Thursday, May 31, 2007

Apa nak jadi dengan bahasa Melayu

Kebelakangan ini terlalu banyak kesilapan yang dilakukan oleh Pak-Pak Menteri, ketua-ketua jabatan, ketua polis dan para wartawan, terutama wartawan penyiaran, mengenai penggunaan istilah dan gantinama dalam bahasa Melayu. Mereka nampaknya mudah terikut-ikut tanpa memperdulikan sama ada perkataan yang diguna atau disebut itu betul atau sebaliknya.

Satu perkataan yang sering membuatkan para ahli bahasa 'pedih telinga' ialah mereka-mereka. Ia selalu disebut oleh Pak-Pak Menteri (bukan semua), ketua-ketua jabatan atau pegawai tinggi kerajaan, ketua polis dan tidak ketinggalan wartawan penyiar atau juruhebah (sekarang disebut DJ).

Mereka adalah gantinama diri ketiga untuk bilangan yang banyak, jadi perkataan mereka-mereka tidak betul sama sekali. Yang betul ialah mereka (sudahpun menunjukkan bilangan yang banyak). Kita sering mendengar orang melakukan kesilapan bahasa apabila berkata ... "kepada mereka-mereka yang berkenaan,...atau... mereka-mereka yang terlibat....

Satu lagi perkataan yang tidak betul ialah pasar raya besar untuk merujuk kepada hypermarket.
Perkataan besar ditambah kepada perkataan pasar raya kerana perkataan pasar raya atau pasaraya digunakan untuk supermarket dan perkataan pasar mini merujuk kepada minimarket. Untuk ambil mudah, sebut saja pasar raya besar untuk hypermarket, tak kiralah sama ada ianya betul atau sebaliknya.

Kepada mereka yang faham bahasa Melayu, perkataan pasar raya besar bermaksud pasar besar besar kerana perkataan raya bermaksud besar. Dalam bahasa Melayu, perkataan raya merujuk kepada sesuatu yang besar, umpamanya bandar besar disebut bandar raya, jalan besar disebut jalan raya atau lebuh raya, gendang besar disebut gendang raya, hari besar disebut hari raya dan hantu besar (mengikut fahaman orang Melayu) disebut hantu raya. Jadi pasar raya besar bermakna pasar besar besar! Malangnya, pihak media berbahasa Melayu terikut-ikut menggunakan istilah itu untuk hypermarket, kenapa tidak sebut saja pasar hiper?

Baru-baru ini, kerajaan menggunakan istilah Konsultasi Bajet, yang diterjemah secara langsung daripada perkataan Inggeris Budget Consultation. Kenapa sampai begitu, wahai Menteri Kewangan merangkap Perdana Menteri?

Kita sedia maklum bahawa perkataan Inggeris itu bermaksud berunding atau rundingan atau satu pertemuan untuk meminta nasihat atau pandangan daripada seseorang atau sekumpulan orang yang ahli dalam sesuatu bidang. Perkataan dalam bahasa Melayu ada (rundingan), jadi apa perlunya kita membuat terjemahan terus dari bahasa Inggeris sehingga berbelit lidah untuk menyebutnya?

Kita begitu mudah meminjam dari bahasa Inggeris dengan hanya menambah 'si' dibelakang sesuatu perkataan pinjaman seperti konsultasi, informasi, dedikasi, deklamasi dan sebagainya. Di mana letaknya kata-kata semangat bahasa jiwa bangsa?

Kementerian Penerangan, yang kini dipimpin oleh seorang mantan wartawan akhbar berbahasa Melayu, juga bersikap tidak betul apabila menggunakan perkataan info (dari perkataan Inggeris information) untuk menggantikan perkataan maklumat. Sikap Kementerian Penerangan, khususnya Jabatan Penyiaran, amat dikesali kerana ia sepatutnya mendaulatkan penggunaan bahasa Melayu bukan menggantikan perkataan yang ada dengan perkataan yang dipinjam. Jika begitu ghairah nak gunakan perkataan informasi kenapa tak ubah nama Kementerian Penerangan kepada Kementerian Informasi?

Satu lagi ungkapan yang selalu disalahgunakan ialah "selamat hari jadi". Ungkapan itu tidak betul. yang betul ialah "selamat hari lahir". Kita merayakan hari kita dilahirkan ke dunia ini. Iaitu hari kita keluar dari rahim ibu kita. Kita tidak menyambut hari kita dijadikan oleh Tuhan! Siapa yang tahu saat bila kita dijadikan oleh Tuhan dalam rahim ibu kita? Jadi bagaimana kita tahu sekian hari itu adalah hari jadi kita? Yang kita tahu ialah hari kita dilahirkan.

Kesilapan-kesilapan yang saya ambil sebagai contoh ini merupakan sejumlah kecil daripada begitu banyak kesilapan yang dilakukan oleh kita, termasuk Pak-Pak Menteri, pegawai-pegawai kerajaan dan swasta, orang politik, tokoh perniagaan, penulis dan wartawan. Kesilapan itu berlaku kerana sikap kita yang tidak mementingkan penggunaan perkataan dan istilah yang betul. Kita sering jadi pak turut dan mengambil mudah dalam penggunaan bahasa Melayu.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

"Floating buildings" that are not afloat

In the land of "everything can do", one can find "floating mosques, floating restaurants and floating hotels"... although they do not float! But, say what you like, the media in particular, will say "floating' or "masjid terapung, restoran terapung and hotel terapung" in Malay.

There is a floating mosque in Kuala Terengganu, the state capital of Terengganu, there is one in Tanjung Bunga (not Bungah) in Penang, in the Titiwangsa Lake Garden, Kuala Lumpur there is a "restoran terapung" (floating restaurant) and near Bagan Lalang, Selangor there is a new "floating hotel".

The mosques, restautant and hotel are not borne on water, or to be buoyed up. They do not float or in the Malay language we say "terkatung-katung".

The buildings stands on concrete beams driven into the ground to support the structures. So they do not float! It is wrong to describe the mosques in Kuala Terengganu and Tanjung Bunga and the other structures as "terapung" or floating.

Let us be realistic.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Islamisation is a new trend, says LKY

(The civilised United States Marines, occupying with no respect at all, the Khulafa Rashideen mosque in Falluja, Iraq)

Islamisation and the distinctiveness of Muslim practices was described as a new trend by Lee Kuan Yew, mentor minister of Singapore. "We have to watch this trend carefully and not allow our society to become divided," he told the republic's Malay/Muslim community leaders at a "tea session" in 2003.

He said, inspite of 9/11 and the arrest of the so-called Jamaah Islamiah (JI) "conspirators" in Singapore, relations between the races have not been shaken. The leaders of the Malay community have been solidly with the government "to ensure no divergent religious teachings take place," and people were vigilant against possible terrorist groups.

Kuan Yew warned that such issues would not go away soon. He said developments abroad, in the Middle East, in Iraq and Palestine, in Indonesia and Malaysia, would "influence the thinking and feeling of Muslim Malays in Singapore."

"But we must always remember that we share one island and a common destiny, that we have to protect this island and each other's interests. We should always be able to make whatever accomodation is needed and overcome our difficulties as one nation."

Kuan Yew went on to say that "we are in a period of stress and change in the Arab world of the Middle East that will have unpredictable repercussions on Muslims elsewhere, including Singapore." That would require careful and skilful management. But, he was confident that whatever developments, Singapore Malays would be able to find their place in society as equal citizens.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Malays in the eyes of Lee Kuan Yew

Singapore's mentor minister, Lee Kuan Yew, had once painted a clear picture of the Malays, both in the republic and in Malaysia. He also exposed the different perspective of the Malays, by his son and current prime minister Brig-Gen (R) Lee Hsien Loong. The senior Lee said this in a 2003 'tea session' with the Singapore Malay/Muslim community leaders. Kuan Yew's perspective is very relevant today in light of the much-publicised Iskandar Development Region (IDR) in Johor which seeks Singaporean active participation and investments.

"From my childhood I had Malay friends. I played with kampong boys, both Malays and Chinese. At the age of 6, I went to Telok Kurau English School. There were many Malay pupils who had crossed over from Telok Kurau Malay School which was in the adjacent compound, sharing the same football field. So I grew up completely at ease with Malays: quite a few of my Malay fellow students went on with me to Raffles Institution".

According to Kuan Yew, his son Hsien Loong grew up in a period when political differences between the races were deliberately sharpened during Singapore's years in Malaysia, 1963-65.
"He is therefore very conscious of the dangers of antagonistic race relations and understands that the sensitivities of race and religion have to be tactfully managed."

Kuan Yew also spoke of Malayan Malay elites he met for the first time when he went to Raffles College.
"They had come mostly on Federal government or state government scholarships. (The scholarships were awarded by the British colonial administration- Syed Imran). They were more race conscious and mixed more among themselves than with Chinese, Indian and other students. It did not strike me strongly until after we joined Malaysia that they are different: a deep seated feeling that the country, Malaya, Tanah Melayu, was for the Malays," Kuan Yew added.

After the war, Kuan Yew went to England and became a lawyer. For his first case, he was assigned to defend four Malays who had been charged for the murder in the 1951 Bertha Hertogh (Natrah) riots of an Royal Air Force serviceman and his wife who were travelling in a bus along Geylang Serai. He got them acquitted.

In 1955, Kuan Yew decided to stand as a candidate for the Tanjong Pagar constituency where the Malay-majority postmen's quarters were. There was also a large contigent of Malay workers at the then Singapore Harbour Board quarters. He was confident that the Malays would support him, and they did.

However, Kuan Yew claimed that when trouble started with Malayan Malays agitating in Singapore after merger in 1963, "I discovered more differences between Malayan Malays and the Singapore Malays. The Singapore Malays accepted me as a fellow citizen, sharing the country with them, the Malayan Malays did not."

He said when Singapore became independent in 1965, he made a firm commitment not to let the Malay community down. That commitment, according to Kuan Yew, was shared by all his colleagues of the republic's original team (Cabinet).

"It has been our policy ever since. When we had to rebuild the city, we made sure that as the suraus were demolished, new mosques were built in the new towns, better and bigger. We made sure that our Malays are free to practice their customs and religion. We made sure that there was as much intermingling as possible with the other races in housing, schools, markets shopping centres and community centres. We have made progress."

He admitted that there were difficulties when old Malay settlements had to be demolished and people re-housed. But after the initial years, Malays were reassured that life in the new housing estates was better than in the old settlements.

Social attitudes and values of the people, including the Malays, have changed, both in Singapore and in Malaysia, but in different ways, said Kuan Yew.

"This is because the two countries have different education systems and different social structures that have made for different social relations between the races."

With such differences, 'multiple differences' cannot be avoided if and when Singaporeans decided to invest and to settle down in IDR.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Women and the birth of Islam

Of late, Muslim Malaysian male politicians, in the national Parliament and in the Penang State Legislative Assembly, in one way or the other, had belittle women, from their monthly menstruation to how they should dress in public. These male chauvinists acted no less like a dumb court jester trying to please the king!

They should be reminded that their mothers, wives, sisters and daughters are women and, as Muslims, they must be told that women played very important role in the birth of Islam, very remarkable role.

First of all, that of Khadijah, first wife of the Prophet, to whom he remained faithful until her death. A most unusual and exceptional person, she was the first to embrace Islam. It was she who managed to put the Prophet's heart at rest after his deeply disturbing encounter with the arch-angel Jibreel in the Hira grotto. It was also she who persuaded him that he had a genuine mission and that the revelation was authentic, taking him to consult one of her cousins, a blind sage nearly a hundred years old. This wise old man, Waragah Ibn Nawfal, convinced Muhammad that his visitor was none other than the Messenger of the All-Powerful Being, and that he, Muhammad, had been selected to be one of the Prophets. Khadijah made over her entire fortunes and her worldy belongings to Islam.

Islam's first martyr was also a woman. Her name was Sumayyah, daughter of Khayyat, and her husband too was to be a martyr, as was her son, Ammar.

Stop abusing women in whatever way. Without them, humans ceased to exist!

Blog untuk kaki bola

Para peminat bolasepak tanah air kini boleh berkongsi pengalaman dan buah fikiran dalam alam maya. Satu blog baru - Bolasepak Malaysia - kini boleh dilayari melalui laman sawang berikut:

Blog ini dikendalikan oleh seorang sahabat yang memiliki pengalaman yang lebih daripada mencukupi untuk membicarakan isu bolasepak tanah air.

Tahniah Sdr Zukri Valenteno.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

First Bernama news - May 20, 1968

On May 20, 1968 (39 years ago), Bernama, the newly established national news agency of Malaysia, transmitted its first message via teleprinter reporting the launching of its own news service. The report was published on the front page of the Malay Mail. Copies of the newspaper were being sold on the streets of Kuala Lumpur 90 minutes after the end of the ceremony.

The then Information and Broadcasting Minister, Senu Abdul Rahman, released balloons and doves to mark the opening of Bernama's news service. "I am the happiest person here," he said.

Thirteen doves - representing the 13 states of Malaysia - were freed by the minister before he released dozens of multi-coloured balloons.

The symbolic ceremony, recorded by film and television cameras, took place in the grounds of Bernama's original headquarters in Jalan Pekeliling (now Jalan Tun Razak).

The original Bernama logo

The Bernama pioneers

General Manager Syed Zainal Abidin

News Executive (English language) Chang Yen Fooi

News Executive (Malay language) Abdul Wahab Abdul Majid

Secretary/Accountant Mohd Yusof Bador

Monday, May 14, 2007


(Alhamdulillah... Tun sudah keluar dari IJN hari ini (24 Mei). Satu ingatan untuk Tun, jagalah kesihatan, jangan terlalu cergas ke sana-sini...banyak rehat.)

Marilah kita sama-sama berdoa dan memohon daripada Allah Subhanahuwata'ala supaya terus menganugerahkan kesihatan kepada YAB Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Wartawan penyiaran ditahan kerana positif dadah

Seorang wartawan penyiaran sebuah stesen tv swasta ditahan polis di Johor Baharu setelah ujian air kencingnya didapati positif dadah. Wartawan berbadan gempal itu ditahan dalam satu operasi disebuah pusat karaoke pagi Sabtu.

Dia kini merengkok dalam lokap polis di JB dan akan dihadapkan ke mahkamah pada Isnin. Wartawan ini menjadi salah seorang hos sebuah rancangan yang berkaitan pihak penguatkuasa undang-undang.

Pak Lah rebah....?

(Kemaskini laporan: Pak Lah cuma pitam saja. Terlalu letih setelah sertai satu kerja gotong royong anjuran BBC. Kepada Pak Lah, kahwin cepat.)

PM Abdullah Ahmad (Pak Lah) dilaporkan telah rebah, tak tahu sama ada pitam atau pengsan, semasa hadir dalam satu majlis di Lumut, Perak.

Laporan yang belum disahkan ini disiarkan dalam laman blog Ahiruddin Atan, Rocky's Bru, yang mendahului semua media arus perdana.

May 13 - darkest day in Malaysia's history

Today, May the 13th is another day in history. A dark day. No words can exactly describe May 13.

Just a reminder to all Malaysians, especially those young and inexperienced politicians of all races, in particular the famous son-in-law and the keris wielding youth leader, mind your language!

They should be reminded of what Almarhum Tunku Abdul Rahman said three decades ago.

"The promises we made, that is to live together with the maximum of understanding and goodwill, are still fresh in the minds of many older men. Can our people forget that grand record which brought so much glory to our country? Disasters are taking place around us and governments fall like ten-pins. People have had to flee their countries for safety elsewhere, happiness for them is gone; many have lost their loved ones. Could we risk facing such a catastrophe (and it is easy for trouble to break out here) where people in this country are made up of so many races and so many religions and are so divided?

"It is a risk not worth the taking. The well-being of the country rests on understanding and goodwill among the people, and this must be the first consideration of all our good citizens. Our nation came into being through our joint efforts. It was nurtured by us in its infancy, and now that it has grown to maturity we must not ruin it."

Let us pray that there will never be another May 13. Never.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Today in history

May 11, 1946 saw the formation of UMNO or United Malays National Organisation. It was agreed by leaders and representatives of 29 Malay organisations during the second Malay Congress at Istana Besar, Johor Baharu. The congress was initiated by Datuk Onn Jaafar, founding father of UMNO.

The Malay Congress was held to unite Malay organisations to oppose the English idea of a Malayan Union.

The 29 organisations: Seberkas (Kedah), Kesatuan Melayu Kedah, Kesatuan Melayu Singapura, Persatuan Melayu Pahang, Persatuan Melayu Semenanjung Melaka, Kesatuan Melayu Pulau Pinang, Persatuan Melayu Seberang Perai, Persekutuan Persetiaan Melayu Kelantan, Persatuan Melayu Perlis, Persekutuan Melayu Negeri Sembilan, Perikatan Melayu Perak, Persatuan Melayu Perak, Persetiaan Muslim Teluk Anson (Perak), Persatuan Melayu Chendering (Perak), Persekutuan Muhibbah Malim Nawar (Perak), Parti Kebangsaan Melayu Malaya, Pergerakan Melayu Semenanjung Johor, Persatuan Melayu Keluang (Johor), Persatuan Melayu Selangor, Pergerakan Kebangsaan Melayu Selangor, Ikatan Setia Kampung Bharu (Selangor), Persatuan Peranakan Club (Selangor), Dewan Perniagaan Melayu Selangor, Persatuan Penghulu-Penghulu Selangor, Darul Ehsan Club, Jeram (Selangor), Persatuan Kaum Ibu Selangor, Persekutuan Bawean Selangor, Persekutuan Melayu Ulu Selangor and Persekutuan Melayu Daerah Sabak Bernam (Selangor).

The Congress was officiated by the Tengku Mahkota of Johor (Tengku Ismail). The first Malay Congress was held at the Sultan Sulaiman Club, Kampung Bharu, Kuala Lumpur (March 1-4, 1946). At the first congress, it was agreed to form a united Malay political organisation to fight against the formation of the Malayan Union and to lead the struggle for independence.

At the second Congress in Johor Baharu, Datuk Onn was unanimously elected president of UMNO and the rest is history.

But, sad to say that most leaders today were in politics for personal interests and financial benefits. Corruption, money politics, government projects and tenders were orders of the day.

The Spirit of 11 May, 1946 was buried deep in the ground.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Technical difficulties

I am facing "technical difficulties" to update my blog. I will do so when it is back to normal.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Bernama is 40

The Tunku presents a copy of Bernama's Constitution in gold letters to Tan Sri Aziz Yeop, Chairman of The Board, witnessed by Information and Broadcasting Minister, (Tan Sri) Senu Abdul Rahman.

Malaysia's national news agency, Bernama, turned 40 on April 6.

Bernama was set up as an independent public corporation in which newspapers (media) and the government mass media are partners.

A non-profit making organisation (then, but not now), Bernama was officially set up by Act of Parliament on April 6, 1967. However, its formal 'birthday' is on August 30 because on that day in 1967, a launching ceremony was held in Parliament House. Bernama started operations nine months after that date.

The then Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra, Almarhum, and members of the Cabinet and other distinguished guests attended the launching ceremony.

Speaking at the ceremony, Tunku said: "You have undertaken to present complete, objective and impartial information, and to report fairly and truthfully the views of all sections of the population of Malaysia. The Chairman has stressed this aspect in his speech, and I agree with him completely."

Earlier, Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Yeop, first Chairman of Bernama's Board of Governors, in a policy speech stated that Bernama believed that the agencies most trusted in the world were those agencies which have established a reputation for objectivity and impartiality and that was why those qualities were set as goals for Bernama.

"I would like to give you a further assurance by Bernama that we hold these truths to be self-evident, that a news agency shall be impartial, objective and comprehensive in its news coverage, that it shall be fair to all and give special favours to none."

The present Bernama staff, from the top downwards, should honestly ponder whether Bernama adheres to what was promised by the Chairman.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

What is wrong by having a Chinese mosque?

The so-called religious advisor to the Prime Minister, Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Othman is strongly against the proposal to have a Chinese mosque in Malaysia. His comments to support his stand are simply shallow and narrow-minded.

As a former minister in-charge-of Islamic affairs under former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad before he was rejected by the voters of Sik, Abdul Hamid's stand is questionable and a stab in the back to PM Abdullah Ahmad's much publicised "Islam hadhari" approach.

The proposed Chinese mosque is not exclusively for Chinese Muslims as stated several times by leaders of the Chinese Muslims. It is for all Muslims.

It seems that Abdul Hamid and several Malay political and religious leaders look at the proposal from narrow racial lines. Islam is not the exclusive right of the Malays. Not all "Malays" are Muslims and not all Muslims are "Malays".

There is a Indian Muslim mosque and a Pakistani mosque in Kuala Lumpur. In Penang one can find Indian Muslim mosque (Masjid Kapitan Keling), a Pakistani mosque, a Malay mosque, Achenese mosque and Arab mosque. They are not exclusively for the Indian Muslims, the Pakistanis, the Malays, the Achenese or the Arabs, they are for all Muslims.

So why the big fuss over the proposal to have a Chinese mosque? Mosques are for Muslims irrespective of their names. I do not foresee any problem by having a Chinese mosque.

Sad to say that Abdul Hamid has not grown up.