I am … Jalil

I was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital city.

I studied English at an early age as in my first school, I learnt all subjects in the English medium. I continued studying in English until Form Five.

After sitting for my form five exams in November, I went to London, where my family already were since the early months of autumn of 1967 to continue my studies. I attended Quintin Grammar school (one of a few grammar schools still remaining before the British revamped their education system to change all government schools to Comprehensive schools), and then continued at Westminster College for my A levels. I went to Exeter University in August 1970 until May 1974 to study for the Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering.

I returned to Kuala Lumpur and started work at Esso Malaysia (now known as Exxon Mobil) for more than 5 years. We still had substantial numbers of expatriates there and English was the medium of conversation. I then joined a joint-venture company with Systems House of Canada, working with consultants from Canada.

I then left for two years to read for my Masters in Business Administration at the Business School (now called A.B. Freeman School of Business), Tulane University in New Orleans.

I brought my wife and son to New Orleans for the two years that I studied there. We enjoyed those two years and managed to see many Western states of U.S.A. and visited New York, N.Y., and Washington, D.C., before returning.

When I returned, the economy was in a recession and jobs were hard to come by. I joined a local bank and worked there for eight years, learning all I could about local businesses as I had wanted to go into business eventually.

I write all these to let you know my medium of communication would be in English generally, as that is the language I find myself speaking in, whenever I meet business people and even socially. My mother tongue is Malay and I use that at home and among family and close friends.

I do not believe English is the language of the colonialists. It is a medium of communication.