The decision to make it compulsory for senior government officials to take an English language proficiency test will boost their self-esteem when communicating with foreigners, said Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik.
He said this was important as the nation is now getting global attention from countries which want to learn how Malaysia managed a peaceful transition of power recently.
“There will be many people (foreigners) who will ask and want to learn from Malaysia, but if our officers cannot communicate in English well, it will mar the reputation of the country.
“...and it is a challenge to the senior government officials as well as a way for them to improve the prestige of the nation,” he told reporters after a visit to his constituency here today.
Last Wednesday, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced that this group of civil servants would have to take an English Language proficiency test.
Meanwhile, Maszlee who is the Member of Parliament for Simpang Renggam said a community college and metro polytechnic would be built to improve the academic status of the people there.
However, he said, the project which was still being studied would not need a new building to be built but could use an existing building which would be renovated as the centre for learning and teaching.