Lu Mau Saya Cakap Bahasa ah?


It seems these days there is no shortage of reasons which is actually excuses at ‘Chinese bashing and insult’ or should we say ‘bashing Bangsa Malaysia’ to take a leaf from ole Tun M’s recent call for BolehLand fellos to consider themselves ‘Bangsa Malaysia’.
The latest is by a former Berita Harian editor as reported in an online news here who questioned the patriotism of non-Malays especially the Chinese who is reported to have said that ‘after 53 years of independence, non-Malays should be proud of the national language if they were loyal citizens.’

He was reported to say there were non-Malays that did not care about and deliberately “belittled Malay” despite calling Malaysia their country.

“What loyalty is there if they do not try to learn and use their own national language?”
They get so sensitive when their patriotism is doubted but make no effort to use and understand Malay.”

Instead of blaming the Chinese or Indians for having vernacular schools which according to him is just for passing exams, he should ask the government to amend the Constitution and the Education Minister to mandate only Bahasa Melayu be the language for schools. As long as the Constitution allowed for that, anyone questioning this right should be cited for sedition right?

Who is questioning the Malay language and who is belittling the Malay language? It is an insult to all Malaysians who can speak our national language to be singled out as not being loyal or patriotic on a bias generalisation that other fellos apart from Malays cannot speak the national language or belittle it!

Why is loyalty in BolehLand often considered on one way option? Who is getting sensitive about the language issue? The politicians and the language papers really, right? For ordinary fellos, they know when to use a common language, and noone questioned each other’s loyalty even if they all spoke in Engrish or a rojak of all the languages spoken. Is our editor advocating for a Dewan Bahasa conversation. Or is the real issue when speaking in Bahasa Melayu to adopt the Berita Harian / Utuasan Malaysia mentality, huh?

If need be, all Bangsa Malaysia will use the Malay language. In the university, I was teased and mocked by Chinese friends from Chinese medium schools for not being able to speak my mother tongue? Now how do you speak Hakka well if your family members attend mission school and your dad is so typical an English influenced civil servant at that time the civil servants spoke English most times. And my mom spoke in proverbial Hakka which was really nice to listen but sadly since she passed away when I was young, the mother tongue I inherited was from neighbourhood friends.

But as long as my chinese is able to get me my laksa instead of chow kueh teow, I am fine with that. And if i need to read English subtitles watching chinese movies, does it mean I’m less Chinese or loyal BolehLand citizen? Though it would be an asset to know how to speak Mandarin considering it makes travel easier in the Oriental world, right? It would also let one appreciate the great classical Chinese literary works!

Did I or should I feel ashamed and less a Malaysian or even a Chinese? I told myself that I’d excel in English as it opened up a world for me. But that did not let me look down on Bahasa Melayu. It was we were told a language of unity and also for passing your exams which our former editor failed to also mentioned. And my colleague, a Malay would certainly feel insulted at that insinuation becoz her children are all in Chinese schools!!! And what of the many MARA students conversant in Mandarin, that even puts china-apek like me to shame!!!

And being in a line where both English and Bahasa Melayu is important, I do take exception and an insult if anyone questioned my loyalty.

So why are such people allowed to make disparaging remarks and belittle other races on the pretext they are not conversant in Bahasa Melayu? It is becoz many today can understand the national language they are exposed to the thinking of the Malays through their writing. Though some feel insulted becoz of use of certain derogatory term without understanding the context of its usage in literature!

Even if my chinaman frens were schooled in Mandarin, we spoke Bahasa Melayu to communicate. And so do millions of other anak Bangsa Melayu these days. So on what scientific, statistical, psychological, sociological or intellectual study did our fello academican base his comments on? Perhaps some fello or group should make a police report on this fello and the AG or ISA bois can act question our academician, eh? Or will the authorities act on such police reports in the first place?

Perhaps as some commentators correctly point out that raising such sensitivities is to prop up sales of the Malay newspapers, at least BH and UM. If it’s correct, then it’s more an economic issue than one of loyalty, no? Besides it’s a known fact that the gossipy Bahasa Melayu dailies are getting more audience readership than these two traditional mouthpiece of a Malay race party. Goes to show that the ordinary folks are more interested in the and anything with ‘S’-es (sex, sluts, scheming, seduction, gossips, scandals, murders and anything salacious) than what UMNO leaders are doing here and there are griping about now and then.

One doesn’t need to know Dewan Bahasa Kamus to know that loyalty and patriotism is not about speaking a common language! So for us to get upset by a rather myopic thinking ex editor, is an insult to our intelligence and maturity! Are we any surprised what is spewed out in the Malay language papers with the kind of generalisation attitudes embedded in the grey matter of such fellos in the media?

It would be interesting if the ex editor would berate his own kind for wanting to retain English in schools. Hope he read a PAGE of such attempts to allow for English medium schools at best or as a compromise for the teaching of Science and Maths.

And when will some patriotic loyalists question those who preferred to use English in business and everyday conversation?

Loyalty, patriotism and also what have you goes beyond just speaking a common language. In a diverse society, it is important and useful to understand each others lingo. And if one is handicap in other languages except Bahasa Melayu, how will he or she show her patriotism or defend her nation when he can’t express it in an international language, like English when they are abroad?

For an academician to think that a common language equates to loyalty is frightening because of students under him will get such a slanted and prejudicial view of what patriotism and loyalty entail, yes?

My brother taught Bahasa Melayu in school. And he is as loyal and patriotic to his country as any Perkasa member or the ex editor. Did he get any promotion, or cheaper house or even a scholarship for his children? Nope, but his kids who by the way were A students in Sekolah Menegah Kebangsaan, beg and scouted for their own scholarships and one is working with Apple in Uncle Sam’s abode. So for these kids, who spoke Bahasa Melayu as well as English, are we telling them they are not loyal or patriotic? Oh are we going to use the next excuse that they preferred to work overseas as an unpatriotic and disloyal BolehLand citizen?