‘Mastery of English opens many doors, here and abroad’

Helping the next generation: Yeow (left) receiving the mock sponsorship cheque from Eng while Chor (centre) looks on. — AZMAN GHANI/The Star

PETALING JAYA: Recognising the importance of English in daily and business communication, Datuk Seri Eng Wei Chun has called on Malaysians to improve their proficiency in the global language.

He said most Malaysians, including himself, have been too comfortable with using colloquial English.

“While it’s still comprehensible here, it’s not the same when we go to other developed nations,” said the Orando Holdings managing director, who also has an office in the United Kingdom.

Citing an example, he said the common response of “Can, can, can” when one is asked if he would like a glass of water could be difficult to understand in the UK.

“A ‘can’ is a tin; although we understand the expression, it’s not the same outside Malaysia.

“That’s why we should read from respectable media like The Star to improve our proficiency.

“When we use language in the proper way to communicate, people will also respect us more,” he said.

All of the aforementioned reasons led Eng to continue his support for The Star by sponsoring RM50,000 for it’s ePaper through the Students Sponsorship Programme 2023.He said students will benefit from reading The Star, whether in print or online.

While each copy of the newspaper costs about RM3.50 to RM4 to produce, Eng said selling it for RM2, which is less than the price of a plate of mixed rice, is providing readers with a good deal.

“In general, Malaysians lack the knowledge of what’s happening in the world.

“News reading can help us close the gap when we make it a habit in the long run,” said Eng, who was at a ceremony to hand over a mock sponsorship cheque on behalf of Orando to Star Media Group chairman Tan Sri Chor Chee Heung and chief executive officer Alex Yeow at Menara Star here yesterday.

Orando’s sponsorship will enable selected secondary schools and universities to enjoy free access to The Star ePaper.

Eng also stressed that mastering English is not at the expense of Bahasa Malaysia.

“When we are bilingual or even trilingual, it gives us an extra edge.

“We cannot keep relying on translators or trying to read body language,” said the property developer, who was recently conferred the Darjah Kebesaran Seri Mahkota Wilayah by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah.

Elsewhere, Eng said Malaysians should spread more positive stories about their country when abroad.

Crediting his achievements to the opportunities he was given in Malaysia, he said Malaysians enjoy many perks, such as free education and subsidies, that are not found elsewhere.

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English , business communication , global


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