English mastery vital for knowledge economy — FMM

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KUALA LUMPUR (July 18): Mastery of the English language is necessary in attracting higher value-added investments, thus allowing the country to move quickly towards achieving a high-income knowledge economy, says the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM).

In a statement, FMM president Datuk Soh Thian Lai said the federation welcomes and fully supports the statement by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on the importance of English in acquiring knowledge.

“FMM would like to reiterate that English competency is key in creating a pool of indigenous capacity and capabilities.

“It is important that the Government continues to emphasise and implement higher English immersion rates as research has shown that English proficiency is best obtained in an environment of 50 percent to 60 percent immersion," he said.

He said FMM has always emphasised that English needs to be strengthened in the education system because it is the language of mathematics, science, engineering, information and communications technology (ICT), and medicine.

“These core subjects facilitate the acquisition of scientific knowledge and technology that allow for research and development, greater innovation and knowledge-based ICT activities that would contribute to higher value-added activities in all sectors of the economy,” he added.