Today Malaysiakini tells us in Backbenchers rap Penang's multi-lingual road signs that UMNO man, Mohamad Aziz from the Sri Gading constituency said in Parliament that the Penang government's decision to implement the multi-language road signs instead of road signs in the national language was disrespectful to the nation's social contract and the Federal constitution.
Social contract and the Federal constitution? Hasn't he been rather generous with his accusations!
The Penang heritage road signs issue is being bullsh*ttingly brandished around as if the Chinese plus Jawi and Tamil script has replaced the national language.
Those idiots didn’t even bother to check that the national language continues to depict the thoroughfares’ names but only with the heritage names (in Chinese, Tamil, Jawi scripts) being additional signs below the main signs in Romanised Bahasa.
And we see how the term social contract has now conveniently become a catch-all weapon for some UMNO members to bash anything or anyone they don't like or when they want to exploit a political brownie point.
Sadly we also see blatant signs of ethnocentric fangs being bared in Malaysiakini article PAS Youth warns MCA not to harp on NEP which sadly proves what many people have always believed PAS to be, first and last a Malay rather than the supranationalistic Islamic political party it claims to be.
In Malaysiakini Chinese heads PKNS: Staff say 'No', even the PKNS staff dared to question MB Khalid Ibrahim’s decision for Low Siew Moi, PKNS deputy corporate affairs and accounting manager, to take over (only temporary) as acting General Manager for just one year.
Loh was set to retire this month. In fact, Loh herself suggested that a Malay be appointed as the GM. But the State government wants some continuity at the senior management level during this shaky economic period and persuaded her to hang on for an extra year as she's the best qualified and most experienced person for the job.
So what has been the problem with Loh that the staff and union objected to her appointment? As a matter of record, they said: “The associations, unions and welfare bodies do not deny the capabilities of Low Siew Moi in the management of finance.”
Then? ..... alas, like Teresa Kok, Loh has one humongous disadvantage - she’s Chinese (and presumably in those PKNS staff's minds, not a Malaysian).
In my post Penang road signs - signs of ethnic division? I suggested that we Malaysians should look for commonalities rather than differences, but a couple of comments argued that the Penang government’s heritage names will be divisive, and the commonality that we should uphold should be the national language.
I responded: The question of Bahasa as the national language has never been in doubt. Keunggulan Bahasa tetap, terjamin dan terkukuh.
We need to remind ourselves the heritage multi-lingual road signs do NOT replace the national language but are only in addition and below to the Romanised Bahasa signs.
I also commented: But one of our principal commonalities is our rich culture where there is already a blending over the past 200 years to produce something uniquely Malaysian. The heritage naming of selected thoroughfares in Georgetown (not the entire Peanang) is an acknowledgement of our history where many people come together to form a nation.
Our rich culture? Well, they say food is a great reflector of culture.
Take as an example, mee – yes, wheat noodles, that lovely yellow yummy spaghetti-like stuff. Virtually every ethnic group has embraced that into its cuisine, uniquely Malaysian.
I would be devastated if the famous Indian mee stall in Ayer Itam (in Penang of course) were to discard the use of the Chinese Hokkien noodles for … say … spring hoppers(?), or our fabulous mee Jawa has to use laksa noodles instead.
Then there’s the nyonya food – utterly scrumptious and delightful and which started in Malaya.
In the previous post we bantered lightly on laksa versus curry mee – whichever, we Malaysians have been enriched by both Penang laksa and curry mee (KL laksa).
Without any doubt, I dare say it would be the rare Malaysian who hasn’t tasted nasi lemak, apom, banana leaf curry rice, beef rendang, satay, char koay teow (there are harlal version), chicken rice, nasi kunyit kari ayam, nasi goreng, yong tau foo, fish head curry, rojak, the kueh-mueh's, etc - the list of commonality in cuisine goes on.
Perhaps rojak represents us best of all, and we know how incomparably delicious rojak with its belacan, chilli, tau chneow (sweet sauce), and petis udang would be!
Then there’s the marvellous sarong, the best ecologically-friendly air conditioner there is - virtually every Malaysian wears one at some stage. The lovely kebaya and graceful baju kurung have already been claimed by the Chinese and Indians as their own.
Our hormat (respect) for our elders, our uniquely extensive family ties and our love of 'open house' during festive occasions to fete our friends and relatives are common cultural customs and practices.
I could go on and on - though we do have marvellous commonalities, yet we continue to stress on our differences ..... thanks to the politicians.