Departure Press Conference Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the Bintulu Airport on Wednesday, 2nd June 1993 at 12 p.m.
DAP supports Sim Moh Yee’s proposal that the government re-evaluate the position of Chinese language in the country in view of its greater international importance
DAP supports the proposal made by the Ziao Zhong Chairman, Sim Moh Yee last weekend that the government re-evaluate the position of Chinese language in the country in view of its greater and growing international importance.
China has become the world’s fastest-growing economy with a population of 1.2 billion. Recently, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) catapulted China overnight from being the world’s tenth largest economy to become the world’s third largest economy after United States and Japan – beating Germany, France, Italy and Britain.
This is the result of the IMF adopting a new method of measurement to estimate the size of each country’s economy. The IMF’s new gauge relies on “purchasing power parity”, a means of calculating national income based on a national basket of goods and services encompassing the likes of food, clothing, transport and housing which are tallied in local currency and compared with purchasing power of similar goods and services in other countries.
The traditional IMF measurement valued a country’s goods and services in dollars, using international exchange rates.
Under the new IMF measure, China’s economy is four times larger than the previous measurement.
Although economists may differ as to the use of the new IMF measurement, the fact of China’s growing importance in the world economy in the coming decade and century is indisputable.
Just as the Malaysian Government had re-evaluated the position of the English language in Malaysia in view of its critical importance in the international economy and market-place to Malaysia’s Vision 2020 of becoming a fully developed nation, the same imperatives also call for a re-evaluation of the position of Chinese language in Malaysia.
Malaysia must regard the Chinese language as a special advantage for Malaysians to take full part in the growth of the Chinese economy, and steps should therefore be taken not only to spread the learning of the Chinese language in schools and universities but to upgrade its standards as well.
If Malaysians of all races can approach this question with a fully open mind without any communal or chauvinistic baggage or suspicions, then Malaysia would be in a better position to reap from the benefits of a globalised marketplace.