Dysfunctional Linguists

Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi delivering his speech at the 71st UNGA in New York - photo courtesy of BERNAMA
Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi delivering his speech at the 71st UNGA in New York – photo courtesy of BERNAMA

I admit I cringed when Zahid Hamidi delivered his speech at the 71st UNGA in New York yesterday.  My wife and cousins were in fits.  This wasn’t the first time that I cringed when a Malaysian stood in front of an international audience delivering a speech or presentation with a poor command of the English language.  The first was the late Tun Ghafar Baba who also delivered a speech on behalf of the government also at the UNGA 27 years ago next month talking about the Antarctic Treaty System.  In various oil and gas meetings and conferences, I had to endure speeches delivered by Malaysians and cringed everytime they burst out in a self-made English-sounding slang to accompany their already poor command of the English language.  Definitely Zahid et al need to brush up their command of the English language.  However, there have been meetings and conferences that I have attended where even non-Malaysian speakers struggle with their English-language presentations and discussions.  It is not just Malaysians who have this problem.

Most of those who criticise Zahid are those who still use ‘CONGRATES’ and/or ‘STUCKED.’  And many cannot even converse in Bahasa Malaysia despite having Malaysian birth certificate and identity card. Zahid could of course speak in Bahasa Malaysia, Javanese, a Chinese dialect (his foster father is a Chinese) and as we know now, some English.  My only complain is of the quality of some of the English language teachers that we have. I still see some English teachers on social media

Grammar?
Grammar?

We have had two reports on the importance of Bahasa Melayu becoming the National Language published prior to the 13th May tragedy (Razak Report, 1956 and Rahman Talib Report, 1960). The Mahathir Mohamad Cabinet Report (1985) emphasised the importance of Bahasa Melayu as the unifying language for all races in Malaysia.  In fact, Article 152 of the Federal Constitution and the National Language Act 1963/1967 have uphold Bahasa Melayu as the National Language.  The Razak Report pointed out not only should the medium of teaching in schools be in Bahasa Melayu, but also for a uniformed curriculum to be taught at all schools. However, this was not thoroughly implemented. Children still went to schools with different medium of language.  Different languages instill different values; and the use of Bahasa Melayu as a medium of teaching became a serious issue (Abdullah Hassan, 1996: 265).

As an outcome of the 13th May tragedy, political leaders got together and agreed that a single language as a medium of teaching is the way to foster unity amongst the different races of Malaysia.  Tun Datuk Patinggi Hj Abdul Rahman Bin Ya’kub, the Education Minister in 1970 instructed all English-medium schools to use Bahasa Melayu in stages.  Only a few Chinese schools continued to teach lessons in Mandarin (Abdullah Hassan, 1996: 266).

The rift is getting worse now. We have chauvinistic organisations championing the right to teach subjects in the vernacular to their students, while the National Language becomes just one of the subjects. Bangladeshis, Pakistanis, Myanmarese now have better command of the National Language than many of the people’s representatives.  Who are we to blame?  So, stop complaining about Zahid. If he can improve his command of the English language, can you improve your Bahasa Malaysia too?

Lest we forget:

Terbulu-bulu
Terbulu-bulu

Najib Spoke To Only Rosmah At The UNGA

What a shock it was! There were photos made viral on Whatsapp and shared on Twitter that the Prime Minister made a speech in a largely deserted UNGA hall and only and mainly to his wife and a few representatives from Malaysia.

The story was also carried by a portal and it is undeniable that the Prime Minister of Malaysia was boycotted by the UNGA.

  
You can see there were three photos on the blog page that were extracted from various Whatsapp and socmed sites.

  
Above is Najib Razak, enthusiastically delivering his speech reportedly to an empty hall recently. 

Wait! What’s that on the crawler at the bottom? Qatar investigated for a RM15.6 million bribe? If that amount is divided by 4 to reflect the current exchange rates that would translate into USD 3 point something million. If we use the rates from last year (2014) and take 3 as an exchange rate then it would come to USD 5 million.

And there is a story about that:

  
That was a story filed in mid 2014. Therefore the photo of Najib’s speech was taken last year.

So, what about the other two photos?

   
 
I’ll let you read both crawlers at the bottom and you tell me what year are we in now?

Whoever posted these photos must be damned lazy. Whoever’s paying them should just tie them with chains and drop them into the sea. 

Najib is only scheduled to deliver his speech at the UNGA TOMORROW, losers! Not today!