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Singapore

 

Without bilingual policy, Singapore might be only English-speaking today: PM Lee

Published on Jul 10, 2014 7:48 PM
 
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong gives a speech at the Waldorf Astoria New York Hotel, in New York City, USA, on Jun 26, 2014. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has addressed concerns that Mandarin standards are slipping, saying that it is not appropriate to compare today's social and linguistic environment with that in the 1950s. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has addressed concerns that Mandarin standards are slipping, saying that it is not appropriate to compare today's social and linguistic environment with that in the 1950s.

Speaking in Mandarin at a dinner to mark the 75th anniversary of Chung Cheng High School, Mr Lee defended the Government's bilingual policy and presented a different perspective on the issue.

"If we did not introduce the bilingual policy, promote Mandarin and start Special Assistance Plan (SAP) schools, Singapore today might be a completely English-speaking society," he said.

Given an environment where English is the lingua franca and working language, it has already not been easy to maintain Singaporeans' Mandarin standards at the level it is today.

 
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