Tuesday, February 06, 2007

bahasa rojak... wat's yr view on this?!?...

is he, or rather are they trying to control us as to wat can we say, how shall we talk, how shall we communicate, etc?!?...

i personally think the way we communicate shows that we are malaysians... an unique way of speaking, talking, communicating, etc...

he is the one who said no to foreign artist who shows a lot of flesh... and 'if u read in between the lines', he went on making a decision on behalf of the whole of malaysia.. dun think even parliment pass this 'rules and regulations'...

wat's yr view on this bahasa rojak issue?!?..

Sunday Interview: Putting the lid on ‘bahasa rojak’
15 Oct 2006

To stop the spread of 'bahasa rojak', the government says it will fine those who mutate and promote incorrect use of language on billboards and posters. Confusion followed with retailers wondering whether the language police will put a stop to names like PWTC and KLCC. Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Rais Yatim clears the air with V. VASUDEVAN and R.S. KAMINI.

Q: Your proposal on use of the national language has created a stir.

A: It should not stir anything. This is something that has been dormant.

Proper national language usage is stated in Article 152 of the Federal Constitution and the National Language Act. Nothing has been done to develop the language for decades.

So, we had formed a "Committee to Strengthen Bahasa" comprising representatives from my ministry, the Education Ministry and Information Ministry.

Others include people from the publishing industry and advertising industry.

Our job is to develop programmes and suggestions for the government to strengthen the usage of the national language. Emergence of digital media and television has resulted in rampant usage of bahasa rojak.

Q: Why do it now?

A: It has come to a stage where errors visible to the public were not being corrected and more parties seemed to develop their own terms.

For example, developers no longer use heritage terms for housing areas or major roads. They prefer terms like "boulevard" and "precinct" and these words have not been fully accepted by Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP).

The terms’ committee is responsible for creating an image for the national language. For us at the ministry, we look at our national language as a culture.

The language was responsible for the creation of our nation. It has to be equal with the English language. Not one step above or one step below.

Q: There has been debate about the term MyKad. What’s wrong with MyKad?

A: A lot. MyKad is not a proper Bahasa Malaysia term but was bureaucratically placed. My means saya punya.

If it stands for Malaysia, you should put it after "Kad". But now, it seems that two languages were mixed.

The National Registration Department only defended the definition of MyKad (Malaysia-Kad Akuan Diri) after the topic was brought up. It is my job to see the national language is well laid.

The image and proper usage of the language must be maintained. If they insist on using MyKad, then you should just refer to it that way and drop the word Kad Pengenalan. This is just one small example of past error.

Q: So, it is acceptable then? What about other terms such as Rakan Cop?

A: Probably acceptable. Obviously not much thought was given to this. We could have had a better term for it. Let’s not get into other terms.

There are too many to consider. What I would like is for us to consider our mother tongue in future.

Let the experts like DBP participate and decide instead of just using terms like Touch ’n Go. Why use the English term when we could say Sentuh & Jalan.

This was not my concern alone but was agreed to by my committee and the Cabinet when it was brought up to them.

Q: But for a language to develop, should it not assimilate words from other languages?

A: We don’t deny that but the assimilative process must be accepted and not superimposed midway. Other languages don’t face this problem. We face it because the "bazaar" slang is easy.

Words such as kerusi and kopi were taken from the Portuguese and English languages. They were slowly accepted, which is not a problem.

But suddenly I hear Marilah kita pergi lunch (Let us go for lunch). We have to tell people that is not how we should speak. If you’re using English, use English and not mix it.

Some may ask why say things like this during a time of modernity and globalisation. I say the national language should not be tormented to an extent where it loses its identity.

Bahasa rojak is an integral part in this sense We cannot accept signs like Kopi Kedai. It has to be phrased properly.

Words like "precinct" was used out of sophistication. "Boulevard" can be replaced with Lebuh Perdana. What is wrong in using the available words?

Of course, we are not going to change road names like Conlay or KLCC or PWTC as they have their historical background. But in future, why not consult DBP if in doubt over words to be used?

Q: What about colloquial terms such as Mat Rempit. It used to be known as pelumba haram before the media played it up. Are you okay with this term?

A: You are not seeing the bigger picture. The language must be in proper perspective. Unfortunately, it does not have enough defenders.

Q: Bahasa rojak is famous in advertisement. For example, taglines such as "Cuba Try".

A: I don’t want to single that out but since you mentioned it, it has to be corrected. The tagline just killed the language.

Q: What is going to happen to billboards and signboards which are wrong?

A: If we see a wrong usage, we advise those responsible for it. The proposed fine of RM1,000 is for those who refuse to correct their mistake. We want to approach this congenially.

Q: But signboard owners at shops say they have submitted the names to be approved by the local government. They have done their part and any correction should have been done before the board was put up.

A: This is the trouble now. The local authorities may not have enough personnel to bother about this.

It doesn’t make it right for us to let it go. The attitude must change.

Q: What would DBP’s powers be once your proposal for it to act as an enforcement agency is in place?

A: It’s not just an enforcement body. It has looked into the book industry, promotional and educational aspects of languages.

We would like to approach this issue in the same manner we approach our courtesy campaign congenially. We want to engage everyone.

Q: Some of these terms are meant to be catchy.

A: Please don’t use the term "catchy" at the expense of deriding the national language. You can be catchy but don’t butcher the language.

Q: Has there been any resistance to your proposal?

A: Of course. It’s customary for our society to counter something before the act is done. The debates will go on and on.

I don’t think DBP will go around issuing summonses as they wish.

Q: What about movie titles and subtitles? Would standardising the language usage for this industry affect the colour and drama?

A: We have made some mistakes in the past by allowing dialogue that "was half fish and half eel" to pass through.

We will try to stop that. I don’t think proper usage of language will kill the colour of the movie.

A dash of English is okay but we should not have every other sentence adulterated.


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