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M’sians split over Maya Karin opinion on English literacy; others not missing chance to troll

M’sians split over Maya Karin opinion on English literacy; others not missing chance to troll

Akmal Hakim

Local actress Maya Karin went trending on social media over the weekend after she posted comments that have Malaysians at a split.

(Image Credit: Imgflip)

Recently the starlet tweeted about her face-to-face with a 10-year-old girl in Terengganu and publicly called out how the youth lacked proficiency in the English language.

As the story goes, Maya had asked the girl a question in English, but when she did not get an answer the celebrity then asked the same question again in Malay. It was only then that she received a reply.

From that encounter, Maya took it as her prerogative to question the level of English education in the country, even tagging Education Minister Maszlee Malik in her posting.

The tweet quickly gained attention from netizens with many criticizing the actress in questioning the intelligence of rural Malaysia.

But, a number of Malaysians also sided with Maya in saying that the scene was proof of a deep-seated problem that exists in the country’s socio-economic and cultural divide, as well as disparities in the nation’s education system.

“Thank you @maya_karin for opening everyone’s eyes. One of the reasons why this happens is that many people in Terengganu are narrow-minded. When someone tries to speak English, there would be those who would tease and even scold them. Even until secondary school, their English wouldn’t be okay.”

via Twitter

Responding to the criticism, Maya later came out to the media explaining that she had no intentions of insulting anyone, instead wanted to address the language barriers that exist within the community.

She pointed out that in order for the society to succeed and grow, there is a strong need to learn and experience multiple languages, especially English as it is the current global lingua franca.

“It’s weird that there are Malays who can only speak in Malay, and Malays that can only speak in English or Chinese and Indians that can only converse in English.”

“If we can all speak multiple languages, we would have more advantages.”

“For us to develop, English is very important in order to communicate internationally.”

“It has nothing to do with glorifying the colonial language and it is not biased towards Western languages, the reality is that English is the international language used today.”

said Maya in an interview with Astro AWANI

Meanwhile, with the internet being, well… the internet!

Parodies of Maya’s comment also blew up on social media and became the trending joke of the week.

Here are some of the few hilarious ones we managed to pull out;


Makang ikang atas pingang!

He’s a DATUK, OK!


All it takes is one bad day…

It’s rude to ask a lady about her age.

Henlo polis…

Shots fired!

So Malaysia, where do you stand?

Is the current level of English literacy in Malaysia inadequate? Or do we need to highlight the importance of the national language even more?

Share us your thought on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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