KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 23, 2014): Berjaya Corporation Bhd founder, Tan Sri Vincent Tan, has come out strongly in favour of English with a RM4 million grant to Science of Life Studies 24/7 (SOLS 24/7) that teaches the language free of charge to the poor. In a birthday gift to the organisation that teaches English to those who need it for free and at a subsidized cost to those who can, he said many had benefited from classes run by the group of volunteers. Calling Raj Ridvan Singh who leads SOLS 24/7 onstage as he spoke about its activities in his speech at the Berjaya Founders Day celebration on Saturday, he lauded Raj and his father, Madenjit Singh, and volunteers who included foreigners. SOLS 24/7 has 30 centres nationwide with plans to touch the 100 mark this year. The well-known supporter of English devoted several minutes to the importance of English, saying that , among others, proficiency in the language had got him where he was. He said he could not have done business abroad without English. adding that he could discuss business deals with English speakers abroad because he was fluent in the language. “If I couldn’t speak English, perhaps I would have ventured only to China. If more Malaysians could speak the language fluently, we would attract more foreign investors to Malaysia,” he said. During the event, the 3rd Better Malaysia Foundation Person of the Year Award 2014 was presented to well-known environmentalist and humanitarian, Dr Jane Goodall, an expert on chimpanzees. The founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and the Roots and Shoots programme, who could not be present, won a cash prize of RM 500,000 with the award. Visit the Photo Gallery to view more photos of the event.