Pro­fi­ciency mat­ters

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPEAK UP -

ALONG with so many oth­ers, not just in Malaysia but world­wide, I have cringed at the con­trived learned ut­ter­ances by lead­ing politi­cians. The great in­spir­ing speeches by charis­matic peo­ple of in­flu­ence sadly seem a thing of the past.

How­ever, although our present deputy prime min­is­ter has had his quota of what he may choose to call “mis­quotes or mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tions” I can­not join the ca­coph­ony of crit­i­cism over his speech at the United Na­tions.

Although hardly me­morable for the right rea­sons it is sad that it will be re­mem­bered for what crit­ics call his poor com­mand of the English lan­guage.

He en­tered the world stage, de­liv­ered a speech in de­cent enough English and it is a pity that it was not ap­pre­ci­ated. I could un­der­stand per­haps crit­i­cis­ing the speech on its con­tent but I felt the de­liv­ery to be ad­e­quate.

Surely a man who came from a stan­dard ed­u­ca­tion back­ground has a right to ex­press a cer­tain amount of pride in such an achieve­ment.

Per­haps now, he and oth­ers, will be in a bet­ter po­si­tion to un­der­stand the need for pro­fi­ciency in the English lan­guage and pro­mote this through all lev­els of the state ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem.

De­nis Hayes Kuala Lumpur

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