KUCHING: The younger generation of Sarawakians must realise the importance of the Mandarin language as it is fast becoming the future language of business and commerce, said Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah.
She also said learning the language has become a trend in much of the world in recent years.
“Although there is no denial that Bahasa Malaysia is important as it is the national language and English is the second national language in Sarawak, youngsters should consider learning Mandarin as well.
“Realising the importance of the three languages, our schools have decided to teach them to our students. More parents are also realising the importance of the language (Mandarin),” she said in her speech at Smart Reader® Worldwide’s re-launching ceremony for their Smart Mandarin® programme at Plaza Merdeka here yesterday.
Thus, Fatimah praised Sarawakians who are non-Chinese for wanting to learn the language and was also glad that certain schools in the rural areas are now teaching the Mandarin language to their students.
“There are now more parents of various ethnic backgrounds enrolling their children at multilingual schools. This is because being able to speak at least another language other than one’s mother tongue is an ability that comes with many benefits, especially in today’s globalised era and workplaces,” she said.
She advised parents to encourage their children to learn other languages such as Mandarin if it is not their mother tongue. She said there are about 873 million native speakers of the Mandarin language in the world and 178 million people speak it as a second language.
Meanwhile, Fatimah praised Smart Reader® Worldwide’s Smart Mandarin® programme as it helps to nurture and prepare students well for the future besides meeting the needs of multi-racial Malaysia.