Once upon a time, in a land once known as the Boelay Kingdom, there lived a mythical creature known as Haw-T’au-Ngeow-Ch’oo-Boey. Translated into English, it means (literally) Tiger-Head-Mouse-Tail, implying the creature was ferocious at one end of its body but timid at the other. In modern political parlance, the creature would ‘act tough for show at one end but cringe at the other’.
As we expect with mythological creatures like the dragon, phoenix, unicorns, griffins, etc, they only exist in stories.
But then recently many people spotted a Haw-T’au-Ngeow-Ch’oo-Boey in our local neighbourhood.
Its Tiger-Head made a lot of noise against a hunter named Mahathir but alas, the noise was in Chinese, which means those who don’t understand Chinese won’t be offended. So Tiger-Head tried to show it was brave but only to those who understood Chinese.
Meanwhile its Mouse-Tail obviously didn’t roar but instead made a manja melodious mewing sound (in English) to those Tai-Kohs who didn’t join the Perkasa hunting party – it lauded them. Yes, as we know, ‘lauded’ in English means ‘praised’ or ‘extolled’. Wah, so sweet! Good boy lah!
Unlike its Tiger-Head, it made no mention, let alone criticism, of the hunter named Mahathir.
So it’s a clever creature, making two completely different responses on the same incident. Act tough on it to a particular group, but act bodek-ish to another.
That’s the Haw-T’au-Ngeow-Ch’oo-Boey for you, or as Chinese would say of its roar-mewing, 'hoe knwa boe hoe cheah' (good to look at, but lousy in taste/substance) wakakaka.
But enough of mythological creatures, go get yourself educated by reading Malaysiakini’s Gerakan slams Dr M's 'disgusting' speech at Perkasa AGM.
Meanwhile, over at DAP HQs, when asked what was their reaction to the hunter Mahathir, a DAP man replied 'cheah par boe eng ah?' literally meaning 'having eaten, so busy?'.
In idomatic terms, it implies 'don't we have far better things to do?'.