Set up institute for locals to learn Mandarin prior to taking up tertiary studies in China

Manyin (centre) arriving at Dewan Jubli of UiTM Kota Samarahan Campus, accompanied by Yang (left) and Dr Firdaus (right).

By Ling Hui

KUCHING, Nov 26: Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Datuk Amar Michael Manyin Jawong suggests the setting up of a ‘China Sarawakian Institute’ in the state for Sarawakians to learn Mandarin before being sent to China for tertiary education.

He said it is important for Sarawakians to learn the Mandarin language other than Malay and English for Mandarin will become the language of commerce in five to 10 years to come.

Quoting the German Malaysian Institute (GMI) in Kuala Lumpur, Manyin said Sarawak could do the same thing whereby students study and master the Mandarin language in the institute in one year’s time or more before going overseas.

“Like what the Chief Minister (Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg) always stressed, for Sarawakians to learn more languages other than Bahasa Malaysia.

“When we go for English, it does not mean we look down on Bahasa Malaysia. Bahasa Malaysia is very important because it is our national language, it is supposed to unite all of us and is the identity of all Malaysians.

“We should be very proud of Bahasa Malaysia, but in order to survive in this world, we need to have other languages,” he said during the closing ceremony of 1st Global Summit on Viral-Immunology and Antiviral Therapy of Covid-19 at Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Kota Samarahan Campus here today.

Further emphasising his point, Manyin said it is an automatic process for the Mandarin language to become one of the vital communication tools in the world of commerce soon.

“Today of course, English is the language for commerce, science and technology, and diplomacy but not very far from now, Mandarin will be the language for commerce.

“This is because China has 1.4 billion people and it is today the second biggest economy in the world, so automatically Mandarin will become the language for commerce in the next five to 10 years,” he said.

This idea was brought up to Asia China Arts and Culture (ACEC) Association Executive Director Yang Cheng Cheng, who has been collaborating with the state government in providing Mandarin language training to the local students.

Two of the most significant programmes are the International Talent Training Programme (ITTP) and International Professional Training Programme (IPTP).

Together at the event was also Deputy Rector of Academic and International Affairs Professor Dr Firdaus Abdullah.-DayakDaily