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Cabinet allows use of English in official Sabah, Sarawak matters
Published on: Tuesday, November 21, 2023
By: Bernama
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Cabinet allows use of English in official Sabah, Sarawak matters
“Mastering the national language is a must for all Malaysians, apart from other international languages, including English, Mandarin, Arabic, or other main languages of the world,” Ewon said.  
PENAMPANG: The Cabinet has agreed to allow the use of English in official matters in Sabah and Sarawak, said Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Datuk Ewon Benedick.

The Penampang Member of Parliament said the decision is in line with the constitutions of both states, which allow the use of English for official purposes.  

“This (the use of English) will also include court proceedings and the State Legislative Assemblies of Sabah and Sarawak,” he said in a statement after launching the Be English Speakers Today (BEST) programme, here, Monday. 

Commenting on BEST, which is a collaboration between Yayasan Bank Rakyat and INDEP Education Foundation, Ewon said such programmes can cultivate the use of English among the young generations, in addition to using the national and native languages.   

“Students are encouraged to master at least three languages, namely the mother tongue, the national language and the main international language. 

“Mastering the national language is a must for all Malaysians, apart from other international languages, including English, Mandarin, Arabic, or other main languages of the world,” he said.  

The BEST will benefit over 390 students from six selected states in Sabah, who will learn to master the English language. 

Meanwhile, Ewon said the Cabinet never discussed bringing Palestinian refugees into the country.

He said only ways of providing humanitarian aid to victims of the Palestine-Israel conflict were discussed. 

“There have been many views and comments on this, and I wish to state that the Cabinet has never spoken about wanting to bring Palestinian refugees to Malaysia,” he said.

“There was also no mention of support for Hamas,” the Upko President added.

He said the Cabinet had agreed to collect funds to help Palestinian victims of the conflict, regardless of whether they were Muslims or Christians.

On his party’s stance on the issue, he said the Government should learn from the past where Filipinos were allowed to seek refuge in Sabah during the (conflict in the southern Philippines).

Benedick said this resulted in a complex problem for the State and its population, which has yet to be resolved until today.

He also said while helping people outside the country, there should also be more focus on government aid to hardcore poor Sabahans.

“Sabah is among the poorest states with the most hardcore poor people in the country, so any form of assistance should go to Sabah first,” he said.

Benedick, who is Penampang MP and Kadamaian Assemblyman, said there should be aggressive efforts to help Sabahans and lift them out of poverty.

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