Malaysia Not Hiring English Teachers from Singapore, Says Anwar Ibrahim


Malaysia Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has clarified that he never suggested hiring English teachers from Singapore, contrary to what some netizens have claimed.

In a speech at a civil service event, Mr Anwar slammed critics for jumping to conclusions based on inaccurate information.

“Listen first. Sometimes, the ‘three-minute experts’ will simply make (claims) on social media and all their facts are wrong,” said Mr Anwar according to media reports.

He stated during his speech at the Madani Aspiration Gathering at Putrajaya International Convention Centre on June 14 that it is incorrect to assume that we are hiring English teachers from Singapore.

“The assumption is that we are appointing English teachers from Singapore. That is wrong”.

“Recently, I met with Singaporean Prime Minister Lawrence Wong and discussed several matters”.

“(These included the possibility of) establishing an aid scheme from Singapore or getting volunteers, fully paid by the Singaporean Government, to go to rural areas, villages and the interior of Sabah and Sarawak to teach English,” he clarified.

Mr Anwar stated that he received criticisms from some for allegedly showing disrespect to local teachers by attempting to bring in teachers from across the Causeway. He clarified that the purpose of this action was solely intended to enhance the relationship between the two countries.

“I also want to build better relations with other countries. We want to be good with Thailand, Singapore, Brunei and Indonesia – our important neighbours.

“There were some who said that I do not respect my own people and try to ‘bring in Communists’ from Singapore. We offer it to all countries.

“At universities in Uzbekistan… If they want to send their students here, I said it’s also good for us to send our lecturers there to observe the changes.

“It was the same with Japan. I also discussed it with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida,” he added according to the star.


During a recent visit to Kuala Lumpur by Singaporean counterpart Lawrence Wong, Mr Anwar discussed the two countries’ strategies for engagement and explored opportunities to deepen ties.

While the leaders agreed to work on resolving issues such as water, FIR, and maritime borders, Mr Anwar did mention the possibility of Singapore sending teachers to Malaysia to help with English instruction. However, Mr Anwar did not provide further details about this proposal.

During the joint press conference with Mr Wong that was live-streamed, Mr Anwar had reportedly said : “We touched on the broad parameters to discuss issues of water, FIR (Flight Information Region Agreement), and maritime borders which will be resolved”.

“But beyond that, we did discuss the possibility of Singapore considering my humble submission of sending teachers to teach English or some other subjects to many regions in this country, let the young graduates make their own choice.”

After his visit, Mr Anwar’s suggestion that Singapore send its teachers to Malaysia to teach English was widely reported in the local media.

However, his comments were met with criticism from Malaysians on social media, who felt that the country should prioritize its own teachers.

Malaysia’s National Union of the Teaching Profession also opposed the proposal, stating that there were enough local teachers capable of filling the role. Additionally, a reader’s letter published in FMT questioned the necessity of seeking English teachers from Singapore when Malaysia has a population of 34 million.

Top image screengrab via The Star

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