NILAI: Anwar Ibrahim called on Malay children to master the Chinese language as it was an important regional 'economic language'.
"Mastery of other languages must be supported but it does not mean I am defending the Chinese and English languages," the de facto leader of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) said at a seminar organised in conjunction with the 47th general assembly.
"The Chinese language is a strategic regional economic language at present provided it is accepted without questioning the position of the Malay language as the national language," he added.
Anwar, who is a former Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia chief, also said the nation's development needs to be in tandem with the emphasis on humanitarian aspects in order to heighten Islamic understanding more inclusively.
He said at the moment the effort to show Islamic understanding was facing the challenges of knowledge, understanding and attitude.
"Our economic view must not be just good governance and no corruption but there must be human values.
"Because, sometimes development in terms of numbers shows stunning growth but the human dimension is marginalised," he said.
He said this in the National Seminar: The Vision of the New Malaysia Aspiration in conjunction with the 47th general assembly organised by ABIM.