Wednesday, 22 June 2011

How's My English, By The Way..?

On February 24, 2010, I got sick of listening so many people complained about the supposed lack of English skills among most Indonesian diplomats. And so, I decided to counter such foolishness with this comment, which was published in the Jakarta Post.

"I find the comments made by Mr. Iqra Anugrah and others here rather harsh, particularly about Indonesian diplomats being “the worst”.

I am not going to respond by regurgitating the Ministry’s line on human resources development. Nor am I going to go over the many successes we’ve achieved in the name of furthering Indonesian interests abroad and at home. I’ll leave that for more senior officials to explain.

I just think that it’s maybe about time that Mr. Iqra Anugrah and others meet some of the younger diplomats in the Ministry. You’d be surprised at how well-qualified (yet low-keyed) we are; the Jakarta Post even said so in the editorial. And most times we are driven by the goals set out by our (also) well-qualified seniors.

Of course, saying that all Indonesian diplomats are well-versed in English and academically-sound is as much a generalization as saying all Indonesian diplomats are not. We’ve got them all in the Ministry; we are as diverse as Indonesia itself. But these days, those with merits succeed over those without. Mr. Iqra Anugrah and the others here are just unlucky to have met those without.

I used to complain like many of you, living abroad and thinking I was better than most Indonesian diplomats. But then I decided to not only talk the talk, but also walk the walk. Believe me, it feels better to be part of change than to just nag about it.

How’s my English, by the way?"