This morning I had the rare opportunity to sit down for a few minutes with a top diplomat from a certain foreign country. I can’t disclose who it is just yet – news embargo! – but you’ll get to see it soon enough (00:01hrs on Thursday, 17 June 2010 on PopTeeVee!). We discussed bilateral issues, the diplomat’s hopes and dreams for this country, and of course, the World Cup!
Suffice to say that this top diplomat is one of my favourites, if only because he’s so laid back, nonchalant, and really doesn’t care much for protocol.
Now, in a roundabout manner, this brings us to something that Rafidah Aziz (ex-Foreign Trade minister) said in the Singapore Business Times (I tried looking for the article, but can’t find it… oh Google!), something to the tune of: Malaysian diplomats these days have poor command of the English language, so much so that they are cowed when it comes to international diplomacy and trade talks.
A shame. And the way things are running with the teaching of English in Malaysian schools and institutions of higher learning (flip… flop… flip…) this problem may persist for the next few batches of young diplomat-types.
Hmm, maybe I should try out for a foreign posting! Ha!