In Sarawak, even people in Matu can speak English, says Abang Jo

Abang Johari delivering his speech during the closing ceremony for Matu Carnival at Dataran Matu today (June 8, 2022). Screenshot taken from a Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas) livestream

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By Ling Hui

KUCHING, June 8: ‘In Sarawak, even locals from Matu can talk in English,’ says Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said this when highlighting Sarawakians are at ease conversing in both Bahasa Malaysia (BM) and English languages, which he asserted is the right way forward should the region or country seek development, especially in terms of digitalisation.

New and innovative ideas can be obtained by reading publications in the English language, he said, and some modern era terms cannot be simply translated into BM.

“Yesterday, I was telling Yayasan Sarawak, how can we translate ‘augmented reality’ into BM. It will be a headache. Maybe after the translation, the message may not be as accurate anymore.

“So, if we want to be capable, we must be good in both (BM and English) languages,” he said when officiating at the closing ceremony for Matu Carnival at Dataran Matu in Matu today.

Abang Johari said Sarawak is lucky to have elected representatives who are fluent in three languages namely BM, English, and Bahasa Arab.

“(It’s a) bonus! Here (in Sarawak), we know three languages. And they (Peninsular Malaysia) only know one language,” he said, in apparent reference to Prime Minister Dato Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s call for government officials to only use BM in events abroad.

Meanwhile, Abang Johari also called for peace and political stability in Sarawak so that Sarawak can continue to develop.

He cautioned Sarawakians against following in the footsteps of the federal government where language is being weaponised as issue. — DayakDaily