Rompin Member of Parliament (MP) Datuk Seri Hasan Arifin claimed that English is not an "intellectual" language yesterday, 22 October
Hasan had made his observation during yesterday's debate on the 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP) Mid-Term Review (MTR) in the Dewan Rakyat.
New Straits Times reported him as claiming that developed economies such as Japan, Taiwan, and non-English speaking European countries did not use English in their journey to success.
"Even though one needs to know English to sell cars, cars have never been produced by countries that use English (as their main language)," Hasan claimed.
He also argued that English speakers never created great civilisations
He cited ancient civilisations to prove his point.
"Rome, Persia, Arabia, China, and India built their civilisations on their respective languages. English speakers have never created global civilisations," Hasan said in Parliament.
"English is not an intellectual language that develops the mind and brain. The Sanskrit language from India is superior. The Urdu and Arab languages are superior. The Chinese language is superior," he added.
Hasan then sparked laughter in the Dewan after he was told that he had been using the English word "superior" to describe languages other than English
New Straits Times reported Kangar MP Noor Amin Ahmad as asking Hasan if he knew a word equivalent to "superior" in Bahasa Malaysia, causing laughter to erupt in Parliament.
Hasan then asked around for the answer to Noor Amin's question.
Hasan then made references to India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
"When India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh were colonised, they used the English language right away. They then became underdeveloped," the Rompin MP was quoted as saying by Free Malaysia Today.
"Why deify a language that did not bring success to our nation-building?" Hasan asked.