Multilingualism, Mandarin important in globalised new economy

A student takes the opportunity to take a selfie with Abang Johari (in blue shirt).

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By Karen Bong and Lian Cheng

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 19: Having competency and good command of foreign languages like Mandarin, besides English and Bahasa Malaysia, will add value to what an employee can bring to the prospective company.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said this was the reality of the workforce in today’s new economy, in which employers in the private sector are looking for workers who are not just skillful in their field but also competent in English.

“Based on the feedback from the private sector, applicants lack confidence when being interviewed in English and that’s the problem with us,” he said when responding a question raised by a student during the Town Hall Session at Lam Berambeh Anak Sarawak here today.

“That’s our weakness but we must improve our weaknesses so we can become strong and be able to be recruited in the new economy,” he added.

Abang Johari pointed out that the private sector have always put emphasis on workers’ good command in Bahasa Malaysia and English in particular, because it is a language of trade.

“However, if you know Mandarin, that will give you better advantage because the global economy landscape has changed with China now one of the leading economies in the world besides the United States,” he said.

He added that the state government emphasise not only the national language and English, as it will be better to know a third foreign language like Mandarin.

“So having competent and good command of languages is very important,” he said.

The Lan Berambeh Anak Sarawak this year attracted nearly 8,000 participants from throughout Peninsular Malaysia. The 13th edition event was participated by 13 government agencies, nine government-linked companies and 43 entrepreneurs. — DayakDaily