We share the same sentiments when we fear that the language nationalists and protectionists attempts to reduce the role played by the English language in a misguided attempt to "preserve" the mother tongue languages.
"It is unfortunate perhaps for the language nationalists but that is the reality today. They must not blight the future generations by objecting to the mastery and usage of the English language. They must not obstruct Malaysia’s progress and development."In the report published by the New Straits Times, Tun Dr Mahathir also commented on the "lack of self-confidence among graduates" as well as their "poor communication skills".
"Their communication skills are so poor that sometimes they cannot even relay what they want to express in their own language. There is absolute silence when an interviewer asks them questions... how is anyone going to employ people like that?I definitely cannot agree more. There are a significant number of strong candidates of which the above issues do not apply. However, unfortunately, it applies to the large majority of graduates in Malaysia - irrespective of whether they originate from local or foreign universities. Even many of the top students, including those that I employ (who are excellent in their technical skills, by the way) are very poor in their language and communication skills. My managers will often "complain" to me that they cannot understand the emails from these graduates.
"If you show a blank face to the person who is interviewing you, then you are not going to get the job... it will not matter if you have a Master’s degree."
Tun Dr Mahathir lamented that the poor communication skills is "almost cultural" - and I will tend agree. Unfortunately, I also think that this "culture" is one of the serious negative side effects inculcated by the authorities in their attempt to curb dissent and open discussions at our Malaysian schools and universities.
The constant attempts by the education authorities and university administration to restrict the activities of the students, both political or apolitical have resulted in the culture whereby it's "better" for students to keep their opinions and voices to themselves to avoid unnecessary issues and complications that may disrupt their pursuit for their degree qualifications.