Thursday, April 16, 2015

Wee: Focus on improving Malay language skills of locals first

Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) should focus on improving the command of Malay language among Chinese and Indians instead of mooting a Malay proficiency test to foreign students, urged Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong .

Wee was referring to DBP’s planned proposal to introduce a Malay Language Qualification Test to foreign students studying at local public and private universities.

“Before they can come out with any regulation, they need to go through the Education Ministry and it has to benefit foreign students,” said Wee at a press conference on Thursday morning.

Wee said that it is definitely beneficial for foreign students to be able to communicate in Malay language but forcing a test on them might not be ideal in the long run.

“If there are too many restrictions, they might just go to another country,” he said.

Wee gave an example of a foreign student who intends to study at a local private college and has passed all the admission criteria but failed to pass the Malay proficiency test.

“Malaysian make money by foreigners coming here to study but you tell them they can’t come because they don’t speak Malay,” said Wee adding most colleges uses English as the teaching medium.

DBP director-general Datuk Dr Awang Sufiyan said yesterday that the proposal paper on this matter would be submitted to the Education Ministry to the Cabinet for policy approval.

He said the move to introduce the test was a good development in order to boost Bahasa Melayu as an international language.

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