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PETALING JAYA: Fresh graduates are requesting job interviews to be conducted in languages other than English as they are not proficient in the language.

The managing director and group chief executive officer of PKT Logistics Group, Datuk Michael Tio, said the graduates who come for interviews were degree holders.

“But they are asking us if we can speak in languages other than English.

“I was disappointed when English was removed as the medium (of instruction) in schools. I didn’t agree with this and now we have a problem in the quality of education in Malaysia,” he said

Tio said it was important for degree holders to have a solid foundation.

“As an example, if there is a foreign visitor, the employee might have to do a presentation, converse with the visitor and offer them some food but he or she might shy away if he or she cannot converse in English.

“As a result, the individual might not be employable,” he said.

Tio explained that employees were usually given training before they started their work.

“But if they do not even speak English, should the employer have to teach them to speak English?” he said.

Feruni Ceramiche Sdn Bhd managing director CC Ngei said it was important to build a strong foundation in English from a young age.

“If you do not have a strong foundation once you start work, you need to work twice as hard.

“Your results will be half or maybe less than those who have a good command of English,” he said.

Ngei and Tio each handed over a mock cheque worth RM50,000 to Star Publications (M) Bhd group managing director and CEO Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai for the sponsorship of Step Up pullouts by The Star.

This is the fourth consecutive year that PKT Logistics Group sponsored the Step Up pullouts while Feruni Ceramiche Sdn Bhd came in for the first time to sponsor the pullouts.

In initiative under The Star’s NiE (Newspaper-in-Education) programme, the Step Up is a 24-page bilingual and educational magazine aimed at enhancing the command of English among pupils.

Step Up features syllabus-based content which tackles themes set by the Education Ministry.

The supplement consists of 17 issues per year with four revision issues in examination format.

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