Thursday, 26 February 2009

Bahasa Owh BAhAsa...

THE issue of the teaching of science and mathematics in English in our schools remains very much a concern to Malay intellects, mainly those from linked to academia, the Malay language agency Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka on those in the literary world.

But before I proceed to tell you again what I think they should be focusing on because of the many problems with our Bahasa, I shall outline some sectors where I think Malaysians not conversant in English will not be able to find decent employment.

I want to make clear that I use simply Bahasa because I think even here those who have been championing the use of our national language are not sure themselves what we should call it.

A long time ago it was Bahasa Melayu which later was changed to Bahasa Malaysia. I think in between it was also referred to as Bahasa Kebangsaan. We then went back to Bahasa Melayu for a while before reverting to Bahasa Malaysia again.

There was a time when the government and some in the mainstream media had to show enthusiasm over Bahasa Baku, a terminology promoted by then deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim.

You are still confused as to what is rightly the correct Bahasa? Not to worry. At the end of this piece you would probably be more confused like you’ve never been!

We now look at where the Bahasa-only Malaysians will not be able to find meaningful employment, in a job which would later help them advance to senior management level.

Needless to say those who are good in both Bahasa and English should have little problem in getting a job in most sectors, including the ones which requires only Bahasa.

What this means is that those who speak and understand both languages have more choices, both in and outside the country.

Media: Newspapers like the New Straits Times, Star, Sun, Edge, Malaysian Reserve, Malay Mail.. Also the major advertising agencies and public relations consultancies. The Bahasa people can only hope to find jobs in Berita Harian, the Utusan Group, Harian Metro. As pointed out, those good at both languages can also look for jobs at these places.

Banking: All types of banking. Absolutely no way the Bahasa only bloke can hope to rise to senior manager level and absolutely no way he or she can hope to be posted to branches overseas, with the exception of maybe in Indonesia.

Foreign service: Another big no. In fact so concerned was the government with the decline in the standards of English amongst Malaysians that it decided to set up an institute just to coach trainee officers and others English.

Pilots: Both in the air and on water, both commercial and military. How could you when the language internationally for this sector is English. No compromise here.

The other sectors which require a reasonably good command of English are engineering, medicine and architecture. You also need English to do things like sail around the world the way Azhar Mansor did or climb Mt. Everest.

One of the reasons cited for the objection to the use of English in teaching the two subjects is that most Malay kids from the rural areas cannot cope and compete with their friends from the towns.

Would reverting to Bahasa help these rural kids? In the long term definitely not because of the limited opportunities for them as mentioned above.

The way to go should be for the Malay intellectuals to ask the government to find ways to help those rural kids catch up. A good teaching system would definitely help and good teachers have been known to achieve miracles even with students initially deemed to be useless, those we often describe as having “no future”.

The Malay pressure groups need worry not about Bahasa being confined to the back corners of the classrooms. I don’t think any political leader would have the exceptional courage to initiate a move perceived to relegate Bahasa below English. Which means Bahasa will continue as the main medium of instruction in our schools.

Another reason quoted by the intellectuals was what the Federal Constitution says but again, because of the reasons above, this should not be seen as an issue at all.

As suggested last week, I think it will be time and effort better spent if the Bahasa intellectuals can get together soonest possible to diligently scrutinise Bahasa and see what’s wrong with the language.

Their priority should be to apply the brakes on something that has been moving unchecked for some years now, in the process making our Bahasa less and less recognisable from the Bahasa that Malaysians 40 and above are familiar with.

If nothing is done the next generation of Malaysians will speak not Bahasa Melayu, Malaysia or whatever but rather a language known as Salinan Bahasa Inggeris.

How could anyone call it our Bahasa when we have allowed jumlah penduduk to be replaced by populasi, rasuah by korupsi, ilmu hisab by matematik, masyarakat by komuniti, jaga kereta by parkir and ilmu alam by geografi?

Absolute Power corrupts absolutely!!!

It seems that Datuk Seri Nizar is getting it, with some help of the legal kind. He must have done, for him to retract his earlier remarks about PR's so called 'no-confidence motion' against Datuk Zambry and re-dress it as a 'motion of confidence' in him.

This is crucial as you can only table a no-confidence vote against a recognized sitting government and duly appointed state executive. Datuk Seri Nizar's clever retraction of his earlier remarks is an attempt to re-spin what PR is going to do in the much talked about next sitting of the Perak DUN, in the legal sense.

The fact that he vacated the MB's residence in response to a letter ordering the move from the State Secretary may also need a re-spin, because, out of respect or not, he may have set a legal precedent by acquiescing to an order from an agent of the new BN regime.

Complying with an order means recognizing its authority. Similar perhaps to a case of squatter's rights. Possession, as they say, is nine tenths of the law. This, however, may require something more than any layman legal opinion to bear any weight.

As for BN, they have already shipped their case to London to be referred to a Queen's Council for some legal advice to the dicey Perak story, as is being reported by the media recently.

But getting legal advice is not the only thing that PR is doing that is similar to BN. It would seem that PR is also getting savvy in underhanded methods and questionable means. Using whatever they can to get whatever they want, just like big brother BN.

What I am talking about is the actions of Perak Speaker and his Machiavellian machinations which see Datuk Zambry and six other BN assemblymen suspended from the Perak DUN and barred from attending its sitting.

This move has even been called into question by DAP Chairman and respected lawyer Karpal Singh and condemned by other Speakers of the house, that aired their reactions to his shenanigans in the media.

While it is recognized that as Speaker, V. Sivakumar's ruling on the matter is final as is stated in article 89 of Standing Orders, any recommendations by the Rights and Privileges Committee must first be brought before the Perak DUN before any ruling is passed as governed by Article 72 of same.

Any premature ruling may be a tad too hasty for the Speaker and indeed may even be against the abovementioned Article 72.

Though if you look at what PR intends to in the next Perak Dun sitting, it all comes to light. This is another adroit political power play that is toe to toe with BN's earlier coup de grace.

Like BN's earlier sweep of removing 3 ADUNs from PR and swaying the independents of the DUN hence bringing down Datuk Nizar's fragile majority, PR has in one fell swoop removed any hope whatsoever for BN to counter any move they make in Perak's State Legislative Assembly.

Bravo! Bravo! PR has beaten big brother in their own little game.

One has to admire the mind behind such a cool and calculated move, though many would probably wonder if they have voted in another monster, not unlike the BN that they booted out, into their constituency.

This may be the cause of the schism in current PR leadership, those who look to legalities to redress a perceived wrong like Karpal Singh on one side and those who seek to gain advantages via manipulating legalities and standing orders on the other.

Partisan politics aside, it is not beyond the realm of thought for any of us to put two and two together and figure this one out. The Zambry suspension? Nizar's vote of confidence motion? It is all too convenient and certainly not a coincidence.

Some say that BN is practising dirty politics and using the Monarchy and Royal privilege for their own ends, but so is PR using the Speaker's so called 'immunity' and Standing Orders to pursue their own ends as well.

If BN is inherently dirty and practices dirty politics, then PR too is now tainted and as sullied as BN, as proven by this game that they have so deftly picked up after only one year or so in power.

More so this underhanded move, this seeming disrespect of the Royals and this willingness to exercise carte blanche to get whatever they want is coming from a coalition that claims to be exactly the opposite of just that.

It is just weeks ago that PR claims BN is strong-arming its influence on the Sultan and denying the democratic process by stalling attempts to trigger snap polls.

But now PR itself may be seen as denying the soul of the democratic process by using its own strong-arm tactics to tip the scales of the DUN in their favour through the suspensions of the Datuk Zambry and his excos.

It does not matter whether as Datuk Seri Nizar is quoted by the press as saying, that BN is "running scared" or not. What matters is the coalition that once rode on the high horse is now playing around in the same muck.

As the saying goes, "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely". In this case maybe the saying runs true

Friday, 6 February 2009

2 Kerajaan negeri,penafian suara rakyat??

Tidak keterlaluan kalau saya mengatakan bahawa negeri Perak sekarang seolah- olah Palestin, bukannya maksud saya negeri Perak sedang mengalami rampasan wilayah, serangan tentera, krisis makanan mahupun ketiadaan bekalan elektrik.Namun apa yang saya ingin sampaikan ialah mereka sedang diperintah oleh dua kerajaan sama seperti apa yang berlaku di sana iaitu rakyat Palestin ditadbir oleh Hamas dan Fatah di Palestin. Keadaan menunjukkan persamaan dimana rakyat sedang inginkan suara mereka didengar kembali.Sultan sudah memerintahkan bahawa DUN tidak dibubarkan hanya MB sahaja sahaja yang perlu ditukar serta barisan exco kepada barisan yang kononnya mempunyai suara majoriti. Amat ringkas kalau saya mengatakan yang bahawa kalau kita lihat pada perkembangan sekarang tidak perlu lagilah Pilihan raya diadakan lagi di Malaysia kerana suara rakyat sudah tidak diperlukan dalam menentukan kepimpinan kerajan negeri. Rakyat sekarang berasa lebih lega jika selepas ini cara pemilihan barisan kepimpinan di negara ini hanya ditentukan oleh kuasa Sultan mahupun kuasa YDPA. Pilihan raya sudah tidak bermakna bagi lagi bagi rakyat terutamanya di negeri Perak. Penat mereka mengundi untuk memastikan barisan untuk 5 tahun yang mendatang tetapi hanya tak sampai sebulan suara mereka dengan bangganya dinafikan walaupun secara hakikatnya telah bermula sejak setahun yang lalu. Memang barisan yang baru diiktiraf oleh kerajaan juga diperkenan sultan. Fatah juga turut diiktiraf dunia manakala kemenangan yang diperolehi Hamas tidak diperakui dah sinonim apa yang berlaku di Perak. Bagaimanakah penilaian rakyat Negara ini yang sudah mula menunjukkan sikap bosan terhadap sistem politik(demokrasi) yang diamalkan.Wahai warganegara sedarlah bahawa suara rakyat sudah semakin tidak diperlukan. Demonstrasilah dengan apa cara sekalipun namun jangan mengharap barisan kepimpinan yang kononnya terbuka ini sebenarnya sedang menutup pemikiran rakyat hanya dengan menggunakan beberapa perkataan yang mudah iaitu demokrasi yang bermaksud lompatlah, pilihlah parti yang anda mahu agar hajat kita semua tercapai.