Tourists certainly experienced it: English proficiency in Malaysia -once a British colony- is dropping rapidly due to the push for Malay-speaking teaching in schools for the last 30 years. The consequence is that less and less young Malaysians -particularly Malay- speak proper English these days.
Government’s Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) is now conducting an online survey among Malaysians on the importance of English-language proficiency.
In the introduction to the seven-question survey, Pemandu said tgat it would be seeking the anonymous views of Malaysians on the need for English fluency. The survey was launched on Tuesday and takes no more than a minute to complete.
The survey got the immediate support from AirAsia group chief Tony Fernandes, reported Malaysian newspaper the Star. The airline’s CEO promptly backed the Performance Management and Delivery Unit’s (Pemandu) survey on the importance of boosting English proficiency amid growing concerns over declining standards.
The Star reported that Fernandes tweeted on Wednesday, urging all Malaysians to participate, explaining that “Malaysia has lost its competitiveness due to our standards in English going down. We can’t run away from English. It’s the global language. Imagine if all our kids were proficient in English like they were in the old days. Plus could speak Bahasa Mandarin and Tamil. Wow,” it was reported from its Twitter account.