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Nazir Razak: Make English Our Top Priority

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PETALING JAYA: A top corporate figure has joined the urgent call for English to be made top priority.

“Never thought I’d see this day. English is a global language and as a nation we should declare English language proficiency as our top ­priority,” CIMB Group chairman Datuk Seri Nazir Razak wrote in a post on Instagram yesterday.

The comment came alongside an image of a news article which Nazir had uploaded.

“It’s a traditional edge that our workforce is losing fast; we must reverse the deterioration now. (And no, it does not mean we have to neglect bahasa!),” said Nazir, the youngest brother of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

According to the article, Japanese car manufacturer Honda plans to switch its official corporate language from Japanese to English by 2020.

The move is to help improve communication with Honda’s ­larger international market.

In a recent exclusive interview with The Star, Johor’s Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, known as an outspoken advocate of English-medium education, reiterated his suggestion for Malaysia to emulate Singapore’s single-stream education system which uses English as the medium of instruction.

He first made the call at the opening of the Johor state assembly sitting in May.

Late last year, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said “something is not right” when students were still struggling with the English language when they entered university.

Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, said this during a dialogue on the Malaysian Higher Education Blueprint 2015-2025.


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