Coming fr a part of the old British empire (that's non-English but with an English-speaking population today), one has a certain perspective on this. The British spread the seeds for English around the world, thru their empire. The Americans would later reinforce these 'seedlings' thru their overwhelming economic dominance of the world, after the WW2 and when the British began decolonisation. In Singapore's and Malaysia's case, we speak English today merely because it's today's international language of business and commerce; not out of any longing for the old empire. This is due to America dominating the trading system in this part of the world. W/o America's influence, the locals would never have started English classes in our national schools - during colonial times, the Brits never bothered to teach too many locals the English language, except for the few missionary schools. I'll put the case, with America having the greater influence.