PKR president-elect Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has urged Malay youths and children to "empower" themselves by mastering non-Malay languages for the importance of commerce in the region
Anwar made the remarks at Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia’s (ABIM) 47th annual general meeting on Saturday, 20 October.
Specifically, he believes that the Chinese language should be mastered by youths and children as it is an important regional "economic language".
Anwar added, however, that mastering the Chinese language should not come at the cost of sidelining Bahasa Malaysia as the national language
According to Bernama, the former ABIM chief said, "Mastery of other languages must be supported but it does not mean I am defending the Chinese and English languages."
"The Chinese language is a strategic regional economic language at present, provided it is accepted without questioning the position of the Malay language as the national language."
As Malaysia is among the top countries for tourist arrivals from China, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) recently deployed Mandarin-speaking officials to attract and assist Chinese tourists
The move was made following an incident where an immigration officer at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) was heard telling Chinese tourists to "go back to China", as they could not speak Bahasa Malaysia.
MAHB deployed a total of six Mandarin speakers at critical junctions like the satellite building, contact pier, immigration arrival, and baggage claim area in KLIA and klia2.
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