Civil service must retain English

  • Letters
  • Thursday, 13 Feb 2020

I AM shocked by director-general of the Public Service Department Datuk Mohd Khairul Adib Abd Rahman’s statement that all official government correspondence must be in Malay from now on, “Civil service told to use BM” (The Star, Feb 11).

The purpose of all government departments is to provide a service to the public, which comprise not only government servants but also private individuals who run the businesses that make this country work.

Since Malaysia is an open trading nation, we have many foreigners who do not speak Malay working in the country. Malaysia is an attractive destination for foreign direct investments because of the ability of Malaysians to speak English. Also, many Malaysians and foreigners who need help from government departments write letters in English to explain their problems. There have always been prompt replies in English addressing these complaints and suggesting solutions.

But now it looks like Mohd Khairul is planning to make things difficult for all those who cannot speak or write Malay. He does not seem to care and sounds very much like a language fanatic.

It appears that he does not understand the role of the public service in the country. He seems to be hell-bent on screwing up the government service that we are used to, a service that has always been run with common sense, empathy and understanding.

I urge the Chief Secretary and the Prime Minister to replace this man before he sets out to harm the entire Malaysian economy. A good place for him could be Dewan Bahasa Dan Pustaka or the Malay Teachers Training College.


Kuala Lumpur

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letters , civil service , English


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