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MALAYSIA: ENGLISH COMPETENCY TESTS FOR SENIOR OFFICIALS IS TIMELY – SOCIAL ACTIVIST LEE LAM THYE

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia June 8 (NNN-Bernama) — The government’s decision to compel its top civil servants to take the English competency test is timely, as it could help improve their grasp of the language, especially for written and verbal communication, says social activist Lee Lam Thye.

In this new era, he said, having a good command of one language, such as Bahasa Malaysia or English alone, was insufficient.

“Our civil servants, especially high ranking officers, must have a good command of the English language, apart from Bahasa Malaysia.

“By having a good command of the English language, these top civil servants will be able to present themselves effectively when dealing with foreigners or when attending international programmes,” he said in a statement here yesterday.

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad Wednesday announced that to improve English proficiency among high-ranking government officials, an English language competency test would be conducted.

Lee said the move was also in line with Malaysia’s aspiration to be a fully-developed country.

“While we respect Bahasa Malaysia as our national language, it’s advisable for us to be at least bilingual. Learning how to speak in English is not enough. They must be able to communicate in English with a good grammar and expression,” he said.

Civil servants, especially senior civil servants must be at least bilingual, if not trilingual, he added.–NNN-BERNAMA

Source: NAM News Network

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