Abg Jo: English, Mandarin mastery vital for Sarawak to become global player
Posted on : 20 Feb 2023  Source of News: Utusan Borneo Online

Abang Johari speaks during the closing ceremony of the 14th Inter-State Foundation Games (Pesaya) at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) last night. – Ukas photo

KUCHING (Feb 20): More Sarawakians should master English and Mandarin in order for the state to become a global player in many fields, said Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

According to him, the way forward for Sarawak to develop further is to become a global player and this requires Sarawakians to master English and Mandarin.

“That is the reason why we use of English alongside Bahasa Malaysia as official languages here in Sarawak. We understand the importance of English language,” he said during the closing ceremony of the 14th Inter-State Foundation Games (Pesaya) held at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here last night.

Abang Johari believed that with more Sarawakians being well-versed in English, it can help Malaysia to further realise its ambition to become a progressive nation, as their mastery over the language will help Sarawak master various fields of human endeavour for the purpose of development.

“If Sarawak is developed, it also means that Malaysia is developed as well. Hence, (that is) why we need to get all the knowledge that can help us achieve further development and mastering the English language can help us gain all that,” he added.

Abang Johari said another language that is equally important for the purpose of development is Mandarin, because it is also one of the major languages in the world.

He added since Sarawak practices open economic policy, having more Sarawakians understanding Mandarin would also be beneficial for the state’s development.

“Mandarin is an important language in the world today and we need to have more Sarawakians who can understand the language. It will be a loss for Sarawak if we don’t realise the importance of that language,” he said.

Abang Johari said one of the measures taken by the state government to encourage more Sarawakians to master Mandarin is to recognise the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC).

However, the recognition comes with a condition that the UEC holders must have a credit in Bahasa Malaysia, he added.

Following the recognition of UEC, Abang Johari said the certificate holders can get the assistance that they need from the Sarawak government.

“Many UEC holders for example are also known to be good in Mathematics, because they received good Mathematics education from the schools that they attended which in this country’s case are the Chinese schools,” he said.

Meanwhile, Abang Johari said all universities owned by Sarawak such as the Swinburne University, Curtin University, University of Technology Sarawak and i-Cats University College are open to all Malaysians and not just Sarawakians.

He said this is because the government believes that by having more Malaysians who are well educated, the country will also be more developed.

Among those present during the event were Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Minister of Food Industry, Commodity and Regional Development Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom, State Secretary Datuk Amar Mohamad Abu Bakar Marzuki and Yayasan Sarawak director Mersal Abang Rosli.