The need to preserve native language balanced against the assertion to have mastery of English language shared the concern of many Malaysian parents here. This thought is actually prompted by this article entitled 'Indonesians fear for their language', from the NST http://www.nst.com.my/nst/articles/16indoo/Article/. Our society faces the same challenge too.
For us, the need to prepare the kids for schools here often sidelines the importance of our own language. Introduction of double languages at the same times may lead to confusion, as happens in many pre-schools and kindergartens in our home country. They kids at the end seem to get nothing especially when it comes to reading and writing. The children, being taught here, picking up the language very fast. The environment gives the necessary support. Even Farhan started to correct my pronunciation when I read books to him every night (mine must be the 'Manglish' :-)
But the concern is, how are they going to adapt the school in the home country later on, which the standard level of starting the primary school for reading and writing is very high by relative. It is worrying indeed when the kids start to read Malay word with English style.
Hope the young generation will continue to be proud of their own native language despite their mastery of other language. It is the most important treasure for our identity. If not the Malay language will be extinct like thousands of many other languages in the world.