Monday, September 22, 2008

What is this charade all about?

This Chinese road sign charade in Penang is yet another Race Card being thrown in the face of the Malaysian populace by ethnic-Chinese chauvinists. Not satisfied by the proliferation of road names honouring obscure, long-dead Chinese personalities such as Jalan C.Y. Choy above, Chinese-based political parties in Penang are now locked in a spiralling battle of wanting to appear more Chinese than the other.

The victim: Road Signs! And, of course, the general Malaysian populace.

The Chinese-centric Gerakan party, the big losers in the 12th General Elections, went on this Chinese road sign mania reputedly in order to regain ethnic-Chinese support, as if a precondition of gaining support from the ethnic-Chinese citizens of Malaysia is via the desecration of road signage in Bahasa Malaysia, the National Language, by the National Language of a distant foreign land called China. This is nothing more than blatant, treacherous, provocative Racism.

Would any other country on earth allow unauthorised plantings of supplementary or competing signage in other languages on her streets?
Try this stunt in any American, British or Australian city and see what happens. The area residents would tear it to bits in an instant. And the vandals would be beaten to a pulp as a lesson.

Why must Malaysia be different? Why must Malaysians tolerate the desecration of their street names and neighbourhoods by rascals and hoodlums bent on imposing their twisted chauvinistic afflictions on the populace? Where else on earth would a sovereign nation allow her public signage in her national language be challenged by other, foreign languages, least of all by people who claim to be her citizens?

The sole National Language of Malaysia is Bahasa Malaysia. In the Malaysian Constitution, there is no second, third, ancillary, auxiliary or periphery language. None. Hence, ALL official public signage -- including road signs -- must be in Bahasa Malaysia, usually in the Romanised script, or accompanied by its original Jawi script as well. Thats how it is, and that is how it will be as long as this nation of Malaysia exists on the face of this earth.

Back to the Penang story, not wanting to be outdone by the Gerakan party, the ethnic-Chinese centric DAP politicians (current rulers of Penang) have pledged to render Penang road signs in Chinese as well -- to ensure they keep up in this giddy I'm-More-Chinese-Than-Thou spiral of self-destruction. Of course, to camouflage their true intentions and to appease their non-Chinese Pakatan Rakyat bedfellows, a DAP State Exco
pledged in The Star that signage in "English ... Tamil, and maybe even Arabic" would be put up as well.

How can you fit 4-5 languages on a road sign? It is not only UGLY, it is STUPID, an insult to Malaysian sensibilities, not to mention a treacherous challenge to Bahasa Malaysia, the SOLE National Language of this blessed land.

Oh yes, if and when patriotic Malaysians react, they would be called "anti-Chinese
" and intolerant Racists. God forbid, when the majority Malays react, charges of Racism would rain upon them from the very Racists that started the mess in the first place.


Anonymous said...

The visual elements really give your post better impact. Good post!

On another note, how come the Chinese and Indians can quickly adopt the American, British or Australian accents when they live there? In as short as 2 months they can develop a thick accent. Why is that?

Is it because, without that put-on accent, they might not be accepted in those countries? Yet in Malaysia, where they are citizens, they speak broken Bahasa Malaysia. It’s our national language yet it’s painful to hear them speak it. Embarrassing. Only a handful of my Chinese and Indian friends speak really good Bahasa. The ones who studied overseas claim they can no longer speak the national language, even if they’ve been there for only a year. Some say they can still understand it but they can’t speak it. Shameful! And yes, these are the hypocrites who are championing for a “muhibbah Malaysia.” What a bunch of hypocrites!

Pink Shades

Anonymous said...

เศรษฐกิจในประเทศมาเลเซียโดยรวมแล้วอยู่ภายใต้การควบคุมของชาวจีน !!!

Anonymous said...

What is that in Thai? Or is it Laotian or Cambodian?

Hey bud, I don't think Thai script will be included in Penang street signs.

Ha ha ha ...

Ron J.
The Far Side

Anonymous said...

What a preposterous claim. Even some UMNO members speak in broken BM.

This blogger is just a hubristic and jingoistic servant of a pig.

Anonymous said...

"This blogger is just a hubristic (sic) and jingoistic servant of a pig."

That is your best shot, uh? So much for a stimulating intellectual discourse.

See folks, this particular species of lowlife is not equipped to handle dissenting views, although they go to great pains to project a façade of cultured sophistication acquired from a British Education (well, actually a stint in a 3rd-rate English Polytechnic) .... until they mess your dinner table and obliterate your loo!

Well, I guess losers like you inevitably revert to petty name-calling and insults when faced with the cold hard TRUTH, which you will not accept even if your pathetic life depends on it.

Now why don’t you crawl back into your wretched cesspool of bigotry and hate and let the civilised world contemplate the trail of social devastation left by your kind in Malaysia and elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Hi Pink Shades,

Yes, the attitude of many ethnic-Chinese and Indian citizens of Malaysia towards the country’s sole national language, Bahasa Malaysia, is appalling and bordering on the scandalous.

I lived in the Los Angeles area for six years and had prolonged business stays in Japan, Indonesia, Thailand and many other countries. Without exception, immigrants to these countries took great pains to conform, to assimilate, and to blend into the generic social landscape, lest they’ll be abused and ridiculed. By the next generation, they will be totally immersed in the socio-cultural norm of the host nation.

In the U.S., first generation immigrants like Intel’s Andy Grove (real name András István Gróf, a Hungarian émigré);ex-Secretaries of State, Henry Kissinger (Heinz Alfred Kissinger, a German Jew) and Madeline Albright (Marie Jana Körbel, a Czech-born); Martina Navratilova (Czech-born tennis icon); Arnold SusahNakEja (the Austrian-born actor and now Calif. governor); and Ang Lee (Taiwan-born film producer/director) quickly adopted English and conform to American social norms. Their offsprings would be totally Americanised and indistinguishable from other Americans in terms of language, outlook and mannerisms. Well, look at Barrack Obama, son of a Kenyan father. Do we see him having a tantrum and insisting on Swahili road signs in America? Of course not. Could he be an election away from the presidency if he speak English at the level that most Malaysian Chinese and Indians speak BM? Of course not. He'll be run out of town back to Nairobi or Mombasa.

It’s the same closer to home. Thailand is case in point. In the 1930s, ethnic-Chinese make up over 30% of then-Siam’s population. They were vigorously assimilated under Field Marshal Phibun Songkhram’s Thai Ratthaniyom (Thai Customs) Decree of 1938, where their ethnicity was abolished; anyone speaking Chinese in public would be smacked by a 10-ft bamboo stick by the Thai Culture Police; Chinese schools and newspapers were closed; chopsticks were banned; and the Chinese were compelled to adopt Thai names. Within one generation, the Chinese of Thailand was totally assimilated into Thai society to the point where Thais with Chinese blood will today argue with you to the death to prove that they are “Thai” and not Chinese. Ex-PMs Taksin, Chuan Leekpai, Banharn Silpa-Archa and Thanin Kraivichen are all of Chinese origin. But they are true Thais to the core, with no knowledge of the Chinese language or awareness of their Chinese heritage.

Indonesia of course undertook the same process. Batavia in the 1800s was one big Chinatown governed by the Dutch. Nowadays, those claiming “Tiongkok” ancestry number only about 2-3% of the Indonesian population, with the rest totally assimilated into the huge pool of humanity. All assumed Indonesian names. Some years back, when I was in a meeting with senior officials of Indosat, their giant telco, I made the mistake of asking one of their VPs whether he was Chinese. This very Chinese looking guy (a sort of Ong Tee Keat-look alike) rose up, banged the table and proclaimed: “Ya bapak, memang nenek moyang saya orang Tiongkok. Tapi saya anak Indonesia sejati. Jika perlu, Darah saya akan di jadikan warna merah buat bendera Republik Indonesia tercinta!” He went on to mumble some choice words in Javanese with his pribumi colleagues. Myself and the Malaysian delegation were flabbergasted! For the next two days, all seven of us (three Malays, two Chinese, an Indian and a Chindian) spoke nothing but perfect Bahasa Malaysia among ourselves and in subsequent meetings with the Indonesians. We were glowing with pride about our singular identity. We were truly brothers, the real Bangsa Malaysia.

But when we returned to KL and integrated back into our stratified society, my non-Malay partners reverted to their usual Chinglish and used pidgin Ah Pek Malay when they have to communicate with the general workers and cleaners. Sad indeed.

Hence, it’s no wonder that many 3rd and 4th generation Malaysian citizens speak BM like they just arrived off the tongkang from Kwangtung or Kerala. Some refused to utter a single word, almost as a sign of protest and silent disobedience.

Something must be done. Perhaps more assertive measures must be implemented. We cannot, as a proud sovereign nation, go on like this. We just cannot.

Anonymous said...


I'm almost moved to tears by your Indonesian experience. So true.

Whenever my team of Malaysians -- of all ancestry -- go overseas, we would speak Bahasa Malaysia among ourselves. It ensures our own little space in discussions so that the foreigners don't understand us, plus it gives us an identity in other peoples' country.

I always hate coming back to face the infighting in our masyarakat. Sometimes, it is the Malays themselves who start to talk to us in "Ah Pek Malay" -- as if we couldn't do any better.

To all: Saya anak Malaysia. Saya bangga dengan Bahasa Malaysia. Bahasa Jiwa Bangsa.

Terima kasih

Jimmy C.

BaitiBadarudin said...

Alangkah aman jika ramai yang macam Jimmy Chin.

Anonymous said...

……Hence, it’s no wonder that many 3rd and 4th generation Malaysian citizens speak BM like they just arrived off the tongkang from Kwangtung or Kerala. Some refused to utter a single word, almost as a sign of protest and silent disobedience…..

I hope I’m not too late to give my views on this..

We are the only Malay family living along this block (50houses), all these 12 years - the rest are all Chinese neighbours. 95% of their kids don’t speak a word of Bahasa, (or pretend not to understand, I’m most amazed) and not a single word of English uttered from them. So here we are, MALAYSIANS, yet not able to communicate with one another?.
Occasions when the need to speak to them, the kids will quickly run inside and shout “pa!!…ma!!… lai lai loh, pa!!…ma!!… lai lai loh,wa pu chi tau loh, chong chiang chong chiang!! and their pa and ma will come running, grinning widely to meet me. The children will stand beside their pa and ma and stare at me BLANKLY, THAT BLANK STUPID I DON’T UNDERSTAND ANYTHING EXPRESSION!!!

All these 12years, I have, not even ONCE, the opportunity to engage in a “one complete Bahasa or English sentence” conversation with any of these kids!!! All these kids attend SJK(C), but the irony of it all, half of them are now at SMK’s, soon and sitting for their SPM!!!

Rest assured, there are thousands of this "strange creatures" running around claiming themselves to be Malaysians. No wonder they insisted having road signs in Chinese and Tamil too, as, I think 95% of them not only cannot speak, but cannot even read or write in Bahasa Malaysia?? Gosh!! And they claim to be Malaysians!!


Anonymous said...

Anonymous (Oct. 8),

Now that's a profound story. Same thing in my old neighbourhood -- bands of hostile, glassy eyed Chinese kids roaming the streets in their own little linguistic-cultural cocoons, fed daily by the thick, unadulterated alien culture from mainland China, inc. high-volume mind-numbing opera music and Mandarin literature.

Yes, something MUST be done, and done FAST.

Our social fabric is crumbling by the hour. We have become an angry nation of ghettos and enclaves.

Watch out for my upcoming (sizzling) post on Malaysia's disastrous language policy.

Stay tuned ... and spread the word around.

Unknown said...

once upon a time there lived the babas and the nyonyas

but they have now become millionaires

so they now want malaysian malaysia

Anonymous said...

"Yes, something MUST be done, and done FAST.

Our social fabric is crumbling by the hour. We have become an angry nation of ghettos and enclaves."

Someone wants the creation of 2nd BN Chairman post for the Chinese ... yes, get fully assimilated first, drop your 'chineseness' and pick 'malayness' like in Thailand or Indonesia.

Someone else wants the 30% to be reconfigured or done away with, ... yes, by all means, please recalibrate it according to the percentage of Malaysian population; Malay 60%, Chinese 27%, the remainder according to the rest of Malaysians.

muschemun said...

I met Ahmad Cendana on fb, liked his comments and sought for his friendship & that's how I came to learn of this blog. I had also requested to be yr fb friend. This is the first article that I read on yr blog as I wanted to know what your inclination is. Since UMNO had just celebrated its 64th birthday, I had been writing to the various blogs on this same subject matter under my name or nic. I'm pasting it just for the purpose of sharing it with you.

Bahasa Melayu masih belum jadi Bahasa Kebangsaan walau pun sudah lebeh 50th Merdeka krn UMNO terlalu bertolak ansur, org tolak kita beransur...orang2 melayu beri sokongan padu utk UMNO sjk merdeka dgn tujuan agar UMNO perjuangkan segala2 hal bersabit dgn bangsa Melayu.
PERKASA ujud krn UMNO sudah nampak xberupaya berjuang utk org2 Melayu...begitu juga yg dinyatakan oleh TDM. Harap2 jangan UMNO yg jd sokong tp sokong membawa rebah!!

kata Tok Hang Tuah, "tak melayu hilang didunia..."
kata Tun Dr Mahathir, "kalau ada didunia tp merempat dinegara negara sendiri buat apa?"
kata pelawak Nabil, "lu pikir la sendiri..."