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Sat, Jul 18, 2009
The Straits Times
English has an economic advantage too

I REFER to Tuesday's letter by Mr Kelvin Yang, 'Unity, that's why'.

I fully agree with Mr Yang that English binds the races and ethnicity in Singapore, and would like to take it one step further - it is a major 'marker' that makes us Singaporeans.

For this reason alone, let us keep English as the lingua franca.

For those who advocate the 'economic value' of Mandarin, kindly allow me to share this.

In the course of my work, I have had the opportunity to engage with senior management personnel in various multinational corporations and all things being equal, more than a few have expressed their preference for hiring Singaporeans to run key positions in their Asian operations simply because we straddle Asian and Western cultures well.

So, in terms of economic value, let us not shoot ourselves in the foot and forgo this competitive advantage.

Ronnie Lee

This article was first published in The Straits Times.

 

 

 
 
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