Police staff improve their English speaking skills

Well done: (From left) Kpl Law, Kons Manisa and Kpl Haziyah looking at their certificates after completing the English course.

JOHOR BARU: Koperal Haziyah Abdullah used to feel nervous when facing tourists and foreigners because of her lack of English-speaking skills.

The 35-year-old policewoman said she lacked the confidence to communicate in English, so when given the opportunity she jumped at the chance to attend a language course at the Iskandar Puteri police headquarters here, where she works.

“During the four-month-long programme, I learnt conversational skills and improved my grammar, which will surely help in my job.

“The class was conducted once a week but I continued to practise at home with my teenage children and husband, who is also a policeman,” she said at the closing ceremony of the course yesterday.

The Sarawakian said at the end of the course, she also gained confidence and went on stage to give a short speech about her experience.

Another participant, Kpl Law Yong Kang, 30, said having a good command of English was an advantage, especially when manning the counter at the Nusa Bestari police station.

“We often have to deal with questions from tourists from Singapore as well as expatriates.

“Throughout the course, I learnt to improve my pronunciation and correct my grammar, which will definitely allow me to communicate better with others.”

Kpl Law, who was raised by his Chinese father and an Iban mother, said he, along with his family and relatives, have spoken “rojak” (a combination of Bahasa Malaysia, Iban, and English) since he was a child.

Konstabel B. Manisa, 23, added that the course conductor made the lessons fun and easy to follow.

“I used to be intimidated by the English language but after learning the basics, I found it fun,” said Kons Manisa, who works in the lock-up department.

Meanwhile, Iskandar Puteri acting OCPD Supt Ibrahim Mat Som, said a total of 26 policemen of various ranks participated in the free course conducted by the Johor English Language Teaching Association.

“We are the second police headquarters after the Johor Baru South police headquarters to have this course, and I hope we can move on to the next level so that more in the police force can improve their English.

“With a good command of English, police officers and personnel on duty at tourist spots can provide good and friendly service to the public as they turn to us not only for assistance but to learn about Malaysia, too,” he said.

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