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LETTER | I am not at all surprised by Sibu MP Oscar Ling’s mistranslation of the term “brain drain” as “longkang otak”.

It is Google Translate of the English term.

I can relate a personal experience of reading a legal submission that the defendant “tidak ada pertahanan bermerit”.

It should be “tidak ada pembelaan bermerit” - “pembelaan” is the Bahasa Malaysia term for “defence”.

In another submission, it was written that “perkhidmatan writ dan pernyataan tuntutan plaintiff terhadap defendan adalah tidak biasa”.

It should be “penyampaian/penyerahan writ dan pernyataan tuntutan plaintiff terhadap defendan adalah tidak teratur” - “penyampaian/penyerahan” is the BM term for “service” while “tidak teratur” is for “irregular”.

The above were all taken from Google Translate.

Thank God, the submissions were from law students. Of concern though, they were from final-year law students. They were stumped when asked to translate “leave of court” into BM. Is it “cuti mahkamah” or “kebenaran mahkamah”.

I say “Thank God” because mistakes were corrected before they became new entrants into the legal profession.

And thank God, Federal Territories Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa corrected the mistake.

Be that as it may, the simple point is this: command of both English and BM is important.

Don’t just Google Translate.

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