AS chairman of the English Speaking Union Malaysia, I agree with Michael Ng on the declining standard of written and spoken English (NST, May 6).
I also support the request by many to bring back English-medium schools to address this decline and to have Malay as a compulsory subject, and Tamil or Chinese as a second language.
Most schools in England have two or three languages as part of their syllabus and students there do well. A vast majority of the population here are in favour of English as the medium of education.
The implementation of our national school system will get the support of all races and, hopefully, we can go back to being the multiracial, multicultural and multireligious society that we are living in. Why do we encourage so many international and private schools when we should improve our school system?
There are many retired teachers of English and those who were educated in English and are willing to help teachers better themselves in the English language.
I would like to congratulate the Finance Ministry in its initiative to help people to learn English through its Bahasa Inggeris 1Malaysia (BI1M) pilot programme.
The nationwide initiative, under the National Blue Ocean Strategy, is to help people learn English while providing employment or business opportunities for the trainers.
It is open to Malaysians, regardless of age, who wish to improve their English language skills.
But we must start with the young and we can only do this if we have teachers who can teach English.
Unfortunately, there are not enough of them.
The issue in the declining standard of English must be addressed before the situation deteriorates further. The writer says Bahasa Malaysia is still our national language that unites and identifies us as Malaysians.
I do agree, but I also say that English is a global language that needs to be mastered if one wants to compete in this borderless world.
TUNKU DARA NAQUIAH,
Seremban, Negri Sembilan.