Do read ‘Insecurity is the heart of racism’ by Hannah Yeoh published in The Rocket (8 Sept 2011)
See also, ‘You Are What You Speak’ (NYT)
In BM, we have the words ‘kami’ and ‘kita’ with a distinction in their meanings. In English, there is just ‘we’ without the differentiation.
The third person pronoun in BM is ‘dia’ which does not differentiate gender whereas in Chinese, we (kami) make a distinction between ‘he’ 他 and ‘she’ 她 in written form although both are pronounced the same.
There are even more interesting features in other languages. Let’s take orientation. We say left, right, behind, in front of us.
Guugu Yimithirr, an aboriginal tongue spoken in north Queensland, Australia does not have these “egocentric coordinates”.
Look at the comparisons below:
You’d normally give directions to a visitor to your home by saying: “After the traffic lights, take the first left, then the second right, and then you’ll see a white house in front of you. Our door is on the right.”
The tribesmen who speak Guugu Yimithirr and relying on cardinal directions will instead say: “After the traffic lights, drive north, and then on the second crossing drive east, and you’ll see a white house directly to the east. Ours is the southern door.” (source: The New York Times)
Ke mana semangat kekitaan?
Whenever I hear the acolytes of Pakatan’s ‘new politics’ repeating ad nauseum, “We are all one race, the human race” – their stock political vocabulary – I feel like retorting: “All you’re saying is that we’re not chimpanzees.”
While MCA has all this while been doing things in a (sort of) Chinese way, DAP’s new politics is evangelical in tone.
They are the spiritual twin of PAS in their sloganeering and religiously-flavoured use of words, e.g. the belief that their party and their people are the righteous ones while their opponents are “evil” and “crossed over to the dark side”.
Malaysian First has also been commandeered by DAP. The Malays responded to this hijacking by demanding a quid pro quo.
The Satu Sekolah Untuk Semua campaigners demands that Chinese be fluent in the national language because this shortcoming is the most visible and thus easiest to attack. SSUS is really attacking the Chinese through using language incompetency as the ostensible justification.
But instead of moving closer to a lingua franca and Article 152, the Chinese electorate and the Bangsar Malaysians are moving further away by clamouring for English schools.
Yeopies (Yeoh’s groupies)
The DAP’s ingenious solution to overcome the problem works like this:
If people like Hannah Yeoh and her husband are adamant enough they’re not Chinese or Indian, and if they can manage to squeeze everyone else (e.g. Muhyiddin Yassin) into the new race box DAP wants created called keturunan Anak Malaysia, then the state can be prevented from carrying out racial discrimination.
You can’t discriminate against for example, Hannah Yeoh’s child, by ethnicity since everyone together would – if DAP’s strategy succeeded – belong to only one Anak Malaysia race.
One race but many languages.
Yet the Firsters can’t even adequately understand the one national language that we have.
To evaluate their comprehension of BM, let’s take the prime minister’s speech at the 2010 Umno general assembly which the opposition widely criticised as deplorable.
They accused Najib Razak of using the language of “crushed bodies, lives lost” for Umno to defend power at any cost in Putrajaya. (See Lim Kit Siang’s statement)
As recently as 21 Sept 2011, Kit Siang was still asking for Najib to retract his speech.
The relevant passage is this (speech here):
“Berpasaklah kepada parti Umno. Bertetaplah kepada panji-panji Barisan Nasional. Walau berkecai tulang dan juga badan, walau bercerai jasad dari nyawa. Saudara dan saudari, walau apa pun yang terjadi, Putrajaya mesti kita pertahankan!”
Najib was using bahasa berbunga-bunga in his ‘impassioned’ call. The Umno general assemblies are a spectacle, entertainment even. There is melodrama (remember Dr M’s tearful recital of Perjuangan Yang Belum Selesai, Rafidah Aziz’s Bollywood moment rushing up to the stage …). There is pantun, there is seloka.
Because the Malaysian Firsters are so detached from the language and culture of the Malays, and clueless about budaya politik Umno, they’ve interpreted Najib’s “walau berkecai tulang dan juga badan, walau bercerai jasad dari nyawa” as threatening bloodshed.
Back to Hannah Yeoh’s September article in the Rocket where she rapped the prime minister “for spending millions on branding to promote the 1Malaysia concept ‘without sincerity’,” and was promoting her own brand of Bangsa Malaysia.
You compare and make your own conclusions. (Click) dhanyaraam.blogspot.com which has collated a set of photos showing Najib promoting 1Malaysia.
I’ve collated the photos below of the DAP secretary-general (incidentally ALL showing him pictured with Berjaya’s Tan Sri Tan Kok Ping, story here.)
On her accusation of ‘insincerity’- do you believe Hannah?
Berkaitan: SatD, perkenalkan mu kepada Ah Beng baru