Some students failed to talk proper english because of 3 reasons:
first, they were too shy not only at the secondary schools but also at the polytechnics and universities. Hard luck.
second, they were too afraid of many things such as - their friends will laugh at them especially the pronounciation such as Tottenham Court Road, London. The kelatanese may say it as totenhang kot rod ..and of course many people will laugh at this. So some of them hardly open their mouths from form 1 to form 5. they could only offer their wonderful smiles. Not bad huh?
finally, why must they bother speaking english. If they plan to work in their kampung only selling fishes, cows and goats afterr SPM / GCE 'O' Levels .. there is little chance their english will be ever used / needed. This is because the foreigners do not eat malaysian fishes, cows and goats. I think they eat beef burger - Ramli Burger. Sometimes, they work in the batik industry. Few foreigners ever walk into their shops .. if they do come.. sometimes the batik is too small for their sizes. So no need serious communication skills in the cottage industry. More over, this mat and mek salleh just wear 'Pagoda' t-shirt. they popped in to see the overall designs and patterns of our batik clothes / cloth. they take some pictures and that is it.
So that is the dillemma.
Big mountain to cross .. malaysian attitudes towards speaking english.