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An embarrassment not because of our English, but our corruption

YOURSAY | ‘Zahid is a leader of our country and we expect more of him.’

Need not ridicule Zahid over 'Oh my English', say KL folk

Hopeful123: It is true that the Japanese and many others may not be fluent in English. But when they speak, nobody makes fun of them as countries like Japan and its likes are looked upon with respect because of their economic prowess.

They are also respected for their integrity, honesty, truthfulness and good governance. Their leaders take full responsibilities for mistakes and blunders, and resign from their posts.

Can we say the same of Malaysia? Malaysians have the right to expect professionalism from their leaders.

DPM Ahmad Zahid Hamidi would have definitely made Malaysia proud if only he had expressed himself clearly. Let us not bury our heads in the sand and pretend that everything is fine.

Tok Karut: Perhaps the Japanese PM can speak perfect grammatical English but chose to speak in Japanese?

The Japanese are very competitive (learning anything and being "perfect") and very proud of their culture and traditions. One cannot mistake a Japanese.

Anonymous #19098644: The content is more important and not how Zahid pronounces the words and articulates the sentences.

Furthermore, he cannot be a ‘jaguh kampung’ (village champion) anymore. Like former DPM Muhyiddin Yassin, who once spoke like this and has improved substantially in his English presentation, Zahid can improve with practice.

Let’s not run down the man for trying.

Anonymous_1408265047: The DPM should be congratulated for making the effort to give his speech in English. Those that criticise for trying, are just looking for an excuse to do so.

Tony Soprano: I have to agree. It's not a requirement of the United Nations (UN) assemblies to address them in English.

That's why they have simultaneous interpreters. After all, no one expects everybody to learn Russian, Chinese, Japanese and 150 other languages.

Basically: It is Malaysians’ willingness to lower their expectations of their leaders that has led this great nation to be a pariah among our neighbours.

What can we say when the word ‘meritocracy’, so valued in other societies, is spoken like a bad word here? Yet the very same people will rant and rave when things go bad and they have to fork out more, or get less, or lose their jobs.

It's true we deserve the kind of leaders we get.

Alicescat: Indeed, Zahid is a leader of our country and we expect more of him. We should not be expected to accept mediocrity. Zahid is a public figure, working and living in a public sphere. Therefore, he must learn to accept praises as well as criticisms.

In the eyes of many, rightly or wrongly, Zahid has lost his integrity.

Odin Tajué: I strongly object to the using of the word ‘condemn’ to apply in all cases. It is usually taken in its very harsh sense - berate, reprimand, and such.

Not all of those who have passed negative remarks with regard to Zahid’s delivery have condemned him. When we pass negative remarks as a critique, we are not condemning but criticising in a positive sense. You might say we are making a constructive criticism.

Initially, I did not bother to listen to a recording of Zahid’s speech. But as this matter seemed to have burned on, I surfed to a blogsite a little while ago to hear for myself.

Yes, his delivery was awful. It was a pain to listen to him. He spoke like the clatter of a machinegun. His pronunciation was so terrible that you cannot make out several words that he has said.

I gave up even before reaching the middle of his speech. He needs a speech coach very, very, very badly.

Ex-PJ: Yes, the speech at UN was embarrassing. He did not appear to understand parts of the speech he was giving. His attempt at emphasis was laughable. His pronunciation and enunciation was poor, giving the audience nothing but mumbled gibberish.

Why is he even allowed to represent the country? Chosen for his loyalty and nothing else. And people are saying that it's okay since he tried? What rubbish standards to go by. It's no surprise the country is going downhill in a hurry.

Anonymous 759201436321741: I look at this issue from a different angle. Of course, I concur with those who commented here that the two top honchos are not fit to lead the nation.

Although I am not a religious person, I believe God works in a mysterious way. Why did Zahid choose to deliver his speech in English when he has an option, and as a result damaged his political career?

Would his own community dare put him as their next showcase prime minister for the world to see?

Jesse: If a Malaysian could not understand parts of his speech given the atrocious pronunciation, I wonder how many delegates in sparsely attended session really understood his message.

He should have spoken in Bahasa - there is nothing wrong with that. The Japanese PM speaks in Japanese. No one insisted the DPM should speak in English unless he wanted to impress, and this has backfired badly.

It is embarrassing to have someone like that represent the nation after the MO1 (Malaysian Official 1) chickened out from facing an audience in New York after all the negative publicity about his alleged siphoning of public money.

Anonymous #33227154: Our leaders are a shame to Malaysia, not because of their English but because of their corruption.

DPM’s English a reflection of our poor education system


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