Unemployment and English...

To date, one sad scenario in Malaysia is the increase of unemployment among local graduates. Even if you are a graduate from a top university, it is definitely NOT a guarantee that you will get a job. Studies conducted by the Ministry of Higher Education revealed that one of the causes of unemployment among local graduates was their poor command of English.

Regarding this issue, Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin recently said, “Local undergraduates should decide for themselves whether to heed the call to be more proficient in English.”

“It cannot be helped if the students do not wish to be helped,” he said.

Khaled was commenting on a protest by Universiti Malaya students, who accused vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Ghauth Jasmon of sidelining Bahasa Malaysia when he gave a briefing which stressed on English as the way forward. Dr Ghauth drew flak when he highlighted how English could enhance the students’ employment prospects.

Personally, I do agree with Datuk Seri Khaled’s comment. We need to admit that having a good command in English really is an important aspect of being employed. I am not trying to sideline Bahasa Malaysia or anything; in fact I do feel proud of my own language but this is the truth. Yes, it is the truth that good command in English is what the employers out there are looking for. And I’m not just saying this without basis; this is actually based on my own experiences.

I had my very first time job interview when I was in final year in university. The first thing that the interviewer asked me was, “Do you prefer Bahasa Malaysia or English?” When I said that I prefer English, she was definitely surprised and said, “That’s good to hear. Usually Malays don’t prefer English.” Honestly, I think it was kind of a trapped question. She wanted to know if I can actually speak in English since the nature of the job requires English as the main medium of communication. And the result of the interview? Yes, I got the job, though I turned it down for a better offer.

As for my current job, English is also the main medium of communication. And yes, I did speak in English when I was interviewed. I’m telling you, the interviews were not that easy!! And why did I write interview(s) with the ‘s’?

Well, there were stages of interviews. Nowadays, where ever you apply for a job, there will be 2 or 3 stages that you need to pass or MORE perhaps. I honestly think that you stand a chance better if you can speak in English and impress the interviewers. What I mean by ‘impress’ is not the usage of bombastic English words, though. It is better to just stick to simplicity. The sentences must be simple and precise in order to avoid any obvious mistakes. And one more important thing, be confident even if your English is not that perfect!! Why? Because sometimes the employers will accept you for your determination and your confidence. At least, that’s what I truly feel…

P/s: This entry is just my own personal opinion. No bad intention or anything…


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  1. im siding u on this, hee

    hentam jek, as long as it is convincing enough for them to take u in.

    it's the confidence that they wanna see.
    then do improve ur language skills lil by lil consistently; read n speak more :)

    `ain porcelain`

  2. soo true!!!
    d confidence is everything, even though you're not really sure with whatever you said, when you said it confidently, people will believe you...=)