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YOURSAY | Even ‘Phua Chu Kang’ could speak good English

YOURSAY | ‘Malaysian ministers want to hide they have poor English.’

COMMENT | Die lah like this

The Wakandan: Even though the characters in the Phua Chu Kang comedy series spoke Singlish, the actors are actually competent English speakers. The character Rosie, Chu Kang’s wife, is a good case in point.

Convincingly played by Irene Ang, one may think that in real life, she really only spoke Singlish, unlike her on-show sister-in-law Margaret who spoke impeccable Queen’s English.

However, both can actually speak English flawlessly. I often thought that Ang, after playing the character for 10 years, her Singlish would actually take over in real life.

Our Malaysian ministers, however, on the whole, have a poor command of English - former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak is an exception. One would think the reason they want to speak Bahasa Malaysia (BM) in international forums is because they want to hide that fact.

The biggest tragedy is our students. Without English skills, they are truly disadvantaged in job opportunities as well as personal and professional development. That is why Malaysians should master this international language, not spurn it.

Xtcher: Since Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob and his cabinet members, including those from MCA and MIC, are so insistent that BM be used, perhaps they and the elite group in the country should lead by example by not sending their children to study anywhere overseas under whatsoever excuses.

They should enrol their children in local universities or other institutions of higher learning that are conducting their lectures in BM so that it will be second nature to their children to use BM in all walks of life.

This will fulfil the vision of the PM and his cabinet members. This move will also save the government and the country millions in foreign exchange too!

BlueShark1548: What can you expect from Ismail Sabri who was the progenitor of the Mara Digital Mall aka Low Yat 2?

This language issue is just like the bumiputera mall initiated by him. A man without vision for all Malaysians except for his own race.

SayNoToFrogs: All these Stone Age politicians are killing off our future. The truth of the matter is English is the language of the world for commerce, science and communications.

Fine, learn BM, but you cannot neglect English. We need English to interact with the rest of the world.

It is just like the Arabic numerals, which are used nowadays by mathematicians everywhere. In the same way, English doesn’t just belong to England anymore, but to the world.

Citizen: While other countries are progressing by using English, our non compos mentis of a prime minister is taking us all back to the Stone Age.

Next, he will decree that computers and calculators can’t be used and we should instead use fingers and toes. To save money on petrol we should all cycle or walk to our destinations while he jets all around the world.

This PM is always a backwards-thinking person and I blame Umno for nominating such a dummkopf for PM. If anything, he will be the downfall of Umno and BN.

Perhaps the newly-minted state government of Johor can follow the wise advice of His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar and make Johor a bilingual state.

This can be quickly done by making all state departments accept letters and communications in English and BM.

The minute you start to do this, you will find an influx of investors from across the Causeway. Further, there will be a greater absorption of English-speaking manpower from Johor into Singapore.

We can print all government department forms in both languages. His Majesty is a very knowledgeable man and wants Johor to be better than its neighbours.

VioletCarp8218: The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), an official United Nations observer, does a test every two years on reading, science and maths in almost all the countries in the world.

The Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) is intended to evaluate educational systems by testing 15-year-old school students.

The results throughout the years showed students in Malaysia scored lower than the OECD average.

In Malaysia, 2 percent of students scored at Level 5 or higher in mathematics while the OECD average was 11 percent. Singapore scored 37 percent while Korea scored 21 percent.

Numbers do not lie. I think our teachers, most of them in the government schools, are bad.

Anonymous_49: BM is like rojak. When there is no word for something in BM, they use words from English and convert them to BM. For example, politik, sistem, teknologi, etc.

Now our students who go to study in overseas universities use the converted BM to English spelling, making others laugh at us for incorrect spelling.

Bala: @Anonymous_49, English is actually a rojak language too. That was how the language prospered.

PW Cheng: For political benefits, these Malay politicians are prepared to make the rakyat as sacrificial lambs. Graduates are finding it difficult to get jobs. Statistics are there as proof.

When are these Malay politicians going to stop using nationalism as a decoy to deceive the rakyat?

These selfish politicians who are enjoying an opulent lifestyle and sending their children overseas for studies will do anything and everything that can benefit them politically.

Sugar Glider: Let's speak hypothetically. The US secretary of state receives two letters. One written in BM and one written in English. The BM one came from Malaysia and the English one came from Indonesia.

The secretary of state is thinking of coming to Southeast Asia to discuss investment opportunities with a group of American businesspersons and can only make one stop. Can you guess which country they will visit?

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