Malaysia's Education Minister calls for a third language for students

Malaysia's Education Minister calls for a third language for students

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin wants students, especially from the Malay community, to master a third language.

The deputy Umno president prefers it to be Mandarin.

Muhyiddin, who is Education Minister, proposed the creation of jobs for 30,000 new language teachers in national schools to facilitate teaching of a third language as an elective subject.

"I hope with the support of the (Umno) delegates and the Finance Minister, we can create new teaching positions to implement this policy," he said in his winding-up speech.

He said mastering a third language could help the Malay, Chinese and Indian students understand each other better.

Muhyiddin said the third language policy was already included in the schooling system.

"But too few took up (the third language course)," he added.

He also emphasised the need to enhance command of the Malay language to promote national unity.

This, he said, was important as studies have shown that some students could not even speak the national language.

"I have given a directive to improve the curriculum and quality of teachers teaching Bahasa Melayu in national schools," he added.

Muhyiddin also noted that 121 of the 638 resolutions presented at the Umno general assembly were related to education issues.

He also expressed gratitude to Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for allocating RM56.6bil, or 20.11 per cent of the Budget 2015 allocation for the Education Ministry.

Muhyiddin announced the setting-up of Parents Teachers Association Foundation with a start-up fund of RM200mil.

"We will get more government-linked companies and the private sector to contribute towards the Foundation," he added.

He also warned that Barisan Nasional risks losing the general election if it loses 2 per cent of the current 133 parliamentary seats to the Opposition.

"But if we gained another 5 per cent, we can regain a two-thirds majority," he added.

"We need new initiatives to correct public perception or else we will slip into the danger zone," he added.

He said a political audit team would be set up in every constituency to monitor development in the run-up to the next elections.

"We will appoint any member, not necessarily one with a party position, to help monitor the constituency," he added.

Muhyiddin warned Umno members to think seriously about staying relevant.

"Either do or be dead," he said.

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