Found this tidbit while reading Lee Kuan Yew’s entry in Wikipedia:
Designating official languages
Lee continued the colonial legacy of imposing English as the language of the workplace and the common language among the different races, while recognising Malay, Mandarin Chinese, and Tamil as the other three official languages. All state schools use English as the medium of instruction, although there are also lessons for their respective mother tongues.
Like I said before, that’s what we should do. Have English as the language that bridges the communication gap. Have it as the medium instruction and shore up the little advantage we have over other southeast asian nations. At the same time cultural groups that speak a certain dialect can freely use it amongst themselves and keep it alive in their land. It shouldn’t be the government’s fucking job to keep your language alive, it should be yours.