The rise of China has made the country play an important role in the global stage and the inter-regional communication is increasing sharply. More and more foreigners are trying to master Chinese language with the emergence of “Mandarin fever”. Mr. Nasri Rahman, Consul-General of Malaysia in Kunming, is one of the learners. As a diplomat in China, he thinks that he can do a better job after mastering Chinese; in his personal point of view, the bilateral economic and trading relations between Malaysia and China have developed rapidly; the craze of learning Chinese is rising in all parts of the country. Regardless of politics and business, mastering Chinese language is undoubtedly a huge benefit for Malaysians.
My family members are all learning the language
“Chinese language is very important to me, not only for work but also for the frequent communication with local friends.” said Mr. Rahman in the meeting room of Consulate General of Malaysia in Kunming. In his opinion, with the close relation between Malaysia and China and the frequent communication, mastering Chinese language can better understand each other. Currently, the staff in the Consulate General and even his family members are all learning the language.
He told that he came to Kunming two years ago and started learning Chinese shortly after taking office. The Consulate General has built the cooperation with Yunnan Nationalities University; the university will specifically send one teacher majoring in Malay for giving classes twice a week and one textbook – Happy Chinese·Malay version.
“I feel that learning Chinese is very interesting. First of all, Chinese language is a very unique language. In Malaysia there are also a lot of Chinese schools and many people are learning the language. Learning Chinese can lead us to understand the Chinese culture. Through this language, we can enhance social connections and it plays a very crucial role in the economic and trading. Secondly, nowadays more and more foreigners come to China and learn Chinese in the universities, colleges or even private training institutes. So learning Chinese not only eases Malaysians to do business or to settle in China, but also is beneficial beyond the work.”
Speaking of his family members about learning Chinese, Mr. Rahman happily said that his wife is more diligent and she speaks Chinese better than him.
“She often goes to market to buy grocery, fruit and some other household items; she frequently uses Chinese, and she can bargain with the sellers in Chinese now.”
So far, Rahman is still learning elementary Chinese. Chinese writing is quite difficult for him. He “regrets” quite a bit that he didn’t learn Chinese before taking office. However, he didn’t have such condition at that time. He was not dispatched to Kunming from Malaysia but transferred from Consulate of Malaysia in Jordan.
According to Mr. Rahman, currently, in addition to the Consulate General in Kunming, Chinese language learning activities are carried out in many Consulate-General of Malaysia in other parts of China.
“Many of my friends, including Consul General of Malaysia in Shanghai and Guangzhou, speak Chinese very well. I believe that the projects or activities we are promoting will attract more Malaysians to come and learn Chinese now or in the future.”
So far, Malaysia has established one official cooperation project with Beijing Foreign Studies University in Beijing, sending exchange students mutually. He is also promoting aggressively the similar cooperation between China and Malaysia.
Malaysian government supports the development of Chinese schools
Speaking of the Chinese language education in Malaysia, Mr. Rahman said that Malaysian government treats equally to Chinese schools and other schools and offers same support on the school development.
According to the information from Xinhua News Agency, Malaysia is a multiracial country, where there are more than 500 million Chinese people, accounting for about 25% of the national population. The first Chinese school in Malaysia – Wu Fu Shu Yuan, was founded in 1819 in Penang. There are more than 1280 Chinese primary schools in Malaysia with about 63 million students; 60 Chinese secondary schools with 60,000 students; 3 Chinese colleges with about 5,000 students; and one newly established Chinese language education – based university.
“As we all know, Malaysia is a multicultural country. There are Chinese, Malay, Hindi and Arabic language schools to choose from. Currently Chinese language education is developing well in Malaysia and the government gives great support by offering the same treatment as other local schools. Inside the country people do have a very good learning environment and many can speak Chinese.”
He said that Malaysia and China have maintained a long-term friendly cooperative relations and the relation is still further improved. They send students to China to learn Chinese; the aim is not only to learn the language but also to promote the exchange and cooperation in political, economic and cultural fields between the two countries.
Speaking of the teaching method, Mr. Rahman said, since there are a lot of Chinese in Malaysia and Chinese schools as well, the environment to learn Chinese is very good, so what to learn is almost the same; everyone is learning the language with an integrated system.