The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Malaysian Prime Minister Gives Press Conference in Perfect English

Posted on | March 24, 2014 | 52 Comments

Yes, I know the big headline is about the lost flight — “It is therefore with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that, according to this new data, flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean” — but watching it live on TV, what struck me is that Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak delivered his press conference in such wonderfully fluent English. Razak spoke rather slowly, but quite clearly, and with only the slightest hint of an accent.

This was a triumph of the global Anglosphere. Anyone who speaks English worldwide — in Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Canada, Great Britain, South Africa or wherever — could have understood every word by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, as much as if it had been the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom speaking.

Could someone please explain, then, why it is considered xenophobic bigotry for us to expect immigrants to learn English? All over the world, English is recognized as the language of commerce and prosperity. Welcome to America. Now speak English.

 

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