Originally Posted by emp
No, they speak english because they know most westerners don't speak anything else.
"looking up to westerners" - yeah right.
I guess I mean, Caucasians.
In the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietname, Cambodia and even Singapore and China, the general mentality is White people = money. I know, I'm from Malaysia (born and breed), I have friends from these other places, (local filipinos and indonesian).
In most cities, Bali, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Pattaya, Phuke, Bangkok, you'll get along just fine speaking strictly English.
English is part of the curriculum for most of these people. They speak the language because they're westernized themselves or just like speaking English.
Most Chinese in SG for example, speak English among themselves.
The Indians in my neighborhood don't speak Tamil. They speak English.
Being a white person in Asia, you're practically treated as first-class citizen, better than locals.