Sunday, March 30, 2008

Bahasa Mělayu - a letter to Yang Běrhormat

Dodgee Con-Sultan e-Solutions
12, Jalan Bodek
Taman Kamunting
Pulau Pinang

Yang Berhormat
Datuk Encik Loh Gwo Burne

My dear dear Yang Sangat Berhormat Mr Loh,

Congratulations on your most worthy victory in the recent general election. My cousin (from my mother’s side) who voted for you in Kelana Jaya has been ecstatic with sheer joy and honour at the privilege of having you as his parliamentary representative.

However, he and I have been extremely incensed by the outrageous and undoubtedly jealous rumour that your most honourable father paid for your seat. This is plain ridiculous when you are a PKR member, no doubt only for one week just prior to the election as you had mentioned in an interview with Malaysiakini, but nonetheless incontrovertible proof of your rightful and deserving eligibility to be nominated by the party.

I attribute this malicious rumour-mongering as typical insidious BN lies, no doubt spread by now-unemployed female liars who constitute 80% of the notorious cybertroopers.

Indeed, how dare Malaysiakini even raised that question when they should know better than to question anything about your pristinely perfect party, with your famed fantastic and fabulous reformasi leader, who had personally invited you to contest in Kelana Jaya, on recognizing your talents, potentials and assets (as a politician of course).

But if Malaysiakini is good for anything, it has at least published your comments as follows:

But when I met Anwar he asked why don’t I join the (party and contest in the) election? That became something more substantial as opposed to going back home and hide under my shell. I told Anwar that if you think we can contribute, then I am at your service. He said, "I think you can" so the next was to look at our areas and he asked, "Why don’t you go to Kelana Jaya?" Then I thought yeah, we can do this.

A good worthy quote – though spoilt somewhat by Malaysiakini’s grammatical error in not using the continuous tense of ‘hide’ to ensure consistency of grammatical employment. Anyway, as we can analyze from that quote, there was a whole lot of ‘thinking’ by both Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and you in your selection and gracious acceptance.

I have been so impressed by your frank confession that you have problems with Bahasa Malaysia, and that you intend to quickly bring your Bahasa up to speed in order to be able to contribute meaningfully to parliamentary debate.

Yang Berhormat, do not fret over such an easily manageable issue; if you may permit, I like to add a word of encouragement. Please remember Yang Berhormat, despite your (temporary only, of course) lack of Bahasa proficiency to deliver speeches in parliament or to debate issues in that hallowed house, you were personally chosen by none other than Datuk Seri to be the party’s representative for Kelana Jaya.

His confidence in you is the sole important factor. And indeed, such must be his confidence that he personally persuaded you to enroll as a member in his party just a week prior to the elections, when you were then nominated to stand for that federal seat. Many have been envious of that, which in a way could explain those nonsensical rumours of your father paying for your selection as the party’s parliamentary candidate for Kelana Jaya.

I salute your proactive intention to bring your Bahasa A.S.A.P up to speed. Let me assure you that some parliamentarians have been known not to be even able to say what you already can, like, as Malaysiakini reported, “… go the stall and buy stuff, order food in a mamak …”.

By the way, may I just say you made such an endearing confession that I would advise you not to hesitate reusing those words, to disarm and win people over.

Now, to the purpose of my letter - It just so happens that I can offer you some support in the matter of the Bahasa. I propose to do this as a two pronged strategy. This brief is only exploratory. Please do consider whether my plan can be of some help to you. If so, we can subsequently discuss our collaboration in greater details.

Firstly, we must enable you to get several of those ‘Master this or that language in 24 hours’ programs. Virtually everyone knows that with modern technology all sorts of languages can be mastered in a mere 24 hours. If one does not manage that, namely, master a language within 24 hours, the fault usually lies with the technology rather than the difficulties of a language. The obvious remedy is to take another 24 hours, etcetera. A catalogue of language software programs from my Dodgee Bookstores outlet (with its generous discount offer to Parliamentarians) is already in the mail to you.

If I may digress slightly to provide more encouragement to you, I am planning to make, through my Dodgee Documentary DVD Department, a series of motivational documentaries on fast track achievements. In today’s world where e
veryone is fascinated with, and wants to fast track everything (even in corruption), there is a market for quickie glories such as “Lose 10 kilograms in 3 days” or “Be a Kungfu Master in 7 days” or “Be a millionaire in 3 months or "Speed Reading", etc. Thus fast learning a language is not un-do-able.

Perhaps later, once you have settled down in your lawmaking duties, we could make an inspiring documentary on you, with the catchy title of “14 minutes from photographer to parliamentarian.” If you do not like that tentative title, we can discuss.

Continuing with my proposal, in the second prong of my visualized strategy for you, my team at Dodgee Con-Sultan e-Solutions will develop a special package. This will be for you to raise as an opposition motion in the Dewan Rakyat.

Not meaning to trumpet, the brilliance of this strategy is so staggering that you will be the envy of your colleagues including Datuk Seri. They will wonder why they have not thought of it.

We will have you passing a motion to re-introduce the e-tanda back into our Bahasa Malaysia, or better, we will also have you at the same time escalating a demand that our national language be reverted to its proper title of Bahasa Melayu.

In one fell swoop, you will (1) put the UMNO (and other) nationalistic conservatives on the defensive with such patriotic issues (where we will ensure your speech is nicely spiced up with lots of bangsa and negara), (2) camouflage your current (just temporary, of course) lack of Bahasa proficiency with the nationalistic fervour you will undoubtedly raise even though you will only be reading (emotionally) from a prepared statement (we will write this for you), and (3) exploit the e-tanda as if it is a modern Internet compatible terminology like the vogue e-commerce, e-business and of course e-solution - this will catch the imagination of the younger voters.

Then our plan continues to unfold as such: Once you have flung that e-bone into the parliamentary arena, you retreat gracefully to high patriotic grounds, sit back quietly and let the language hounds tear themselves silly to shreds over ridiculous linguistic pedantry. And that should see you nicely through until the next parliamentary session, where by then Dodgee Con-Sultan e-Solutions will have develop another special package for you to raise again in the Dewan Rakyat.

Our Dodgee Con-Sultan e-Solutions e-strategy is to keep our client e-xquisitely, e-fficently and e-lusively one step ahead of the ordinary pack.

Now, you may ask what is the e-tanda? Well, it was an additional grapheme in Romanized Bahasa Malaysia Melayu. Malaysia's noted linguistic expert Dr Asmah Hj Omar informed us through one of her academic papers that the e-tanda was introduced by Za'aba, the renown Malay grammarian, in the 1930’s.

The e-tanda was written as ě, that is right, basically an e with a diacritic mark. Dr Asmah said that with this ě plus a couple of other linguistic innovations, the Za'aba system provided greater facilitation in reading texts compared to the Wilkinson system.

Personally, though not a linguist, I can see the importance of the e-tanda because without it, as an example, the word ‘Bersih’ if read by a Penangite with a horrible accent like that terrible blogger kaytee, could sound like ‘Beh-sih’ (pronounced ‘Bay say’) which means ‘cannot be cleaned’, totally deforming the very meaning of the word.

There is no mistakening how 'Běrsih' should be pronounced. Such is the importance of the e-tanda.

Alas, it was disgracefully done away with by BN bureacrats in the 1972 Bahasa spelling reforms.

With Dodgee Con-Sultan e-Solutions’ strategy for you to reintroduce the e-tanda as your debut parliamentary motion, you will become an instant national hero.

As nationalistic rational, we will arrange appropriate material for you to argue that the French still have their l’accents aigu (é), grave (è) and circonflexe (ê), la cédille (ç) and le tréma (ë), and likewise the Germans, Vietnamese, Arabs and numerous other nationalities continue to have their linguistic diacritical marks in their written languages.

You will put BN people like Rais Yatim and Hishamuddin Hussein to shame when you (pretend to, of course) rail against BN cultural cringe for accepting the removal of the glorious e-tanda grapheme from our beautiful Bahasa Melayu. In fact I dare say you should be the Shadow Education Minister, one who waves the e-tanda instead of the kěris.

We will prepare stirring phrases for you to fling around in the Dewan Rakyat, like “Sěmangat Za’aba masih hidup”, “Kěunggulan Bahasa Mělayu harus těrjamin”, “e-tanda enak dulu, sěkarang dan esok”, so on so forth – phrases to warm the cockles of the heartland.

And as a contingency plan, when you sense any lukewarm or faltering reception to your stirring phrases mentioned above, you throw in the secret weapon we will prepare, which will be ‘Něgara, Bangsa dan Grammar.

That will surely shake those complacent BN neocons who have thus far foolishly imagined they have a monopoly on issues of nationalism.

Yes sir, your Kelana Jaya predecessor and ch’in lang Loh Kok Seng might have been a hero only on one side of the ‘divide’ for demanding historic correction, but you will be a hero on both sides for displaying histrionic correctness.

I anxiously and eagerly await Yang Berhormat’s indulgence in considering Dodgee Con-Sultan e-Solutions’ proposed enrichment program for your parliamentary career.

Tuliskanlah Bahasa Mělayu yang děngan bětul.

Yang běnar,
Dodgee Dimsum

p/s apart from my Dodgee Con-Sultan e-Solutions, my other company Dodgee Electronics carries an impressive range of items that can be useful to your needs, such as GPS, iPODS, Camrecorder, etc – all available with the usual concession to Parliamentarians.


The Yum-Cha Chronicles:(1) Apology - A letter to the minister
(2) Bloggers - A letter to the ministry
(3) Drama queens & kings wanted
(4) May 13 Book - a letter to the minister

(5) Appreciation - a letter to the minister
(6) Goblok to Golek - a letter to the minister
(7) MGR-ish makeover - a letter to a minister


  1. Bahasa Melayu bukan hanya memerlukan 1 huruf tambahan, akan tetapi memerlukan perubahan yang besar dimana ia tidak perlu langi menggunakan set aksara Bahasa Inggeris.

    sebagai contoh:

    huruf "Æ" dan "æ" diperlukan untuk menggantikan "a" pada perkataan "kenapa", "mana", "saya"

    kenapæ , manæ , sayæ

    Jadi 3 perkataan itu boleh disebut dengan betul menggunakan 2 cara
    sebutan "mana" pun betul
    sebutan "mane" pun betul

    tapi ejaannya manæ

  2. My relative who lives in the Kelana Jaya area told me if they had put a dog on the ballot paper, she would have voted for the dog....MCA, UMNO, MIC, the whole Barisan Najis Mafia was giving off an unbearable putrid smell...

    not too late, Loh Gwo Burne still has the chance to prove himself a credible Wakil Rakyat.
    I can think of many BN MPs who had less credentials, and people happily voted them in for 50 years...

  3. Lol, I just though Desi write this master piece, I need to go through a few round to learn the message behind . ;)

  4. I'm jealous of Loh Burne! I'm angry...I'm jealous of whatever that contributed to his success be it his party, his leader, his time of election, and any other condition. I'm hating him and all...

  5. Kaytee,
    Before you disdainfully treat the 1972 decision to throw away the e-tanda as a nationalist disgrace, you should consider a few practicalities.

    Remember this was BC (Before Computers). In those days, if you wanted to publish Anything, even as simple as a school exam paper, you had to type it out on a mechanical or electric typewriter.
    The standard model typewriter sold around the world doesn't have that caret e-tanda sign. Put it down to Anglo-Saxon hegemony or arrogance, but that's how the world works. So to publish something in Bahasa required you to proof read whatever you typed out and manually add in the e-tanda - labourious and error-prone.

    Doing away with the e-tanda was a practical step, and school teachers, especially those who were not language purists but had to teach various subjects in Bahasa, welcomed it.

    Don't compare to French-lah. Its the 3rd most widely spoken language in the world, and France is the world's 7th largest economy. We're not in that league-lah...

  6. salam kt, apa e-tanda ini? adakah PKR menjual kerusi seperti yang dianiayai oleh beliau? tapi sungguh ajaib, calon tu jadi ahli seminggu sebelum tarikh percalonan...ah, mungkin dalam era internet ini, semua pun cepat-lah.

  7. Salam, nona Jed, amboi, sweetie dah membuat tuduhan yang sgt liar. Aiyoyo, saya tidak berani terima lah. Ingat, sebarang tindakan atau pilihan DSAI seharusnya tidak benar dicabar, OK?

    Yg berhormat tu telah dipilih berdasarkan atas kemampuan beliau - ya, mampu, mampu, mampu! CUT! ;-)

  8. saudara ktemoc,

    mampu atau ampu adalah budaya PKR/UMNO?

    memang susah nak berjuang berdasar prinsip pada zaman ini.

    tok guru anwar ibrahim tidak boleh dicabar. hukumannya adalah seperti ezam, nalla, chandra....walaupun mereka berjuang untuk rakyat tapi menolak pemerintahan diktator tok guru anwar, mereka akhirnya keluar dari parti...

    betul-kah teori saya? ataupun terlalu liar?

  9. aiyoyo ama, saudari, terdengar apa yg berlaku di parti tersebut berdasarkan atas prinsip Běrsih (dengan e-tanda, terima kasih), yaitu prinsip menyapu segala halangan ke tepi (Ops Běrsih) demi mengelakkan gangguan kemajuan ... er ... Tok Guru

  10. Saudara,

    PKR ini adalah parti yang menpunyai satu prinsip saja, iaitu memastikan "Tok Guru" Anwar Ibrahim menjadi Perdana Menteri.

    Bila saya dengar penjelasan saudara2 yang mendengar ceramah Anwar semasa pilihan raya, hati saya terhampa dengan pemimpin yang hanya tahu memutar-belitkan kata2 demi mendapat undi.

    Kata saudara saya, DEB boleh dihapuskan sebab hak2 Melayu telah dijamin dalam perlembagaan. Tidak-kah ini merupakan satu pembohongan besar kepada penyokong-penyokong PKR bukan Melayu? DEB "dihapuskan" tapi semua pun sama saja.

    Perangai parti PKR adalah sama dengan UMNO. Jika macam tu, baik saya sokong BN dari satu parti yang pecah dari parti utama seperti Semangat 46?

    Apakah perjuangan PKR? Semua untuk Anwar. Tidak kira prinsip, atau dengan bohong.

    Jangan bohong lagi PKR. Jangan menipu pengundi2 bukan Melayu dengan janji2 menghapuskan DEB sedangkan hak2 Melayu akan dipelihara.

  11. can you write in plain english what rubbish is this you are posting here?

  12. wakakakaka....
    sinisnya surat itu. sayangnya tak ramai yang faham. atau sengaja (e-tanda ye) tidak mahu terima (e-tanda lagi ye)? memang (ini bukan e-tanda tau) begitulah (e-tanda semula) lumrah banyak orang, cuma mendengar (e-tanda lagi) apa yag dia mahu dengar sahaja...

    "can you write in plain english what rubbish is this you are posting here?"
    i suggest that u too try to get what the letter author trying to sell... his programme of Bahasa Melayu easy learning kit... LoL

  13. jedyoong and ktemoc...
    (kahkahkah) saya masih belum (kahkahkah) boleh berhenti ketawa (kahkahkah membaca surat tadi (kahkahkah) dan komen2 anda...

  14. Jed,
    I think you are falling into exactly the trap which BN/UMNO has brainwashed (almost) the entire population into thinking.

    The special position of the Malays is built into the Constitution.

    NEP is not = Special Position of the Malays.
    NEP is a set of policies and implementation regimes put in place after 1972.

    Go read the Constitution of Malaysia carefully...

    On top of that
    NEP 1972 is not = NEP 2008.

    We have a perverted version of the NEP today, mainly used to enrich UMNO cronies. The sooner it is buried, the better it will be for the country, including the majority of the Malays.

    I don't need to hear Anwar Ibrahim to reach this conclusion myself.

  15. i know the difference lah. ..small difference lah.....hak istemewa, nep, all sama these days lah....anwar taking us for a ride lah.

  16. Its high time Dollah, Mahathir, Ktemoc, Jed, all the legions of Anwar detractors realise that demonising Anwar Ibrahim is not going to convince people to stay clear of him.

    It didn't work during the GE12 campaign, its not working today, it won't work tomorrow.

    It may work if they can provide a facts-based counter-critique of what Anwar is proposing, or if BN/UMNO can propose something superior (can pigs fly ?)

    Anwar Ibrahim is a Four-faced Buddha
    Anwar Ibrahim is a Jewish agent
    Anwar Ibrahim is a "Queen"
    Anwar Ibrahim is a traitor to the Malays
    Anwar Ibrahim is taking all of you for a ride

    Yadda..yadda...sorry-lah, its like trying to sell last week's newspaper..

    Right now, this guy is like an 18-wheel 40 tonne truck barreling down the highway at 110 km/h. Deal with his ideas..pot-shots ain't gonna work.

  17. oit...
    18-wheel truck kenot go more than 80km/h in hiways la...

    err.... u mean he's doing things illegally now??? or maybe since samy no more there, the speed-limits now revised?

  18. The rules of the game in Malaysian politics have been changed, mate...

  19. ha ha ha kittykat, now you would say that, wouldn't you - you have virtually admitted to (PKR) embracing the UMNO doctrine, namely 'whatever it takes!'

    Strangely, or is it, that no one has commented on a bloke just a mere one week into the party, at the personal invitation of Anwar (so he claimed), being put foreward as a candidate for the parliamentary seat of KJ, even when he lacks the ability to speak Bahasa proficient enough to participate in parliamentary debates.

    Is this how PKR or rather Anwar (if what Loh claimed is correct) selects the party's parliamentary candidates?

    Indeed, I agree with anon of 11:09 today that, based on Loh's claims, Anwar "... is like an 18-wheel 40 tonne truck barreling down the highway at 110 km/h." Totally out of control!

  20. It looks like the people being taken for a ride is DAP Perak right now with the resignation of the Buntong MP...

  21. Sivasubramaniam resign-kah ?

    DAP and its endless internal struggles.
    Looks like another case of Central Committee dictatorship (read Lim anak-beranak) decision gone sour.

    I've always held that DAP is its own worst enemy...

    There goes Perak - back to UMNO.

  22. Hi Kaytee,

    Maybe Loh Gwo Burne must have impressed Anwar ALOT during that one week?

    You are just speculating he's NOT eligible because of the timeframe.

    He's already elected lah - give the poor guy a rest.

    If he had NOT stood for PKR in Kelana Jaya, would you or Jed have volunteered for want of better candidates?

  23. All your website now stands for is to bash Anwar and Keadilan.

    Will you devote your blogging skillz now to condemn that Perak DAP fella who just defected and then changed his mind? Had it been a Keadilan man who attempted such treachery, I'm sure you'd have an entry up by now raining fire, sulfur, & brimstone on PKR...