Nur Jazlan.

He said most Chinese, Indonesians, Thais and Vietnamese now speak better English than Malaysians and if nothing was done, Malaysians would certainly lose to them in the international arena.

Nur Jazlan said Malays, Chinese and Indians in the country no longer compete among themselves but with others in the region in the borderless world.

“Passing with flying colours or high achievers does not mean anything if you cannot compete with the rest of the world,” he said.

Nur Jazlan told reporters this at the closing ceremony of the Generation of Amazing Leader 2014 at Universiti Teknologi Malaysian Skudai Campus here recently.

“We have to accept the fact that English is the main language at the international level and mastering English doest not make us less Malaysians,” he said.

Nur Jazlan said the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 exposed the weaknesses of Malaysian civil senior officials in the language during press conferences.

“The whole world is watching us on how we handle the crisis but they (senior officials) did not communicate well answering questions from the international media in English,” he said.

Nur Jazlan said if they could not express themselves well in English, just stick to Bahasa Malaysia and let the foreign press use translator services instead.

“Apart from bad grammar and wrong pronunciation by these officials, the missing plane episode also exposed conflicting and confusing statements from the relevant authorities,” he added.

Nur Jazlan commended acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein’s efforts to answer questions from the world media and remained composed at the same time.

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