Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Racial signs against road signs?

What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet
- W Shakespeare - Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)


In its article Malay NGO sues Penang over signboards, Malaysiakini tells us that Gabungan Graduan Melayu Muda (GGMM) or Young Malay Graduates Federation is a newly-formed Malay graduates non-government organisation (NGO).

Today GGMM’s launched its first action by filing a suit seeking a High Court injunction against both the state government and the Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) from erecting multi-lingual signboards for heritage-listed thoroughfares in old Georgetown.

In its suit GGMM claimed that the Penang State government in implementing the list of Penang heritage names on road signboards, has violated Article 152 of the federal constitution, which upholds the official status of Bahasa Malaysia.

Malaysiakini photo

When I look at the above example of what has been done by Penang, I don’t see any evidence of our national language Bahasa Malaysia being replaced or even relegated to an inferior position by non-Malay road signs, so do wonder how GGMM could allege Article 152 has been violated.

It’s a shame that young graduates would indulge in such ethnocentric posturing rather than promote better relationship among the various ethnic groups.


23 comments:

  1. Another bunch of loony Mamaks...

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  2. You know how I always bitch about our inferior education? This is precisely why.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Damned these MotherFuckers ie the Mamaks !

    ReplyDelete
  4. xiean
    I still need to discuss on the market , call me at 0164819529 . If it is not on leave a message , thanks .

    ReplyDelete
  5. Quote: It’s a shame that young graduates would indulge in such ethnocentric posturing rather than promote better relationship among the various ethnic groups.

    Maybe these are the famous unemployed and unemployable local graduates who have too much free time on their hands.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow looking at the sign, I feel like I'm in Beijing/Shenzen as the sign in chinese stood out

    Well what the hell...maybe we should declare Penang as Chinamen land..then everybody's happy

    We're in Malaysia...by putting the chinese sign are you telling me there are still alot of chinese (who call themselves Malaysian) can't speak Malay?

    Sori la but I can see how chinese are the ultimate racist lot, no respect to the majority and so racist to spend unnecessary public money to have chinese sign...there are a lot of issues in Penang such as the road BUT making this remeh issue SHOWS what are chinese/DAP priority.....

    ps: I wonder who get the contract of chinese post?....$$$$$$$$

    ReplyDelete
  7. I do not agree with justmy2sen. However, he made a fair observation of the Malaysiakini picture. The Chinese sign do look more prominent and the Visit Malaysia logo prioritize it even more.

    From the picture, I do get the impression that Lebuh Pantai is a Chinese area or is of Chinese heritage. It is like a territorial claim. I can see how that is divisive.

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  8. And this may be out of context but can somebody tell me WHY:-

    WHEN A MALAY CALL CHINESE PENDATANG (WHICH IS TRUE), EVERYBODY IN THE BLOG WORLD (MAJORITY CHINESE) MAKE A BIG NOISE OUT OF IT BUT WHEN A CHINESE CALL MALAY PENDATANG (which is another tactic done by Lee Kuan Yew to get Singapore apart from Malaysian Malaysia), ALL YOU PEOPLE JUST KEEP QUIET..SENYAP..SUNYI..nice eh can choose sides like that

    AND YOU CALL MALAY THE RACIST ONE?
    fikir-fikirkanlah

    BTW, BEFORE YOU GET TO CALL MALAY PENDATANG, CHECK OUT FACTS, DO RESEARCH, PROVE IT TO US...AND EVEN IF YOU WANT TO PROVE THAT ORG ASLI IS THE SON OF SOIL BUT IF IT WEREN;T FOR KESULTANAN MELAYU PROSPERITY, BRITISH WON'T INVADE AND BROUGH YOU LOTS HERE...IF MALAYSIA WERE STILL HUTAN, YOUR ANCESTORS WILL NOT EVEN TEMPTED TO COME HERE...FIKIRLAH..JANGAN MAIN CAKAP IKUT SEDAP MULUT JE

    I'M GETTING TIRED OF SITUATION WHERE MALAYS NEED TO MENGALAH AND BEING BULLIED...WHERE MALAY CAN'T SPEAK THEIR MIND LEST BE CALLED UMNO TOTOK AND RACIST..

    ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!!

    Ktemoc,
    I choose to comment here coz you don;t filter comments as this comment wouldn;t get through if otherwise

    ReplyDelete
  9. How come in UK, there is no Urdu/Tamil signpost in a highly populated Indians/Pakistani area such as Bradford? They're happy and content with english sign post..I would imagine the fiasco if they actually demanded one...COST/WHO TO BEAR THE COST-PUBLIC FUND? would be utmost factor to be in consideration

    Do you think a liberal government such as UK would allow that?..and if the liberal country doesn't even allow that, what makes you think it is neccessary in Malaysia...and public funds is better off used somewhere else like single mother charity or something

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  10. Judging by the Mkini pic, there's obviously something wrong. The BM one should be displayed prominently and the rest in same font size. Why is 'Beach St' hardly visible and the Chinese one looking even bigger than the BM one.

    If they were serious about tourism, what they would have done is do a thorough research and have more info detailing the origin, history and background of the street rather than just the name itself, even if Beach St is 'Ginhang Kay' or literally 'Bank St' in Hokkien it wouldn't make any sense to tourists.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thats the problem we have not only does Azalina a lawyer by training and a loyar buruk in practice, we have GGMM supposedly an NGO but obviously UMNO lackeys, supposedly educated but profoundly ignorant,
    I wrote an article about it in July
    which I reproduce here as I think its still relevant:
    http://www1.malaysiakini.com/letters/86746


    Nothing in constitution about road names
    Vijay Kumar Murugavell | Jul 25, 08 5:58pm
    I refer to the Bernama report where Tourism Minister Azalina Othman Said said that all road signs should be in the national language. I quote:

    "All official signs, therefore, should be in Malay. This is part of the social contract agreed upon by our forefathers and I hope no one will try to challenge that," Azalina told Bernama when contacted.

    As a tourism minister, Azalina seems to take a very myopic view. I am disappointed that instead of playing her role as tourism minister, she is making comments in the context of narrow communal politics.

    Earlier she cancelled the ministry’s MOU's to the five states ruled by Pakatan. She must be the only tourism minister in the history to take such actions.

    Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said there was no reason for anyone to politicise the road name issue. He likened the need to have multilingual road signs to the multilingual announcements at airports which were a necessity.

    I agree with the Penang chief minister. The purpose is functional, besides they did not take down the old road signs - the new signs are supplementary.

    To make matters worse, Tanjung Umno Youth division chief Shaharrudin Hassan was quoted as saying: "If the Malays can compromise with not having road signs in Jawi or Arabic, we do not see why the other races cannot practice a similar thing".

    Besides totally missing the point, is he saying that if there is proven potential to tap the Middle Eastern tourist market , we should not use Arabic? Azalina said several historical mosques in Kelantan and Penang had been upgraded and promoted to attract tourists from Middle East.

    So go ahead and put up signs in Arabic on the roads leading up to those mosques, and if those same mosques attract Chinese tourists, then what’s the harm in putting up signs in Chinese as well?

    If the response from German tourists is encouraging, we could then put up signs in German as well.

    Should we then emulate Mozambique where everything is in Portuguese while its neighboring countries are largely English speaking? This will surely not be conducive to attract tourists.

    Back to Azalina's statement on the federal constitution, the national language and road names.

    Article 152 states that the national language is Malay. However, the constitution guarantees the freedom of learning and using of other languages, except on official purposes.

    Official purposes here means any purpose of the government, whether federal or state, and includes any purpose of a public authority. To this effect, all court proceedings and parliamentary documents and meetings are conducted in Malay.

    The official script for the Malay language is also stated in Article 152 as rumi or the Latin script. However, use of Jawi is not prohibited.

    For public authority, let us look at Article 8 by clause (1) which provides that all persons are equal before the law and entitled to its equal protection.

    Clause 2 states: ‘Except as expressly authorised by this constitution, there shall be no discrimination against citizens on the ground only of religion, race, descent, gender or place of birth in any law or in the appointment to any office or employment under a public authority or in the administration of any law relating to the acquisition, holding or disposition of property or the establishing or carrying on of any trade, business, profession, vocation or employment."

    There is no reference whatsoever to road names but if we read article 152 in the context of article 8 clause 2, the intent is clear

    ‘Except as expressly authorised by this constitution, there shall be no discrimination against citizens on the ground only of religion, race, descent, gender or place of birth’.

    Azalina should consult somebody who is familiar enough with the workings of the constitution before making sweeping statements.

    Nobody is questioning the national language. It is entrenched in our constitution and to amend this would require not only agreement from two thirds of parliament but also from the Conference of Rulers.

    Let us not confuse the role of the national language and the utility of road names.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thats the problem we have not only does Azalina a lawyer by training and a loyar buruk in practice, we have GGMM supposedly an NGO but obviously UMNO lackeys, supposedly educated but profoundly ignorant,
    I wrote an article about it in July
    which I reproduce here as I think its still relevant:
    http://www1.malaysiakini.com/letters/86746


    Nothing in constitution about road names
    Vijay Kumar Murugavell | Jul 25, 08 5:58pm
    I refer to the Bernama report where Tourism Minister Azalina Othman Said said that all road signs should be in the national language. I quote:

    "All official signs, therefore, should be in Malay. This is part of the social contract agreed upon by our forefathers and I hope no one will try to challenge that," Azalina told Bernama when contacted.

    As a tourism minister, Azalina seems to take a very myopic view. I am disappointed that instead of playing her role as tourism minister, she is making comments in the context of narrow communal politics.

    Earlier she cancelled the ministry’s MOU's to the five states ruled by Pakatan. She must be the only tourism minister in the history to take such actions.

    Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said there was no reason for anyone to politicise the road name issue. He likened the need to have multilingual road signs to the multilingual announcements at airports which were a necessity.

    I agree with the Penang chief minister. The purpose is functional, besides they did not take down the old road signs - the new signs are supplementary.

    To make matters worse, Tanjung Umno Youth division chief Shaharrudin Hassan was quoted as saying: "If the Malays can compromise with not having road signs in Jawi or Arabic, we do not see why the other races cannot practice a similar thing".

    Besides totally missing the point, is he saying that if there is proven potential to tap the Middle Eastern tourist market , we should not use Arabic? Azalina said several historical mosques in Kelantan and Penang had been upgraded and promoted to attract tourists from Middle East.

    So go ahead and put up signs in Arabic on the roads leading up to those mosques, and if those same mosques attract Chinese tourists, then what’s the harm in putting up signs in Chinese as well?

    If the response from German tourists is encouraging, we could then put up signs in German as well.

    Should we then emulate Mozambique where everything is in Portuguese while its neighboring countries are largely English speaking? This will surely not be conducive to attract tourists.

    Back to Azalina's statement on the federal constitution, the national language and road names.

    Article 152 states that the national language is Malay. However, the constitution guarantees the freedom of learning and using of other languages, except on official purposes.

    Official purposes here means any purpose of the government, whether federal or state, and includes any purpose of a public authority. To this effect, all court proceedings and parliamentary documents and meetings are conducted in Malay.

    The official script for the Malay language is also stated in Article 152 as rumi or the Latin script. However, use of Jawi is not prohibited.

    For public authority, let us look at Article 8 by clause (1) which provides that all persons are equal before the law and entitled to its equal protection.

    Clause 2 states: ‘Except as expressly authorised by this constitution, there shall be no discrimination against citizens on the ground only of religion, race, descent, gender or place of birth in any law or in the appointment to any office or employment under a public authority or in the administration of any law relating to the acquisition, holding or disposition of property or the establishing or carrying on of any trade, business, profession, vocation or employment."

    There is no reference whatsoever to road names but if we read article 152 in the context of article 8 clause 2, the intent is clear

    ‘Except as expressly authorised by this constitution, there shall be no discrimination against citizens on the ground only of religion, race, descent, gender or place of birth’.

    Azalina should consult somebody who is familiar enough with the workings of the constitution before making sweeping statements.

    Nobody is questioning the national language. It is entrenched in our constitution and to amend this would require not only agreement from two thirds of parliament but also from the Conference of Rulers.

    Let us not confuse the role of the national language and the utility of road names.

    ReplyDelete
  13. why there isn't any Urdu/Hindi sign in UK is that there is no heritage (historical) reason to have such a sign. The heritage names in Penang relate to an historical era where the Malays, Chinese, Tamils had their own (language) names for basically roads and streets named in the Mat Salleh language.

    Since large number of (mainly) Chinese at that time lived in the urban areas, and most couldn't pronounced the Mat Salleh name of, for example, Chulia Street, they coined their own Chinese (Hokkien) version according to their own commerical activity there (at that time), namely 'Gu-Garn-Tang' (or Cattle pen).

    The naming of ONLY these heritage listed roads/streets (and not every road in Penang) is not so much to provide 'directions' to tourist, but to intrique/interest them in the history of Penang and its activites/events in those historical times.

    Let's not be petty and split hairs over the size of the older/offical road signboards in the Bahasa version and the newer touristy versions for the heritage names. The State government can always upgrade the official versions.

    BTW, 2 sens, Tunku kicked Singapore out of the Federation, not the other way around. If you read LKY's autobiography, he admitted that then he was quite panicky. Tunku thought Singapore couldn't survive without Malaysia and kicked Singapore out but only with the intention of frightening LKY, forcing him to crawl back with his tail between his legs, and be less troublesome in Parliament. But ... and the rest is history.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Nothing wrong about the additional languages, but it has to be done tastefully and with proper design and aesthetics.

    I hate to repeat my comment but looking at the pic you provided, it looks out of place with the official version. Color was off and the font just does not match.

    GGMM was wrong and so was the handling of the issue. Two loggerheads it seems. And two wrongs don't make a right.

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  15. Young Malay Graduates Federation? Or Umno lackey, seeing it was from just 2 weeks ago? We have this kind of 'graduates?' I wonder if they understand Article 152 in the 1st place.

    A pro-tem committee member, businessman Nik Rizman Sapian, 33, from Kuala Lipis, filed the suit claiming that he felt obliged to stop the authorities from "belittling the official status of Bahasa Malaysia"

    Belittling what again? Adding other languages below the existing Bahasa Melayu sign is 'belittling'? Then somebody should sue KLIA, KLCC as well.

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  16. The sign is done haphazardly. Placing a new plate for the Chinese name don't showcase Malaysian heritage, it only unfortunately shows Chinese heritage.

    Where is the Tamil name? Is Indian heritage not significant enough?

    And who to say the Chinese name has more heritage than the English name?

    If you wanna do something, do it right. Design an entirely new sign. Make the official BM name the most prominent followed by the heritage names in smaller but equal font size.

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  17. Constitutionally, legally and morally, if Bahasa is at the top of the sign, then there is nothing illegal or Unconstitutional about including signs in Tamil and Chinese, especially since it will augur well for Tourism.

    This is so in S'pore. So, what's the harm in doing it in M'sia?

    The real issue is of course that these Racists will stir up these issues and so create an atmosphere of destabilisation to Divide and Conquer.

    Did they protest when Jawi signs were put up in Selangor?
    http:/donplaypuks.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. I think its not UMNO this time--Its Independent Ibrahim Ali, 2 days ago his motion to discuss penang road signs was turned down in parliament.

    If we go back to Oct 10th 3 NGO's including GGMM asked the government
    to take sterner action against Hindraf, with Ibrahim Ali echoing the same call.

    I find it highly suspicious that just 2 days after Ibrahim's motion was rejected, action came in the form of GGMM, makes one wonder how Independent the Pasir Mas assemblyman really is- from the Hindraf issue to Penang roadsigns it seems that there is a concerted effort to gain cheap political milieage, read the two mini articles below and form your own conclusions.

    Motion to discuss multilingual road signs rejected
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 4 — The Dewan Rakyat today rejected a motion by Datuk Ibrahim Ali (Ind-Pasir Mas) that the session be adjourned to discuss the move by the Penang state government to put up the names of roads in the state in various languages.

    Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, in rejecting the motion, said that after scrutinising the motion, which was submitted in writing on Oct 31, he felt that there was no urgency for it.

    "I have studied the motion in detail and I find that there are specific matters which are of public interest. But I feel, there is no necessity for urgency," he said at the Dewan Rakyat sitting today.

    In his motion, Ibrahim said the move by the Penang state government clearly insulted the position of the Malay language as the national language and insulted the constitution, angering Malaysians who upheld the constitution.

    "According to Article 152 of the Federal Constitution, the national language must be used for official purposes, as such road names are considered official business based on the National Language Act 1963/1967.

    "The use of various languages can also cause much confusion," he said. — Bernama


    3 NGO desak hukum Hindraf
    -----------------------------------------
    Written by Syah
    Friday, 10 October 2008 06:40
    Tiga pertubuhan bukan kerajaan (NGO) mahu kerajaan mengambil tindakan tegas terhadap pertubuhan haram, Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) yang dilabelkan sebagai mengganggu keamanan negara. Presiden Gerakan Graduan Melayu Muda (GGMM), Mohd. Khairul Azam Abdul Aziz menegaskan kerajaan bukan sahaja perlu memberi amaran malah perlu menjatuhkan hukuman terhadap mereka. Setiausaha Agung Pertubuhan Pembela Perlembagaan Persekutuan (PPPP) merasakan akan ada lebih banyak kumpulan seperti Hindraf akan wujud jika ianya tidak dibendung dengan awal.

    ''Kerajaan harus tegas dengan Hindraf kerana jika tidak, lebih banyak kumpulan yang akan lahir dan sesuka hati menggugat keamanan negara dengan cara yang sama. Mereka jelas melanggar undang-undang jadi mengapa kerajaan minta rakyat tidak melayan mereka yang telah mengganggu masyarakat negara ini," katanya. Sementara itu, Presiden Pertubuhan Pribumi Perkasa Malaysia, Datuk Ibrahim Ali turut mengkritik keputusan Menteri Dalam Negeri, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar yang hanya meminta rakyat tidak melayan kerenah Hindraf. –Malaysia Today


    Remember fellow citizens, nothing is as it seems.

    Vijay Kumar Murugavell

    ReplyDelete
  19. Ibrahim Ali cukup pandai meluat
    Tiu na sing, si beh cia lat

    velai illathu porriky (Tamilfor-good for nothing)
    oh what a tragedy

    There you have it a quadrulingual pantun, I was thinking of inserting some bengali and german as well but it didnt rhyme...lol


    Vijay Kumar Murugavell

    ReplyDelete
  20. What kind of Bahasa Malaysia Usage?

    Chualia Street is translate as Lebuh Chulia. But in KL, Petaling Street (not road) is translated as Jalan Petaling but one can still have Leboh Amapng in little India. What happen dewan pustaka?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Tamil heritage road names would only be placed for roads having such historical Tamil names - some thoroughfares have historical Chinese names, some Malay and even Arab ones and of course some Tamil names.

    It may well be some roads and streets may have 2 or more such heritage monikers.

    But heritage listing doesn't mean the road must automatically have all the 3 languages of (old) Malay, Tamil and Chinese if there is no such historical names for the specific local language. That's why it's called heritage (historical) listing. It's not an insidiously deliberate attempt to increase the number of languages for the names of roads in Georgetown.

    ReplyDelete
  22. But Indians do have names for these roads and like the Chinese names, they have their own history.

    Sure the history is not popular among Chinese but ask a senior Indian and they will know the story behind the Tamil names.

    It reeks of racial supremacy for you to suggest that Chinese heritage is more significant. Much worse that because you, as a Chinese, dismiss what you dunno as non-significant.

    It is not adding names in different language for fun. It is showcasing Malaysia's heritage. The names born from the three main communities and the English names. Ultimately showing that we, united as Malaysians, now know it by the name in the national language.

    As I said earlier, if you gotta do something, do it right.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Now, where did I say Chinese heritage is more significant than Tamil's, and where was it that I had dismissed as non-significant (allegedly doe to my lack of knowledge)?

    ReplyDelete