Friday, September 30, 2016


Not everyone can speak English like the late Lee Kuan Yew who spoke far better English than most Aussies or worse, Kiwis, wakakaka. He had a very pukka accent.

By the by, pukka means either '1st class' or 'absolutely genuine'.

There are well-known Malaysians who speak beautiful pukka English like blogger and RTM DJ Patrick Teoh of NIAMAH blog fame (visualize him saying NIAMAH in pukka English, wakakaka) and the late Robert Lam of RTM news. BTW, Robert was a former RMAF pilot in the service's early days but who had bad luck with his aeroplanes and decided to leave the air force - he was a pukka gentleman of distinction.

Patrick Teoh

Tunku Abdul Rahman and his successor Razak were okay with their spoken English though they were not flash (articulate).

Some years back I attended an ICAO conference where spoken English between aviators and air traffickers were discussed as this issue was a perennial safety problem leading at times to dangerous air encounters.

One of the important issues raised was what accent would constitute proper well-spoken English. I also noticed some hot headed Western pilots incessantly blaming the East Asians for poor badly accented English.

However, ICAO announced that there is no one proper English accent as globally there are many accents of well-spoken English, not just the BBC-type English version. 

In such a situation some American or Australian accents versions sounded just as alien to the Asians (Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, etc) as the Pommie accents from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Cockney-land sounded weird and incomprehensible to Yanks from the deep south like Alabama and Louisiana. At that moment I recalled Peter Sellers and Sophia Loren singing 'Goodness Gracious Me', wakakaka.

The Indians were delighted with the verdict whilst the Aussies continued to grumble at Asian aviators and air traffickers, but the Kiwis kept very quiet as their unique lingo, for example the pronunciation of 'Eefreekaa' sounds like the name of a Klingon Princess but actually means 'Africa', wakakaka.

So what is this about Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's poor English at the UN? Wakakaka.

Also read KTemoc Kongsamkok's:

(b) What's in a name!


  1. It wasn't the poor English.

    It was a poorly delivered speech that deserved to be lambasted.
    Many people who are not fluent in a language can nevertheless give a well delivered speech.

    A lot of people were also simply making ridiculing Zahid Hamidi as payback for the nasty, brute of a politician that he is.

  2. It is perfectly ok Zahid..! I would subscribe to this - “Some of the world's major leaders don't even speak the English language. To me, what's more important for Zahid, as a leader, is the content of his message and the wisdom of his words. And most of all, for him to walk his talk”. ~ Rocky’s Bru

    But I like this one from Rocky's best, “And when he (Zahid) speaks Javanese, wadduh wadduh ...!” Wakakaka.

  3. KT, as you well know, the art of communication is to get oneself understood. I tried to listen to Zahid's speech several times but, for the life of me, I could not understand what he was saying although I did understand snip bits of his speech. I felt sorry for the translators - what would they say in whatever language they were translating into if they, like me, did not understand what Zahid was saying?

    I do not know why Zahid did not speak in BM.

  4. You have to assess Zahid Hamidi in the context of where he was making the speech. He was at the United Nations General Assembly, not some jaguh audience in Malaysia. Almost all the participants would be unfamiliar with Manglish.

    The key objective would be to make himself understood - the amazing content and wisdom of his words are useless if he is not understood by the audience.

    In that context, Zahid Hamidi failed miserably.

    Much as the Melayu Hulubalangs hate it, the moment you step 1 inch beyond Malaysia's territorial waters, being able to communicate well English is indispensable.

    "Pukka" accents are not necessary and can even be undesirable, because a person who inescapably looks an Ahmad or Ah Beng or Muthu speaking in a English Home Counties accent comes across as not genuine or putting on airs.

    Since you brought up the subject of ICAO. ICAO was just being politically correct, because it is an international bureaucracy that has over 100 member countries.

    There have been more than a dozen significant air crashes in the last few decades involving international flights, related to poor English communications.

    There are many cases where the cause of the crash was at least partly due to either the Pilots or Air Traffic Control failing to understand or failing to make themselves understood by the other side.

    "How Are You ?"
    "I am in The Well..."

    1. maybe we should get Rais Yatim to chew Zahd for speaking in English, wakakaka, as Yatim once chewed a local reporter for speaking to him in Englander

      as for ICAO, at times the Yanks, Kiwis and some Aussies have been the culprit because what they spoke out was colloquial lingo with all its regional unique accents, a distorted version of English which even their own countrymen could not even comprehend

  5. A big shame for bolihland diplomacy.

    His PR CONsultsnts was probably trying hard for him to impress the world out there. Setting a form for his possible future role as the head of the bolihland.


    This Javanese clown from bolihland FAILED big time when performing his 1st UN show.

    1st - knowing his Engrand handicap still prepared to speak in English.

    Looking down on his 'own' bahasa M'sia ke?

    2nd - a speech that devoids of essentials but full of crappy political correctness.

    Thus a message that ended up hardly understood by the core audience!

    & yet the sycophants, here r singing praise?

    What takes?

    Preparing for the entitlement for future dedak, betul tak?