KUALA LUMPUR: For the country to sustain development, the government must prioritise a high standard of education, especially having a strong command of the English language, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.
“Students must master English for the country to be on par with other developing ones.
“We need to have an education revolution in the way we educate our students. However, this has not been done in our country for reasons unknown to me,” he said in an interview with The Sun.
Mahathir said to master the language we have to practise English in our everyday lives.
“There are language courses provided by experts in electronic media. We can slowly listen and understand what is being said, and we will be able to master English.”
However, he said, many Malays believe that because Malaysia is the land of the Malays (Tanah Melayu), the only language that should be used is Malay.
“In the past … yes, Bahasa Malaysia was sufficient for us. But in the present and future, if we don’t master other languages, we will lose contact with others because bilateral relationships are now closer than before.”
“Our teachers can speak a little English. They are not fluent in the language. So, we have to leverage online courses provided by experts using tapes or through electronic media.”