Malaysia
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English fluency critical amid changing times, says Sarawak premier

Sarawak places equal emphasis on the use of Malay and English as Sarawakians must be fluent in both languages, says state premier Abang Johari Openg. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Sarawak premier Abang Johari Openg says fluency in English is critical to adapting to changing times and global breakthroughs.

He said the state government placed equal emphasis on the use of Malay and English as Sarawakians must be fluent in both languages.

“I hope we can produce Sarawakians who are conversant in both English and Malay, as well as being equipped with the knowledge to keep up with the latest changes in the world,” the Borneo Post quoted him as saying.

He said civil servants in the state were free to use English and would not be penalised for doing so.

He said it was undeniable that English was still a dominant language globally.

In May, Chief Secretary to the Government Zuki Ali was reported to have said the public service department (JPA) must consider punitive measures to enforce the use of Malay in the civil service and other government-related agencies, including government-linked companies.

He said this was in line with Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob previously announcing that Malay would be used not only within the country but also internationally.