Importance of Mandarin: ‘West Malaysian leaders should emulate Abang Jo’s stand’

Jonathan Chai Voon Tok

KUCHING, Oct 20: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has been praised for highlighting the importance of the Mandarin language, alongside Bahasa Malaysia and English.

According to a statement from the Federation of Boards of Management of Aided Chinese Primary Schools of Kuching, Samarahan and Serian Divisions president Jonathan Chai Voon Tok, Abang Johari should be lauded for making such a statement which truly reflects the reality of the business world.

Chai opined that unlike certain leaders, Abang Johari knows how to appreciate the values and advantages of being multilingual or of equipping oneself with a language apart from one’s mother tongue, particularly English and Mandarin besides the national language.

“In addition, he has also demonstrated the virtue of moderation in his leadership, and personally, I hope to see more leaders from West Malaysia emulate the style of leadership of our Chief Minister for his moderation and farsightedness,” disclosed Chai in response to a report published by DayakDaily, yesterday.

He added that from an education perspective, acquiring additional languages is important as it would help in terms of adding commercial value, and not racial sentiments.

Chai also pointed that the Chief Minister’s remarks are extra precious and meaningful, especially as certain leaders and academicians have advocated for the closure of the vernacular schools during the recent controversial Malay Dignity Congress, held in Kuala Lumpur.

He noted that it is sad that the issue of vernacular schools has time and again been targeted by certain individuals for their own personal agendas in the quest of gaining political mileage.

“The existence of the vernacular schools particularly SJK (C) is never a threat or obstacle for national unity as those schools never downplay the importance of our national language.

“On the contrary, they provide a good platform for students of all races to learn together under one roof and the rising number of Bumiputra students enrolling to study in SJK (C) in recent (times) bodes well for the fact that the existence SJK (C) is widely accepted by all as their preferred choice of school for their children,” opined Chai.

He added that everyone should remind themselves that they are not competing among different races but against other countries in this borderless world.

“We will be lagging behind in the process of globalisation if we continue to harp on racial issues.

“We should grow and prosper as one irrespective of race and religion with our spirit of unity.” — DayakDaily