If Ahmad Rejal is trying to be constructive, he should not use any race label indiscriminately. He claimed that there are citizens who can't speak or understand the Malay language. The national secondary school system which adopted the Malay language as the sole medium of instruction was implemented in 1974. It is granted that those who finished their secondary school prior to 1974 may not be conversant in the Malay language.
A friend e-mailed me your half cock shoot from the hip comment about what I
Please read the whole article properly and not just bit and pieces of
it. And don't be crude about it. We can discuss this gentlemanly without
bringing in unrelated things.
So what was the crux of what I wrote?
I questioned why is it that even after 53 years of independence there
are still citizens of this country who can't understand and speak the national language, the language of this country?
I am not questioning the whole of the Chinese who are citizens of this country. Only those who still can't understand or converse in the language of the country which they call home.
Is that being an extremist?
I also questioned the propensity of some housing developers and products being advertised through flyers sent to homes including Malays homes and especially in Shah Alam where I reside and where the majority are Malays, only in English and Mandarin. What happened to Bahasa? Why such disrespect? Aren't these companies operating in Malaysia where the language of the country is Bahasa? Is that asking too much?
So don't cloud it with fact that Hokkien having some Malay words. So what about it? I am not questioning Hokkien but only question why can't the language of the
country be given the proper respect it deserves.
And don't go about the Malays not knowing Mandarin either. Is Mandarin the National language of this country?
It is good for the Malays to also learn Mandarin but even if the majority of them do so, BM is still the language of this country and should be accorded the respect it deserves where every citizens can understand and be able to converse in the language. Is that too much to ask?
Can we go to France, Germany, Japan or Korea and not see the languages of those countries not used at all - not even a word - in the menus of their restaurants.
But this is going on in this country. Go the White House coffee in section 13 Shah Alam and look up its menu. Its only in English and Mandarin. Why this disrespect for BM. Yet most of the clientele of the shop are Malays.
These people have scant respect for the language of their own country. If you are loyal to this country then you should also be loyal to the language of the country.
I am not questioning those who know the language and are able to use it and
understand it. But knowing alone is also not enough, but you must also be proud
to use it.
And don't cloud it with encouragement being made to learn English. Yes we should learn and be proficient in English. But does it mean that we don't need to use BM or know and be able to speak it.
That is all what I wrote about my friend. Is that being extreme? And what has that got to do with Umno?
And try not to be insulting. It doesn’t show good breeding.
Today, it is not possible for any Malaysian who has completed his/her six years of primary education, in both national or vernacular school, not to be able to understand or converse in the Malay language.
However, many of them (especially those above the age of 50) are able to converse and communicate in the language through socialisation with other Malays. In fact, it is not uncommon to find Malays being able to speak in Chinese dialects as a result of socialisation with their Chinese friends.
I would like to urge Ahmad to provide me with statistics of non-Malay citizens who are not able to speak or understand the language. I dare say that they belonged to the minority. If Ahmad hopes to see more people using the Malay language, he should sound more constructive and encouraging.
If Ahmad is trying to pick an issue with non-Malays not using the Malay language when socializing among themselves or with their family members, then I would say that he is just being discriminatory. Using one's own mother tongue when conversing with family members and friends of the same ethnic origin does not mean that he/she is unpatriotic or disloyal to the nation.
Is it trendy for editors or columnists of Malay mainstream newspapers to use the non-Malays especially the Chinese as punching bags? Is Ahmad hoping to make an editorial comeback with his unwarranted and unfair criticism of non-Malays or Chinese?
If Ahmad is not pleased with some property developers, retailers or restaurants not using the Malay language, he should just limit his criticism to these companies or persons. By using the race label, he not only being racist but also an opportunist.
I pray that he does not turn into a race extremist. I hope his statement is made out of ignorance and a lack of understanding of non-Malay Malaysians.