Malaysiakini Yoursay

Yoursay: We need a good AG, not just a Malay-speaking AG

Yoursay  |  Published:  |  Modified:

YOURSAY | 'The past AGs were all very good in BM, but did they do a good job for our country?'

Rais Yatim to AG: It's not hard to speak BM

OMG!: Former minister Rais Yatim says, "It is not like we want to make English the official language, if this should happen, when our leaders do not care to converse in Bahasa Melayu, then our country's development will plummet."

Is this true? What does development entail? More roads and hypermarkets? More kleptocrats roaming freely about? Maddened Umno mobs ranting "Melayu! Melayu!"?

Clearly, the last already happened on Tuesday when attorney-general Tommy Thomas spoke at his press conference. Malaysia's civility took a nose-dive. And this happened when Bahasa is our official language. Not because English or Swahili threatened to replace it.

Malaysia's development can only be enhanced if our language for government, business and education is an internationally-spoken language (while Bahasa remains the national language), which Bahasa Malaysia certainly isn't.

Rais' logic fails here. His brain has blown a fuse.

Appum: Rais, the same group of clowns who shouted 'Melayu, Melayu' also held up placards in English language. Any comment?

Vijay47: I agree that basic Bahasa Malaysia is easy to learn, and I am sure that the AG will be able to master it quickly enough. I can also agree with Rais' suggestion that Bahasa be used in at least the opening address of a case in court.

As a lawyer, I had done exactly that and continued the rest of my arguments in English and it had worked fine for everybody.

But having said that, under no circumstances should gangster-like behaviour be tolerated; those so-called patriots were simply morons trained to attack Tommy Thomas' expected use of English.

Why were they not similarly outraged with Shafee's wholesale comments in English? Further, why did the FRU display such tolerance towards them without using their batons and jackboots?

Resorting to mob instinct is natural to some. You simply cannot remove the Umno DNA from Umno thugs.

Clever Voter: Rais is right up to a certain point. However, the AG was going to address a diverse group of reporters and observers, where many were from overseas. He was not in the middle of a kampung talking to the local folk.

Rais should not be a hypocrite. The Chinese investors (who appeared at BN's official events) spoke in Mandarin, and the previous regime head was fine with that, and Rais didn't complain either. Let's do away with double standards and be pragmatic instead of parochial.

There is nothing anti-nationalistic about the matter.

The Fog of Life: There is no way that the increased use of the English language would adversely affect our country. On the contrary, if we were fluent in two or three languages, wouldn't that be a source of strength and not weakness?

Why would the use of two or more languages be a threat? Look at how Switzerland and Singapore have adapted to managing four languages. Have they suffered because of their broad (including official) use of four languages? No, on the contrary, it has been a source of richness and strength.

Has Singapore suffered because its national anthem is in Bahasa? Have the majority Chinese Singaporean community expressed a sense of erosion of rights?

We have killed the English language in Malaysia with our narrow-minded nationalist thinking. My vote is to make both Bahasa and English as the national languages of Malaysia.

Hearty Malaysian: If one were to listen to the many Malay politicians in past interviews broadcast by RTM and Astro Awani, one would notice many bastardised English words such as 'korupsi', 'situasi', 'komplikasi', and even 'parkir', and many other English-sounding words being used in the conversations.

Indeed, the Bahasa champions should make more positive contributions to raise the standard of BM with more authentic Malay vocabularies. Being multilingual and using it liberally is not a crime, but being practical.

It is wake-up time, our BM is not as deep or broad as Bahasa Indonesia and is often found by many wanting of more vocabulary in the modern world.

It is also compromised by the attitudes of Malays themselves for using the English-spelled words as substitutes to the authentic Malay words in their daily communications.

Now, who is neglecting Bahasa Malaysia?

Annonymous: Wow, this Umno 2.0 opportunist and hypocrite seems to be aligning himself with Umno and PAS, and really knows when to exploit the situation to attack AG Thomas and Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng (both non-Malays), under the guise of "protecting the Malays".

The fact that former Bank Negara governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz never spoke Malay in all her policy statements and press conferences for umpteenth years is perfectly all right, and there was not even a tweet from these supremacist clowns.

Please, the new progressive leaders and government will speak in Malay or be multi-lingual (Kadazan, Chinese, Tamil, etc) as and when it is needed and appropriate, to ensure the new government's messages are effectively communicated and reach out to every segment of society.

With comrades like these (Rais, Daim Zainuddin, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman) and Bersatu-Umno 2.0 with their overbearing and sickening arrogance and patronising acts, DAP and PKR don't need any enemies.

Justice: Let’s give our beloved country good governance, stop the corruption and abuse of power and also stop the racial and religious extremism, be fair and transparent to all and let merit be the requirement in all our affairs.

For the less intelligent, slow learners and those who need help to catch up with others in any field of endeavour or enterprise, give or provide them with all the required assistance. Language should not be made as an issue, excuse, reason or obstruction or to discriminate against anyone.

The past AGs were all very good in Bahasa Malaysia or Bahasa Melayu, but did they do a good job for our country? Likewise, ex-PM Najib Razak is also very good in Bahasa Malaysia or Bahasa Melayu, but did he do a good job for our country?

In America, the African Americans and the Native Americans (the indigenous people) speak excellent American English, but are they treated equally? It's the same with the Maoris in New Zealand and the Aborigines in Australia, or the First Nation people in Canada, who all speak excellent English too, but are they treated equally?

So, language is not the issue. It's your conscience, mindset, your heart and your actions that matter.

Just Hope: Rais might be right, but this is not the right time to "pick up" Bahasa Malaysia. Which is more important - for our AG to "pick up" Bahasa Malaysia now or concentrate on the SRC International graft case?

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These comments are compiled to reflect the views of Malaysiakini subscribers on matters of public interest. Malaysiakini does not intend to represent these views as fact.

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