MAY 8, 2004 SAT
The Straits Times Interactive

English vital to success, says Abdullah

PUTRAJAYA - Malaysians must master English to compete in a globalised world, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said yesterday, stressing that competency and proficiency in the language were vital for success.
For instance, to be active and effective in negotiations at the World Trade Organisation, preparation on the subject was not the only strength required, he said.
'We must be competent and proficient in English. You must be able to put forward your ideas,' he said at a pre-Budget 2005 dialogue at the Finance Ministry yesterday.
Datuk Seri Abdullah said in a Bernama report that a good idea would not be beneficial if one could not present it well.
He said a person who was eloquent could persuade people to agree to his suggestions even if they were not that good.
Turning to education, the Prime Minister said the government's move not to close the door on foreign colleges wanting to establish themselves in the country had provided opportunities for young people, both locals and foreigners, to pursue knowledge in Malaysia.
Also, foreign students had the opportunity to understand the way of life of the local community better, he said.
As at the end of last year, some 40,000 foreign students from 162 countries had studied in Malaysia.
'From the economic standpoint, the presence of these students is good because of their large numbers,' he said.
Visits by their family members can also be regarded as 'education tourism', he said.
-- The Star/Asia News Network


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