Datuk Sebastian Ting
MIRI: English can be used as a medium of instruction in national schools in Sarawak and Sabah as it is in accordance with Malaysia Agreement 1963.
Commenting on a recent report that it is unlawful to use English as a mediumof instruction in national schools, SUPP secretary-general Datuk Sebastian Ting said the Ministry of Education should explain why it is a violation of Article 152(1) of the Federal Constitution and the National Language Act 1963/67, and also contravenes the letter and the spirit of Education Act 1996, to use English in schools.
“The Sarawak government has not passed any ordinance or enactment in the Sarawak legislature to restrict or terminate the usage of English as an official language as stated in the Cobbold Commission Report, Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report and Article 161 (3) of the Federal Constitution .
Pakatan Harapan (PH) Sarawak secretary Senator Alan Ling, meanwhile, said the usage of English is common in Sarawak, including in all courts in Sarawak. In Peninsular Malaysia it’s common that Bahasa Malaysia is used in the lower courts like magistrate’s court and Sessions Courts.
“I do not have much law practice involvement in Sabah but I believe English is still widely used there, especially by senior practitioners.
“I say that the court proceedings in Malaysia should be conducted in English for practicability reason as most of the case law, legislation, and references are in English,” he said.