Singlish a plus for bonding among S'poreans, but a minus for use on world stage

Like Madam Ng Poh Leng, I have nothing against Singlish as a badge of identity, but cannot take pride in speaking confusing English ("Draw line between mistakes and language evolution"; Feb 9).

I spent a decade overseas, and was constantly reminded of how fortunate we are that our founding fathers decided pragmatically and intelligently that our language of administration should be English.

A good command of English gave Singaporeans a good head start, as we are able to communicate easily with the international community, whether as students, businessmen or office bearers in international organisations.

Having a fine intellect or a winning business idea is not of much use if we are unable to articulate our ideas properly in a language understood by the international community.

Standard English is also a huge advantage when attracting foreign investors, who are reassured that they will not be confronted with a language barrier.

Singlish may be fine for bonding among Singaporeans, but it is a creole language which is of no use if we want Singapore, and indeed, Singaporeans as individuals, to be respected internationally.

The fact that Singlish is being studied by linguists in no fewer than seven universities around the world ("Don't play, play - Singlish is studied around the globe"; Feb 5) confirms that it is not easily understood by the average non-Singaporean.

Singlish can be promoted only if all Singaporeans have a sound foundation in standard English and can switch effortlessly between the two for use in appropriate situations.

Agnes Sng Hwee Lee (Ms)