Letter to Finance Minister, Lim Guan Eng.

By : Chua Wee Cheak

Dear YB Lim Guan Eng, I am of the 80s generation. Much as I am proud of my ethnic Chinese heritage, so am I as a Malaysian. YB, I appeal to you to put some sense into your issue of using Mandarin in your media statements. This is not me talking alone, even those from among my peers share the same view. We have gone through the hard way of mastering Bahasa Malaysia and English properly, by virtue of the education system that was introduced during Tun Dr Mahathir’s tenure as the Education Minister and we are proud of the fact that we are able to use them together with our respective mother tongues without much difficulty in this beautiful multi-ethnic nation.

There is seriously no need to provide the Mandarin media statement to the Chinese media. Really, what’s the point? Yes, to avoid misunderstandings and misquoted facts. But if that were the case, then what are the translators and interpreters in media organisations for? They are there for a reason, please allow them to do their jobs. Let the media do their reporting the hard and honest way, even if it’s in a language different from what they are using for their reports. Plus, there is no need to make things too convenient for the bunch of Chinese youths who graduated from SJKC, who are increasing in numbers. It is already bad as it is with them living in their own cocoons. It would be best to instil in them the value of achieving things with hard work that would really qualify us as true ‘Malaysian citizens’.

We are not Singapore, where there are 4 official languages. If you wish to issue media statements in Mandarin alongside BM and English, please be fair to other media who are using Tamil, Kadazan and Iban. If you do so wanna encourage the learning of a third language, may I suggest that you propose to both Tun Dr Mahathir and Tuan Maszlee Malik for the compulsory learning of a third language in schools (the mother tongue in most cases) and for them to pass all three languages in the national examinations to obtain certification?

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