Every Thursday is English Day for Selangor
STRAITS TIMES Singapore
Saturday, October 26, 2002
Selangor MB is bullish about English
Khir Toyo has designated a weekly English Day to promote the language he sees as essential for the nation
By Brendan Pereira
KUALA LUMPUR - Selangor's Mentri Besar Mohamad Khir Toyo scores an A for effort.
His spoken English is passable, but there is not a hint of self-doubt or hesitation when he speaks the language.
And he believes other Malaysians must also put their pride in their pocket if they are going to master the English language.
<--- His English is not perfect, but Datuk Seri Khir believes he and other Malays must continue to work at mastering the language. -- THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK
He has designated every Thursday as English Day for Selangor.
On that day, English replaces Malay as the language for inter-department communication, meetings and official functions. Press conferences are also conducted in English on that day.
In practice, it has not been smooth going, with senior government officials still preferring to converse in Malay.
...Datuk Seri Khir simply believes that Malaysia's survival as a trading nation depends on the local population's command of English.
His view was reinforced during an official visit to Germany where an official told him that despite having the best technology in the world, Germany's efforts to market it globally was hampered by Germans' poor command of English.
'For us in Malaysia, it is a matter of survival. I cannot understand why there is opposition. There is some hypocrisy. These people who are opposing write their papers in English and translate into Malay,' he told The Straits Times in an interview.
...Twice a week, a tutor comes to his house to teach him English. At times, his wife, former dental nurse Zaharah Kechik, joins in.
'It is not just spoken language as we are being taught grammar,' he said.
Read the full story at: