Lee Kuan Yew says families should speak Mandarin at home


Lee Kuan Yew on bilingualism.  AsiaOne, with video:

Singaporeans should not give up on their Chinese language, said former Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew at a dialogue session at World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention on Friday.

He said: “Everybody knows you got to do English, otherwise you won’t get on in Singapore…you won’t get on in international companies and so on.

“But if you give up Chinese, you have lost something very valuable, and you mustn’t give it up.

“I have spent a whole lifetime catching up with my Chinese, but it is important that we know ourselves and that we understand bilingual language and the spoken language.”

Mr Lee said that Singaporeans who are well versed in Mandarin can help the Chinese businesses that are venturing into the region.

“Chinese is also a must because if you haven’t got that, you will not have the self-confidence that you should have on your Chinese,” he said. “Secondly, you cannot take the advantage on the rise of China and the Chinese will go out in the region and we can be their pathfinders apart from going there and doing business, so it is absolutely essential that we keep speaking Chinese.”

Mr Lee also expressed concern that more families in Singapore are speaking English at home. He said: “I’m worried that more and more families are speaking English because they want children to learn English.

“I think it’s a mistake, they will learn English in school anyway and they should keep up their Mandarin at home so that the child will naturally speak Mandarin.”


3 Responses to “Lee Kuan Yew says families should speak Mandarin at home”

  1. 1 patriot

    Stop At Two was a grave mistake.

    Making English Language as the only
    medium of instruction(education) was/is
    a moral mistake.
    Now, most of the young Singaporean
    Malay, Chinese and Indian have lost
    their cultures and traditions.
    And worse,
    it had caused many of the younger
    generations unable to relate to their
    grandparents. This results in many
    family problems and break-ups.

    How sinful can it be than to cause
    families to break-ups and people
    to uproot themselves???


  2. 2 lee fuck yew

    i speak whatever the hell i want at home.none of old fart’s business.

    and,shouldn’t we speak our mother tongue at home??

    the fuck should i be speaking mandarin when i am born to a hokkien father???how will my grandparents talk to me when they are hokkien themselves???

    fucked up policy,fucked up rational to get ppl speaking mandarin from a fucked up asswipe.

  3. 3 Tan Peia Lam

    Agreed. I am a Malaysia and I will be sending my two kids to Chinese School but only English at home.

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