By John Isaac
CHIEF Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said Sarawakians must be fluent in three languages — Malay, English and Mandarin — for them to thrive in the future.
“As you know, the English-speaking countries are at the forefront of global economy, followed by China as the second biggest economy in the world.
“If Sarawakians can speak Mandarin, English, and command our national language — there is a saying in Malay, ‘dicampak ke laut menjadi pulau, dicampak ke darat menjadi gunung’ (they will be able to flourish anywhere),” he said.
He said this when officiating at the ‘Innostre Special Edition 2020: The 1st Global Summit on Viral-Immunology and Antiviral Therapy of Covid-19’ conference at Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Kota Samarahan as reported by Borneo Post.
Abang Johari said while education is under the purview of the federal government, Sarawak will intervene to get the right kind of training and education for its youth.
“Sarawak must cover the three areas — one is national syllabus, second is national education policy that we have to comply with, and thirdly, we must expose ourselves to better command of languages, including English.
“We are doing that by setting up international schools which will be based on the international syllabus as well as recognising the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC).
“This means the people from Sarawak will be well-versed in English, Mandarin as well as scientific subjects and play a part in world economy,” he said.
The chief minister pointed out that talent development was part of the twelve initiatives he had introduced recently in propelling the state economy post-Covid-19.
“Human and talent development is of huge importance and we are giving emphasis on this,” he said.