KUALA LUMPUR, June 23, 2015:

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar said it was up to the parents where they preferred to send their children to get their education.

Responding to a question on the importance of English at a #TanyaGomen session with the public on the 11th Malaysia Plan, Abdul Wahid, who is charged with national economic planning, agreed English was vital, but communication skills were more important.

It was also pointed out in the question that some Malaysian ministers sent their children to international schools rather than government schools.

“I personally send my children to a government school. We have good schools here that have very good activities for the children.

“Those who send their kids to international schools do so based on their own priorities and capabilities.”

Abdul Wahid said Malaysia was always committed to the stand of “Upholding Bahasa Malaysia and Strengthening English”.

He said despite having good schools, governments schools lacked “diversity”.

“We have a good mix of Malay and Indian children in government schools, but the Chinese prefer to send their children to Chinese schools.”

When asked if he would support the idea of having Mandarin as an extra subject in schools, based on the language’s global recognition and importance, he said he “would support learning any additional language in school”.

“It can be Mandarin, Hindi or even French. Learning a new language in school is a good idea and I will always support that notion.”

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