Saturday, October 30, 2010

WHAT IF A CHINESE MAN SAYS TO ANOTHER CHINESE MAN IN MALAYSIA – ‘YOU CAN BALIK (RETURN TO) TONGSAN (CHINA)’? – PART II.

…WILL THERE BE NOVELS THAT DEAL WITH SUCH ISSUES SO THAT WE CAN UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER BETTER THIS WAY AND THROUGH THE MEANS OF LITERATURE AND NOT IN POLITICS WHERE EVERYTHING IS SEEN THROUGH A NARROW VIEW AND IN SUSPICION?
By Mansor Puteh



WHEN CAN WE SEE NOVELS AND OTHER BOOKS ON CHINESE AND INDIAN IMMIGRATION TO NANYANG AND MALAYA LIKE ‘THE JOY LUCK CLUB’ WHICH WAS WRITTEN BY AN AMERICAN-CHINESE AUTHOR WHICH WENT ON TO BE PRODUCED AS A MAJOR HOLLYDOOD FILM?

THE DIRTH OF SUCH WORKS AND TELEVISION DRAMA SERIALS AS WELL AS FEATURE FILMS HAS CAUSED SOME MALAYSIANS OF CH INESE AND INDIAN ORIGINS TO BE SEEN AS ALIENS.

SO THE CHINESE MAN WAS NOT AN ORDINARY CHINESE OR MALAYSIAN, FOR THAT MATTER ALTHOUGH HE MAY NOT LOOK LIKE ONE. HE LOOKS LIKE THE MANY OTHER CHINESE MAN.

Maybe the Chinese man is not the only Chinese man who is like that; that there can be more of them in the country who may not have the opportunity to express their personal thoughts on racial issues in the same fashion as the Chinese man had done.

The Chinese man somewhat surprised me when he said few times to some of his relatives and close friends if they are not happy to live in the country and amongst the Melayu, then they should ‘Return to Tongsan’ or ‘Pergi balik Tongsan’.

This is a tough statement for anyone to make. If it had been made by any Melayu person, he would have been chastised and charged for being a racist.

But the Chinese man is not racist. He is sincere. He is Chinese, but he is not like the other Chinese. He is Malaysian-Chinese like the many others. Yet, he has found the need to spout such statements.

In fact, it is the first time I had heard of a Chinese person who had said such a statement to another Chinese, although I cannot say if I have also heard any Melayu person saying that to another Chinese person.

But I have heard some third rate politician saying that. The reason being they are third rate, so their statements cannot be counted for very much, unless if those who react to them are also third rate and racists too.

Maybe a respected historian can get away with saying such a statement, since what he is saying is based on facts and not by emotions alone.

I have just seen a Palestinian feature film called ‘Amreeka’ (America) on a Palestinian single-mother, Muna with a son, Fadi who managed to go to Illinois in America to live. His son enrolls into a school in Illinois and some of the American students told him to ‘return to his country’.

This is despite the fact that everybody in America, except for the Natives, had come from other countries. Some of their ancestors had come to America much earlier than Fadi and Muna did.

It is not an issue, where as far as this statement in this film is concerned. And I have not heard of any NGO in America complaining about the film which went on to win some awards in Kaherah and elsewhere.

But if such a statement is made in a Malaysian film, one can bet how many NGOs in the country will lodge police reports against its filmmakers. And they will have a ball giving statements to the press.

But America is not like Malaysia and the Chinese is not like the NGO leaders. They are worlds apart.

In fact, in America, one can even joke about such things. American comedian Bob Hope once cracked a joke in one of his performances of how another American performer, Sammy Davis Jr., who is an African-American Jew with one eye, as he liked to describe himself as, who had more chains on him than his ancestors did.

Sammy who had a lot of chains on him, but they are gold around his neck and wrists which were thick. He laughed his heart out as did the audience comprising of the African and Caucasian Americans.

No NGO leader in the country cried foul. They took it as a joke.

In fact, another Africa-American author Alex Haley wrote the best-selling novel called ‘Roots’ which went on to be produced for television did not feel insecure in dealing with his ancestors who had come from Africa as slaves.

This one book had created a sensation in America and had given the African-Americans in the country a lot of hope. That they knew they could not forget the history of their being there.

But can any Chinese in Malaysia come up with such a novel on the arrival of their ancestors to Malaya or Nanyang or Nusantara Melayu or Southeast Asia in the same fashion as ‘Roots’?

I have not seen such a book being written before. So I decided to come up with one myself. And the novel is called ‘The Sinkek’ The English translation for this novel I have chosen is ‘The New Arrival’ although the exact meaning is not so. Literally it means ‘The New Slob or Stinko’.

It is set in 1873 and fashioned or inspired on the experiences of some of my own ancestors who had come from South China.

I am Melayu now as did my parents and grandparents. But their parents were not. They were Chinese.

So I am immune if I write on such issues, since I am writing from personal experience, if there is a need for me to say this.

In fact, some Chinese-American authors in America had also come up with similar novels on how their ancestors had come to America and they take the journey back to China to get connected to their ancestral village and distant relatives there.

One of the novels had been turned into a feature film called ‘The Joy Luck Club’.

Of course the novels did not say that the ancestors of the authors were slaves or coolies, but what they show is exactly that.

Many Indians and Chinese are proud to support their organization of Indian and Chinese Diasporas and clans, which is an indirect way of admitting how their ancestors had come to Malaya and the other countries without doing so in exact words.

So who will be the Chinese and Indian Alex Haley of Malaysia who dares to come up with novels on the arrival of their ancestors to Malaya?

Will there be more novels that deal with such issues other than The Sinkek written by me?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

WHAT IF A CHINESE MAN SAYS TO ANOTHER CHINESE MAN IN MALAYSIA– ‘YOU CAN BALIK (RETURN TO) TONGSAN (CHINA)’? – PART I.

…THE AFRICANS IN AMERICA HAD COME TO TERMS WITH THEIR BACKGROUND AS ANCESTORS OF SLAVES LONG AGO BECAUSE THEY HAD LEFT AFRICA FOR GOOD TO BECOME FULL-FLEDGED AMERICANS.
By Mansor Puteh



THE AFRICAN-AMERICANS DON’T EVEN TALK ABOUT THEIR MOTHERLAND AND CELEBRATE FESTIVALS OF AFRICA…

WHAT ALEX HALEY CAN TEACH US THAT WE DON’T CARE TO KNOW?

BUT WHAT IF THEY ARE SOME WHO DO NOT THINK THEY HAD LEFT CHINA OR INDIA, YET, WHO ARE STILL NOT SURE IF THEY ARE FULL-FLEDGED MALAYSIANS?

What can we call them?

What if there are some recent immigrants to the country who have arrived barely a few years ago, yet who are able to speak in the national language – the Bahasa Melayu, bahasa kebangsaan – better than those whose ancestors had come to this country in the nineteenth century, yet their descendants are still unable to speak well in the language, and who are still fascinated with things and happenings of their motherlands?

Who then are better Malaysians and who are not? Who are still living in fantasy land and who are living in the real world?

Why are no actions taken on those who had charged some Melayu as being Indians or immigrants from Indonesia? It seems that it is okay for them to do this.

How many times has Khir Toyo been charged for being a son of an immigrant from Indonesia and Mahathir for being Indian for which they readily admitted? Yet the charge continues to be hurled against them.

They did not seem to care because they have accepted the facts.

In fact, most Melayu in Malaysia and in Nusantara Melayu are people whose ancestors were either Hindus or Buddhist, who had converted to Islam in the fourteenth century.

Isn’t’ it strange that not many Melayu have been charged for having Chinese ancestry?

Take a good look at the Melayu on television and in the media, and in the streets and see how Chinese or Oriental they look.

It looks like it is not a bad thing to have Chinese ancestry, but not with Indian ancestry.

So who is being insensitive here?

Even the cartoonists and animators who habitually disparage the non-Melayu by having their characters who speak in bad Melayu can be charged for creating images which slur them.

Maybe because they are cartoon characters, this is okay. It is also not okay.

In America, they had an American actor play a Chinese inspector called Charlie Chan who speaks in poor quality English. The television program ran for many years and it was popular.

However, it had been shelved because the character of Charlie Chan was said to disparage the Chinese.

It is therefore not okay to do this, but it seems it is okay to disparage the Arabs.

The fact is many Melayu in Malaysia especially have all sorts of ancestries. So no Melayu looks the same; they all have different features – Mongoloid, Caucasoid and Negroid, the three major racial types that we have in the world.

And no wonder, I have been mistaken for all sorts of people – Nepalese, Myanmars, Siamese, Filipino, South Korean, Japanese, Native American – never mind Chinese and even by the Chinese themselves and at Jalan Petaling even.

I traveled around the world quite a bit to 33 countries and bumping into all sorts of strangers so it’s not a big surprise to be able to be mistaken for such persons.

Yes, in Tehran, Iran, I was asked by a young Afghan refugee if I was his countryman living in Iran.

It has happened. And I have heard it being said in front of my face, by someone whom I had known for a while who said he told his fellow Chinese friend or relative to balik tongsan or return to China’.

In fact the Chinese man can be considered to be a fan of mine who cuts newspaper clippings on me. He had come to me to get my autograph after bumping into me at the Mid-Valley Megamall where I had gone to the Sony Service Center to fix some problems with my Sony HDV camcorder.

I bumped into him few other times and recently at Balai Senilukis Negara (BLSN) or the National Art Gallery in Jalan Temerloh, off Jalan Tun Abdul Razak where I had gone to visit some artists at the box beside the gallery when he was also there.

He seems to be interested in the arts and had even asked me to do a sketch for him with the autograph for whatever reason he may have.

The Chinese man’s father used to work at a cook with the Royal Malaysian Army and had lived amongst the Melayu in the barracks in Jalan Semarak (formerly Jalan Padang Tembak) near Keramat.

And he had bought a house in Kepong which is a predominantly Chinese area. After a while he gave up and sold off the house and moved to the Keramat area which is a predominantly Melayu area. He likes it here and has no problems living with the Melayu although he prefers to speak in English. But I try to get him to speak in Melayu.

The reason why he decided to leave Kepong and sold off his house there was because on one side there was a Chinese temple whose medium seems to be very popular so he got many Chinese coming to visit him to cure their strange ailments.

And on the other side of the Chinese man’s house was a factory making ‘tofu’ or bean curds. It did not look like it was a legal factory since the whole area is a residential one, so how could such an establishment be there?

He could not stand the noises coming from the temple, on one side, and the smell and also noise coming from the other side. Worse, when there was indiscriminate parking and with the many dogs which left their waste everywhere.

He had to give up or else he might have a need to pay the Chinese medium a visit to cure a strange ailment that he might also have.

He chose not to go to another area where there are many Chinese or one which is mixed, but to the Keramat area, which is a Melayu area.

This made his close relatives who were not used to being in the midst of the Melayu feel some angst as it came in the wake of the 13 May, 1969 tragedy which saw some Melayu and Chinese and also some other Indians having a go at each other.

And the areas which were considered the hottest were the Kampung Baru, Chow Kit and Keramat areas.

And this is where the Chinese man had chosen to stay, just after this tragedy. So no wonder each time his relatives visited him, they tried to dissuade him from staying there. But the Chinese man was not deterred; he had established himself there and had known his immediate neighbors and those further down the roads surround his house. He felt safe here living amongst the Melayu which he said he could not feel when he was living amongst his own kind, the Chinese.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

NAMEWEE AND THE OTHER TALENT NOT FULLY UTILIZED. – PART II.

…PROVES 1MALAYSIA CONCEPT HAS BEEN MALIGNED BY THOSE WHO ARE SUPPOSED TO SUPPORT IT WHO CAN’T GO BEYOND SLOGNEERING AND SNEERING.
by Mansor Puteh



MALAYSIA IN 2010 HAS NOT MANAGED TO BE WHAT AMERICA WAS IN 1978. BUT THEN WERE ARE NOT AMERICA AND THEY ARE NOT US.

COMPARATIVELY SPEAKING, WHAT IS IN NAMEWEE’S VIDEO POSTING, IS NO DIFFERENT THAN THE RACIST UTTERANCES OF THOSE WHO SCREAM THEM IN THE PARLIAMENT AND SOMETIMES IN THE STREETS, INCLUDING THOSE THAT WERE UTTERED BY THE HINDRAF LEADERS WHO HAD DONE FAR WORST THINGS.

BUT VENTING HIS FRUSTRATION BY DOING SMALL VIDEOS UPLOADED ONTO YOUTUBE MAY NOT BE THE RIGHT COURSE OF ACTION. HE NEEDS TO DO MORE, BY GOING ON TO THE OTHER SIDE AS WHAT HIS OTHER BRETHREN IN THE ARTS OR FILM HAD ALREADY DONE.

The person I am referring to is Syed Azidi otherwise known as Kidafella, who directed a feature film called 'persona non grata' in 2006. The film bombed at the box office which rendered himself a persona non grata of the film industry.

The problem with this film is that Syed Azidi as the director was not given the chance to explain to the public and audiences about the film. The role was seized by its producer.

Too bad such a talent had not been fully utilized, so that it has gone bad.

For Syed Azidi, he found it expedient to go to PAS for salvation. Now he has left it to be in a state of limbo.

I know him personally and I believe he has talent to go beyond 'Persona non grata'.

Unfortunately, chances of him being able to get another shot at directing a feature film are bleak.

And unfortunately, too, Namewee's attempt to break into the local cinema movement as a new and promising director may not be realized. He had announced in public which was splashed in the Star how he had written a screenplay called 1Malaysia.

Unfortunately, he failed to obtain any grant from Finas or the government.

This caused him to feel disillusioned with the government and its film agency.

He is not alone. Many others who have formal training in film had also suffered in the hands of the film agency and the government for being insensitive to the needs of the new generation of filmmakers who are formally trained in film.

Those who are in the film agency and the ministry of information, communication and culture or KPKK are not trained to be receptive to positive change. They dwell on the pass. They admire the achievements of the past generation of filmmakers without knowing how to admire history.

They use those achievements to lull themselves into complacency.

Maybe they are just not qualified to be where they are in the film agency as well as KPKK.

The minister, Rais Yatim had declined to accept an invitation by the film directors' association for a discussion. He fears meeting qualified directors, and busy himself mixing around with those who are not.

This is definitely not what the 1Malaysia Concept is all about.

It is about how those who are in authority have failed to promote this concept based on what the public perceives it to be. To them it is just a slogan to be shouted again and again; and those who are seen to be shouting it the loudest, are also seen to be strong supporters of the powers that be, so their tenure as minister and members of the cabinet can be sustained.

This is definitely not what the 1Malaysia Concept should be.

It should be about those who can bring about change - real change and not cosmetic change.

It is also about how the government knows how to utilize its talent that can bring glory to the country.

The failure to contain the best trained in film has created unnecessary controversies.

Who else will join in the Namewee bandwagon? Amir Muhammad had tried to do something like what Namewee but in a less dramatic or crude way, so he only got some of his books and videos downgraded by the authorities.

For my part, I had filed a counter suit against a bank for RM40 million which is pending in the high court, all because I only wanted to produce and direct a film.

Many others had gone to the other side and be with the opposition, which thrives at government's inefficiencies so they could get recruits from amongst those who felt marginalized by government officers who do not perform and who do not support the 1Malaysia Concept.

Their own definition of this concept is those who support them and those who can support their personal sustenance and not that of the country and government.

When I first arrived in New York City in the late summer of 1978, I saw some posters of the then American secretary of state, Henry Kissinger who posed in the nude. One of his legs cover his genitals.

It was obvious that some smart artist in America had superimposed the photo of his face over the body of someone else who was as old as him as the muscles on his body did not look taut, like that of a younger persons’ muscles or physics.

But there was no uproar. And Henry did not lodge any report with the police or file any law suit for defamation against the artist as well as the owners of the store who must have sold many copies of the posters.

In America and in 1978, or thirty-two years ago, they were able to accept such a prank. They know it is not Henry posing in the buff, and did not take much notice of it.

They took the poster at face value without anyone creating a stir.

If such a poster had been created and posted in the internet, those whose face had been used for the poster, would jump off his seat and rush straight to the nearest police station to lodge a report against whoever was responsible for it.

And he would get the media to play up the issue and over-blow it, until it is becomes out of proportion and goes beyond a farce.

Malaysia in 2010 has not managed to be what America was in 1978.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

NAMEWEE AND THE OTHER TALENT NOT FULLY UTILIZED. – PART I.

…RELEASES HOT AIR WHICH CAUSES SOME TO FUME AND RELEASE MORE HOT AIR, AND FROTH IN THE MOUTH.
by Mansor Puteh



THE GOVERNMENT MUST BE FAULTED FOR PUSHING THE CREATIVE, TALENTED AND INNOVATORS TO THE OTHER SIDE WHEN THEY COULD HAVE UTILIZED THEM TO CREATE WONDERS TO PROMOTE THE 1MALAYSIA CONCEPT SO THAT IT IS NOT JUST AN EMPTY SLOGAN DEVOID OF ANY SUBSTANCE AND MEANING.

DESPITE THE GOVERNMENT’S CURRENT RAGE ON THE SLOGANEERING ON CREATIVITY AND INNOVATIONS, THIS IS NOT THE AGE OF SUCH IN THE COUNTRY.

THEY ARE NOT DOING THEMSELVES A SERVICE FOR BEING TOO INCONSIDERATE AND INSENSITIVE WHO LIKE TO FUME WHEN SOME OF THEM RELEASE HOT AIR.

It means that the development of the country is too stilted to support those in commerce and industry but not to develop the creative industry.

So the price they have to pay is to see how many of the young and eager going to the other side. More will follow suit if the problem is not addressed.

In fact if the opposition are smart, they can take full advantage of this sad situation by giving those who have been disenfranchised by the government to come to their side.

The only thing that they can do is to devise plans that those who are creative and talented to be able to express themselves more and in better ways. Because they are image creators and they can change old images and help to create new ones.

This is what the opposition in Malaysia must do immediately instead of sowing discord and creative more fiction; all of which are bad for them.

They must learn fast and not to continue to engage the old guards who had graved the opposition turf too long. Let them go away free to roam other pastures and allow the new generation of people who are better educated to take over the mantle of oppositioning in the country.

They can indeed serve the cause better than the Karpals, Gobinds, Kit Siangs, Guan Engs, Teresas, etc., etc. can.

Surely the opposition can say we have better people who are batter than Rais Yatim, Nazri, Hishamuddin, Sharizat, Khairy, Mukhriz and the others, and here they are.

In this way the public and potential voters can see for themselves how the opposition do have a better group of people who can manage the country.

The only problem is that the opposition has old goats who had roamed the political terrain in the country too long; they had become too callous to realize that they are not humans anymore.

They think too much of themselves to know what is good for the public and country.

So in many ways they are no better or worse than those in the government who have also been grazing the government turf too long.

The opposition simply has to get rid of the Anwars, together with the rest. He is only good at dissenting, but not good at offering new ideas which are practical that the voters can buy.

He is still Umno and Barisan in the guise of the opposition. He has the baggage of history which used to glow, until some personal matters crept from behind the political landscape of the country to taint his image.

In a country where a serious charge can be damning, he has so far managed to hang on to the sentiments of his past achievements which provide him some relief and reprieve.

But what if the people suddenly realize their folly and just want to close the chapter on him and move on? Anwar will be gone. He will be history.

The Melayu will then find they do not need him anymore for he does not offer them much of a future anyway.

What Namewee has done is just one of those effects of the neglect of the talented and qualified.

They were many others who are not talented so they still end up on the other side, serving the opposition and opposition-friendly NGOs and other organizations and groups.

I can sympathize with the personal angst of this guy calling himself Namewee.

His call for attention in his own way, using crude ways imported directly from sixties American artistic expressive methods meant mostly for sidebar exhibitions and protestations, has caused some consternation to him.

But this could reflect badly and poorly on his political, artistic and cultural influences.

And if he is charged for any act, and punished in court for the charges, then he can go down in history as some who had done nothing more than mischief. It has not caused the ire of the public, but that of just a few.

He claimed to have been emotionally charged by the uttering of a Sino-Melayu teacher in Kedah who remarked how the Chinese were like ‘penumpang’ or passengers.

But at the same time the teacher could have also given the excuse that she was provoked by the more racist uttering of the Chinese and Indians on many sensitive issues. So the cycle goes on and on until one realizes that Malaysia is badly segmented not only between the haves and have-not, but also by the way their citizens are educated – in the national school and the vernacular schools.

Do the non-Melayu in Malaysia want to it this way and consider new options so that their young can start to live new lives amongst the others who comprise of the majority in the country?

The exertions of the shrinking minorities in Malaysia are causing friction.

The self-denial syndrome their community and political leaders and some in the legal profession have made some sensitive matters more confusing than they were. And the way the majority Melayu try to solve such problems have caused more friction.

They are charged for not being sensitive to the needs of the minority, while the minority try to let everybody think that they can dominate all discourses and challenge the status quo in the post general elections era.

It is strange how such issues are not discussed or included in the manifestoes of their parties during the elections, but only emerge after and before that.

This, therefore, is the root of the problem when one is exposed to different influences that make one feel alienated and strange.

Alas, the authorities are not too educated on such artistic and cultural movements found it easy to belittle such efforts.

This is fodder to those who exists in their small racists pockets who see nothing beyond what is obvious, and not what it is meant to be or mean. The means used are of no use to them. Only the ends that they see and imagine are.

This proves the depravity of their intellect and cultural and artistic awareness.

Being a Taiwan-educated person and wanting to return to the country so he could be of any use to it has proven to be such a futile effort.

And this is what's shocking. It is less so if he had returned from America where he could be said to have been influenced by their artistic expressive ways so he can be forgiven for his artistic mischief and visual as well as oral pranks.

Monday, October 18, 2010

MUZIUM HAMBA ABDI (SLAVERY MUSEUM) DI THE ALBERT DOCK DI BANDARAYA PERLABUHAN LIVERPOOL DI ENGLAND:

BERANIKAH MALAYSIA ADAKAN MUZIUM PENDATANG DARI NEGERI CINA DAN INDIA UNTUK MELENGKAPKAN PENCERITAAN TENTANG KEDATANGAN KAUM INI KE TANAH MELAYU?
Oleh Mansor Puteh



SESIAPA SAHAJA YANG PERNAH MELAWATI BANDARAYA PERLABUHAN LIVERPOOL DI ENGLAND SUDAH PASTI AKAN MAHU MELAWATI MATHEW STREET ATAU JALAN MATHEW.

APA YANG ADA DI SINI?

DI SINILAH DIMANA TERLETAKNYA KELAB HIBURAN BAWAH TANAH YANG BERNAMA ‘THE CAVERN’.

Dan di sinilah dikatakan fenomena muzik dunia bermula – dengan persembahan awal yang diberi oleh kumpulan The Beatles dengan empat anak muda dari bandaraya ini mendendangkan lagu jenis yang tidak pernah didengar oleh anak muda seluruh dunia.

Jadi tidak hairanlah maka pemilik kelab ini mahu kekalkan nama dan suasana asal sehingga kini.

Tempatnya tiga tingkat dibawah tanah. Ia adalah ruang menyimpan minuman keras atau ‘cellar’.

Tetapi ada sebuah tempat lain di bandaraya yang sama yang turut menarik perhatian pelancong dan pelawat seluruh England dan dunia.

Ia adalah Muzium Hamba Abdi atau Slavery Museum terletak di Albert Docks, di sebuah perlabuhan zaman lama yang kini telah dijadikan pusat pelancongan.

Tentu suasana di sini sibuk suatu ketika dahulu dengan terdapat begitu banyak kapal perdagangan yang berlabuh di sini.

Dan di bandaraya ini juga terdapat ramai kelasi dan anak kapal Melayu yang telah mendarat dan menjadikannya tempat tinggal mereka sehinggakan ramai yang berkahwin dengan gadis tempatan dan memulakan kehidupan baru mereka.

Ada Kelab Melayu di Liverpool pula.

Saya sempat ke bandaraya ini Mac lalu dan berpeluang untuk melawat ke kedua buah tempat ini yang menyimpan banyak rahsia dan sejarah tempatan dan antarabangsa.

Di perlabuhan inilah dimana banyak kapal membawa anak muda keturunan Afrika yang diculik oleh syarikat hamba abdi Inggeris dan Amerika untuk dijualkan kepada tuanpunya ladang kapas di selatan Amerika sebagai hamba mereka.

Kebanyakan mereka berugama Islam dari negara-negara di bahagian barat Afrika.

Dan dalam Muzium Hamba Abdi ini dipamirkan bermacam-macam barang yang berkaitan dengan pengelaman mereka, dengan gambar dan bahan-bahan dari kapal tersebut.

Di sebuah dinding terdapat gambar-gambar orang keturunan Afrika yang kini terkenal di Amerika dan England yang mana dikatakan terdiri dari cucu dan cicit hamba abdi dulu.

Terdapat ramai tokoh dalam semua bidang yang disenaraikan dalam muzium ini termasuk presiden Amerika, Barack Hussein Obama.

Tetapi ini bukan fakta benar; dia bukan terdiri dari hamba abdi. Bapanya berasal dari Kenya telah pergi ke Amerika dalam tahun 1960an dahulu untuk belajar di Universiti Havard di Massachusetts. Dia tidak diculik dan dibawa ke Liverpool dan dihangkut ke Amerika untuk bekerja sebagai hamba di ladang kapas di selatan Amerika.

Dan yang begitu ketara sekali ialah tidak pula terdapat gambar penyanyi Michael Jackson yang sudah pasti mempunyai keturunan yang merupakan hamba abdi.

Dan tidak hairan kalau terdapat ramai pelawat tempatan keturunan Orang Putih sendiri yang gemar melawati ke muzium ini.

Mereka ingin tahu serjarah hamba abdi di England dan Amerika.

Bermacam-macam perkara dan pengelaman serta fakta yang dapat kita perolehi dari mengunjungi muzium ini.

Dan orang di England tidak pula rasa tersinggung dengan ditubuhnya muzium ini. Mereka yang keturunan Afrika di negara ini dan di Amerika tidak pula kecam dengan pihak tempatan yang tubuhkannya.

Malah muzium ini menjadi daya tarik yang penting untuk Bandaraya Liverpool sebab tanpa kisah dan peristiwa tentang hamba abdi, maka sejarah bandaraya ini tidak lengkap.

Dan oleh sebab itu rakyat mereka keturunan Kulit Putih dan Kulit Hitam tidak tersinggung dengan penceritaan tentang kedatangan nenek-moyang mereka ke England dan Amerika. Ia adalah fakta dan fakta tidak kejam; ia hanya membuka minda dan pemikiran.

Dan fakta seperti ini mewarnai sejarah negara tersebut sehinggakan penduduk kaum minority Kulit Hitam dapat hidup dengan aman.

Dan merekalah yang sering berasa bangga dengan sejarah hamba abdi mereka sendiri tanpa segan silu.

Malah pelawak Amerika Bob Hope pernah berjenaka di khalayak ramai dalam sebuah rancangan hiburan yang disiar ke seluruh negara bahawa penghibur keturunan Afrika yang terkenal ketika itu iaitu Sammy Davis ‘mempunyai lebih banyak rantai padanya berbanding dengan keturunannya’.

Sammy dan penonton Kulit Hitam dan Kulit Putih lain tergelak. Mereka tidak tersinggung.

Yang boleh tersinggung dengan lawak dan komen seperti ini adalah diantara mereka yang menolak sejarah dan tidak mempunyai pemikiran terbuka dan yang takut dengan bayang-bayang mereka sendiri.

Merekalah yang mempunyai sikap perkauman yang tidak boleh terima hakikat.

Tentu tidak ramai rakyat Malaysia yang pernah melawati Muzium Hamba Abdi di Liverpool untuk mengetahui dan memahami akan kesannya terhadap pembentukan pemikiran terbuka rakyat di England.

Apa pula pelajaran yang boleh kita di Malaysia pelajari dari muzium ini? Sanggupkah kerajaan dan Muzium Negara menubuhkan sebuah muzium khas tentang kedatangan kaum Cina dan India supaya pelawat dan orang awam tahu akan sejarah kedatangan mereka sebagai kaum pendatang yang terpaksa tinggalkan kampung mereka sebab mereka keboloran.

Ada beberapa sebab lain kenapa orang Cina terpaksa melarikan diri mereka dari kampung mereka, dan sebab-sebabnya adalah oleh sebab mereka mahu mencari rezeki di negara lain di wilayah yang mereka panggil ‘Nanyang’ atau Negara-Negara Selatan Laut’ atau Nusantara Melayu atau Tenggara Asia.

Ramai anak muda Cina mati dalam perjalanan dalam tongkang dan jongkong. Mereka yang selamat mendapat belas-kasihan dari orang Melayu di Indonesia, Brunei dan Malaysia, sehinggakan mereka diberi peluang untuk maju dalam kehidupan mereka, supaya mereka tidak rasa resah dan mahu bunuh diri.

Ada yang telah bunuh diri sebab mereka dapat bergaul dengan orang Melayu.

Inilah sedikit-sebanyak kisah sejarah kedatangan orang Cina ke Nanyang. Dan kisah kedatangan orang India tidak banyak berbeza.

Sudahkah negara kita begitu maju dan rakyatnya mempunyai fikiran terbuka untuk terima penubuhan Muzium Kedatangan orang Cina dan India ke Tanah Melayu?

Ramai orang bukan Melayu di Malaysia khususnya menjadi keliru sebab mereka tidak tahu tentang sejarah kedatangan nenek-moyang mereka ke Tanah Melayu; mereka rasa seperti mereka tidak ada sejarah zaman silam yang boleh dipelajari untuk membentuk keperibadian mereka.

Mereka juga tidak tahu apakah sumbangan dan sokongan orang Melayu kepada nenek-moyang mereka dulu yang telah menyebabkan mereka itu menjadi mewah dan selesa sehinggakan mereka tidak mahu balik ke Negeri Cina sendiri.

Ketika itu Negeri Cina bukanlah sebuah negara yang maju. Rakyatnya tertindas dan menderita dan keboloran. Itulah yang menyebabkan mereka lari dari Negeri Cina untuk datang ke Tanah Melayu dan Nusantara Melayu untuk selamatkan diri mereka sendiri.

Dan walaupun mereka boleh pilih untuk kembali ke Negeri Cina, mereka enggan membuatnya dan menuntut menjadi rakyat Malaya atau Malaysia sekarang bila negara tersebut mencapai kemerdekaan.

Malah sekarangpun tidak ramai orang Cina di Malaysia yang sanggup balik ke Negeri Cina. Mereka hanya sanggup buat lawatan ke sana beberapa hari dimana mereka rasa terpinggir dan asing.

Tetapi kenapakah orang Cina di Malaysia khususnya mempunyai sikap dan pemikiran yang tidak sama seperti orang Cina di negara lain di Nusantara dan seluruh dunia?

Adakah ini disebabkan mereka tidak tahu dengan sejarah kedatangan nenek-moyang mereka ke Tanah Melayu dan bagaimana orang Melayu di sini telah menyebabkan mereka itu menjadi maju?

Friday, October 15, 2010

BANGSA MELAYU AN AMAZING RACE AND THEIR RACE TOWARDS REFINEMENT. – PART II.

…WILL BECOME THE COMPOSITE OF ALL THE MAJOR RACES IN THE MONGOLOID, NEGROID AND CAUCASOID STOCKS.
By Mansor Puteh



MODERN MELAYU LANGUAGE AS WE KNOW NOW IS THE DIRECT RESULT OF GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION. IT HAD SET UP A LINGUISTIC AND CULTURAL BODY KNOWN OFFICIALLY AS DEWAN BAHASA DAN PUSTAKA (DBP) WAS FORMED TO SEE TO THE NEEDS TO FURTHER MODERNIZE THE LANGUAGE AND MAKE IT MORE PROMINENT AND APPLICABLE IN ALL LEVELS OF SOCIETY AND DISCIPLINES.

THE FINAL AIM IS TO MAKE MELAYU AS AN INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE AND AN OFFICIAL LANGUAGE AT THE UNITED NATIONS TOGETHER WITH ENGLISH, FRENCH, SPANISH, CHINESE, JAPANESE AND ARABIC. IN MANY WAYS THE MELAYU LANGUAGE CAN ALREADY BE CONSIDERED AN INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE, ALTHOUGH ITS USAGE IS NOW WIDESPREAD OUTSIDE THE BORDERS OF THE MELAYU WORLD.

THEREFORE, IF WE ARE TO BELIEVE IN SOME BASIC ARGUMENTS ON SCIENCE AND GENETICS, THEN WE CAN SAFELY SAY THAT THE MELAYU THEN OUGHT TO BE THE MOST BRILLIANT PEOPLE ON EARTH BECAUSE OF THIS INTERMARRIAGE!

This is as opposed to the other races that, mostly, marry only within their own racial groups, although not necessarily in the same clan as the Chinese used to forbid.

The reason for this was that marriages within the same clans often resulted in offspring who are said to be less intelligent or healthy. The intermarriage between Melayu of the same racial stock, i.e. between the Javanese and Sumatran is what forms the basis for the creation of the Melayu race or Bangsa Melayu that we know of today.

Historically, the Melayu in Malaysia are basically of the Sumatran and Javanese ancestry. Many of these people stayed in Melaka for long periods of time where they married with the local women and produced a new generation of Melayu.

The early history of Melaka saw the creation of the glorious Melayu-Muslim sultanate of Melaka with the founding of Melaka on the banks of the Bertam River. This was renamed Melaka River by Parameswara when he founded the state in 1400 CE or 802 AH or 4098 of the Chinese calendar.

He was a colorful renegade and an exile prince from Palembang in Sumatra called Parameswara. It had ‘produced’ a new stock of people called simply as the Melayu, although they could be officially considered to be Melakans.

Many people and adventurers and traders from all parts of Southeast Asia were attracted to the newly created city-state called Melaka. It was the name of the tree, which Parameswara had sat under.

They came in droves from all over the Southeast Asian region to seek a livelihood without realizing that they were the early mothers and fathers of the modern Melayu race and promoter of the Melayu language.

And by the time, Melaka fell in the hands of the Portuguese in 1511 CE or 917 AH or 4209 of the Chinese calendar, thousands of the new generation of Melayu had been created. They had features and intellect and creativity that their parents and grandparents didn’t have.

And this new generation of Melayu all has ancestors of all the races of people whom had visited and lived in Melaka such as the other groups of Melayu in Sumatra, Java, Siamese, Kalimantan, China, India, the Portuguese and Arabs.

No wonder the Melayu face is unique for no two Melayu are alike in shape, form or in the color of their skin and even height! Maybe we Melayu and our non-Melayu friends have this fact or observation taken for granted; but the next time we look at the next Melayu guy or girl we will see that he or she is different from the others.

This is unlike the other dominant world races such as the Chinese, Indians, Japanese or English and Americans all of whom basically look similar and are quite homogeneous.

Therefore, the Melayu as we know today must truly be the most unique in the world in this regard, that they have many different strains of genes of the other dominant races to form a totally new Melayu racial stock.

Therefore, theoretically, the Melayu can be the most brilliant people on earth because of the intermarriage that the people had experienced throughout the history, especially from 1400 CE or 823 AH onwards.

They have the genes from the other races packed into them, from the three major racial stocks – the Negroids, Mongoloids and Caucasoid.

The only thing that the Melayu now need is for them to capture and develop centers in the Melayu and Muslim Worlds so that they can exert their presence even more so their presence can be felt and appreciated.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

BANGSA MELAYU AN AMAZING RACE AND THEIR RACE TOWARDS REFINEMENT. – PART I.

…INTERMARRIAGE AND THE CREATION OF THE MODERN MELAYU RACE, LANGUAGE AND CIVILIZATION.
By Mansor Puteh


THE MELAYU RACE CAN BE DESCRIBED AS A ‘WORK IN PROGRESS’. IT IS A RACE WHCH IS CONSTANTLY BEING DEFINED AND REDEFINED.

THERE IS NO OTHER RACE IN THE WORLD WHICH IS IN SUCH A STATE OF EXISTENCE.

YET, IT IS NOT YET KNOWN INTERNATIONALLY DESPITE ITS SHEER SIZE COMPARED TO THE OTHER RACES WHICH ARE MINORITY RACES, YET WHICH ARE PROMINENT. SOME OF THEM ARE SO FOR THE WRONG REASONS.

The Melayu prefer not to exert themselves that much; but there are there.

Has anyone wondered that the Melayu are one of the unique races in the world, if not the most unique?

There’s no other race in the world where intermarriage between peoples of different races and racial groups in the same Melayu stock has created this unusual race called the Melayu or Bangsa Melayu.

Historically speaking, the Melayu were not supposed to look like what they are today; even the language that they now call their own evolved through time and started only as grunts with few syllables that were hard to decipher.

Most original Melayu words had only one or two syllables! They sound more like baby-speak. The word ‘makan’ evolved from ‘ma’ and ‘kan’, for example. And the first Melayu words mostly for everyday survival that describes food.

Only much later when the Melayu words started to stretch longer and longer to include many more tongue twisting syllables. These words describe more complex imageries and meanings as the worldview and political thoughts and culture. They expanded with the times.

The Melayu in the time of the Melaka sultanate were one of the most open-minded people on earth. They took not only the cultures and traditions of foreign countries and other races, but used them even in the construction of their masjid. This explains why the old masjids in Melaka have Chinese pagodas as their minarets.

Parameswara had built the first masjid in Melaka at the foothills of the St. Paul’s Hill (originally known as the Melaka Hill, a name given by Parameswara) in the fashion of the early masjid that he had seen in Pasai. He only converted to Islam at the age of 74 in 1414 CE or 816 AH after a trip he had made to Pasai in North Sumatra where he had met with the king of Pasai or Raja Pasai.

The Portuguese attacked the masjid and burnt it to ashes – as part of their first mission in Melaka in 1511 CE or 917 AH or 4209 of the Chinese calendar to destabilize the city-state. It was at that time, the center for the spread of Islam and the Melayu culture in the region.

They then proceeded to destroy the palace of the sultan that stood on the Melaka Hill where the St. Paul’s Church now stands. A crude replica of the palace was constructed at the foothills of the St. Paul’s Hills by the Melaka state government.

But later after Parameswara’s first visit to the imperial court of China, he adopted a totally different style and use bricks and concrete instead of wood. It is seen as a symbol of his special bonding with the Chinese Emperor Yong-le and the Chinese people who had been providing him with protection from the Siamese and others in the region. They were bent on destroying what he had built in Melaka as the most important entreport in the region.

When Parameswara died at the age of 84 in 1424 CE or 827 AH or 4122 of the Chinese calendar he was wearing the Arabian turbans and long-flowing robes light green in color and wearing sandals. But his palace officials and subjects were wearing colorful clothes that infused mostly Chinese and Indian designs with Arabic elements as an obligation to fulfill the requirements of the ‘aurat’.

No wonder the syllables in the Melayu language today sound totally different than those of other languages. The early Melayu didn’t have their own set of alphabets so most of the stories were stored in the memories of earlier sages who took with them to their unmarked graves.

Only when Islam came was the Arabic text used and this started the writing tradition of the Melayu. Only after that, the old Melayu stories started to be written and stored for posterity. Many of which are fortunately in our possession today, although many of the original manuscripts written on goatskin and kept in libraries and universities in Europe and England.

The Melayu are therefore unlike the other races such as the Indians and Chinese who had a writing tradition that dates back few thousand years before. Even the ancient Egyptian of the Pharonic times had a way of storing their stories and folklore and history.

They carved on stones and the walls although this was and extension of the artistic skills in sculpture and drawing on walls and papyrus and their fascination with all sorts of tools and ancient gadgets.

The creation of the glorious Melaka Muslim sultanate had resulted in the actual creation of the Melayu race and Melayu language or Bahasa Melayu in the form that we see today. So it is not wrong for historians today to describe the founder of Melaka, Parameswara (which means prince consort) who later converted to Islam and called himself Megat Iskandar shah as the true founder of the Melaka race!

Originally, the Melayu language only existed in the form of a dialect, but through the intermingling of the different Melayu dialectical groups, another more superior language which is now more internationally accepted was created.

Today the Melayu language can boost of a vocabulary of eight hundred thousand (800,000) words; most of these were fashioned or borrowed from the other dominant languages, especially from the invading forces from the East and the West.

Many of these modern Melayu words and phrases were created artificially by using a set formula devised by the language experts at Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) and the universities. Most of the early Melayu words, however, originated from the Sanskrit language when the Melayu world was under the influence of Hinduism.

The vocabulary was given a boost with the coming of Islam in the Fourteenth Century which resulted in the infusion of many Arab words that are used mostly in the many religious rituals and practices. This forms the backbone of the Melayu language. Subsequent visits and domination from forces from Siam, China, Portugal and finally England further expanded the vocabulary of the Melayu language.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

BAHASA MALAYSIA–BAHASA INDONESIA ARE MERE JINGOISTIC SLOGANS. –PART II

I DOUBT IT IF UNESCO AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL LINGUISTIC EXPERTS AND RENOWNED ANTHROPOLOGISTS AND HISTORIANS WILL ACCEPT ANYONE FROM CHANGING THE STATUS OF BAHASA MELAYU WHICH IS A UNIVERSAL HERITAGE LIKE THE OTHER MAJOR WORLD LANGUAGES THAT WE HAVE, ALTHOUGH WE MAY HAVE SLOGANS TO DESCRIBE THEM TO INSTILL GREATER ACCEPTANCE OF THE LANGUAGE ESPECIALLY AMONGST THOSE WHO ARE NOT MELAYU.

IF ONE WERE TO GO AROUND IN THE LOWER RUNGS OF SOCIETY, ONE OFTEN HEARS THE NON-MELAYU SPEAK IN MELAYU; THEY ARE HAPPY TO SAY THAT THEY ARE SPEAKING IN BAHASA MELAYU. I HAVE NOT HEARD EVEN ONE NON-MELAYU IN THE WORKING CLASS WHO SAYS HE OR SHE IS SPEAKING IN BAHASA MALAYSIA.

JUST GO TO THE NEARBY ‘PASAR MALAM’ AND THEY WILL TELL YOU THEY ARE SPEAKING IN MELAYU (CAKAP MELAYU, THEY WILL SAY.), AND NOT BAHASA MALAYSIA WHICH IRONICALLY IS THE TERM PREFERRED BY NON-MELAYU WHO ARE BETTER EDUCATED SINCE THEY KNOW THAT THIS IS A WAY TO ‘OBLITERATE’ THE TERM BAHASA MELAYU AND LATER ON BANGSA MELAYU SINCE THERE IS NO BAHASA MELAYU, WHY THEN SHOULD THERE BE A BANGSA MELAYU?!

So the fears that the cabinet had on the name Bahasa Melayu which they claim would not compel the non-Melayu to accept it undoubtedly wrong.

I am also surprised the Rais Yatim, the minister of culture, arts and heritage (Kekkwa), has not challenged the change of description of Bahasa Melayu to Bahasa Malaysia, whereas Bahasa Melayu is world heritage and it is not the exclusive right of the Melayu in Melayu in Malaysia only, but those outside of the country and elsewhere.

All the ancient Melayu manuscripts that were written on goat or cow skins were in Melayu or Bahasa Melayu. Yet, the ministry has only recognized some of the texts as having national heritage status, whereas the language used to write them is conveniently neglected. Hikayat Hang Tuah, Tuhfat al-Nafis, Sejarah Melayu and all the ‘Panjis’ were written in this language. Without Bahasa Melayu, the Bangsa Melayu cannot be said to be complete; they go together.

God created all the races, including the Melayu, and with it, He gave them a language. So no mortal soul can ever dare to change this order.

I remember when I was in primary and secondary schools and up to Form Six, most of my Bahasa Melayu teachers were non-Melayu. They were proud to be speaking and teaching in this language and it was not a bone of contention with them.

Therefore, the issue of having to change the name of Bahasa Melayu to Bahasa Malaysia does not arise, especially now as many non-Melayu have accepted that they are speaking and writing in this language so there is no need for anyone to fool himself that by changing the term or slogan, he can get more non-Melayu to accept the language and use it even in formal situations.

There are now subtle protests against the usage of the term Bahasa Malaysia as opposed to Bahasa Melayu by Melayu intellectuals who now just describe it as Bahasa Kebangsaan or Bahasa. They feel guilty for calling it Bahasa Malaysia but are afraid to do so for fear of losing their jobs in government ministries and universities.

There are some very easy ways for the governments of Indonesia and Malaysia to standardize the use of this language especially in the pronounce of the words and creation of sentences which seem to be the major problems faced by people in Malaysia and Indonesia with regard to the use of this one language.

Ironically, when Malaysian and Indonesian singers sing they often sound the same with the Indonesians sounding less like when they speak especially in television dramas.

And not surprisingly, too, those Indonesians who had studied up to the university level write in almost the same way as the Melayu in Malaysia or Brunei and Singapore do except that they sometimes like to sprinkle Jawa words (I use Jawa and not Javanese because it is the Anglicized spelling of this word or race.).

Just check the official website of the President of the Republic of Indonesia and the Sultan of Brunei and read the articles and speeches made by them, and especially how they write in Melayu and you can see that they are the same.

Street talk in Indonesia and Malaysia vary according to local influences, and they are not standard Melayu. Most Indonesians, particularly the Jawa speak Bahasa Melayu in a thick Jawa accent. It is unlike those in Bali who speak much like the Melayu in Melaka, much to my surprise when I first encountered them, because I thought they were mocking me when I told them I came from Melaka.

I can easily advise the ministries of education in Malaysia and Indonesia how to standardize the development of Bahasa Melayu so that in time, everybody in the two countries can speak the language properly.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

BAHASA MALAYSIA–BAHASA INDONESIA ARE MERE JINGOISTIC SLOGANS. –PART I

THE MELAYU ARE THE LEAST 'INCESTUOUS RACE' IN THE WORLD; THEY EVOLVE IN THEIR OWN SPECIAL WAY ACCEPTING ELEMENTS AND INFLUENCES FROM ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD.

CAN WE BE FAULTED FOR THAT...AND ACCEPTING ISLAM AS OUR ULTIMATE SYMBOL OF UNITY -- JUST BECAUSE THE OTHER RACES DO NOT HAVE SUCH QUALITIES OR EXPECTATIONS?

‘BAHASA MALAYSIA’ AND ‘BAHASA INDONESIA’ ARE NOT LANGUAGES OR EVEN DIALECTS. THEY ARE MERE JINGOISTIC SLOGANS! NO COUNTRY IN THE WORLD CAN CREATE A LANGUAGE OF ITS OWN.

and for that reason America did not dare create the American race and language and force anyone to speak in it, too, although they had succeeded, to some extent, to create pseudo-Americans amongst many young people who think they are more Americans and less Malaysians -- without ever stepping foot on the country and seeing it only in the media.

Yet, no pseudo-Americans have gone on to become prominent Malaysians in any field, especially in academic, sports or the arts. They have only succeeded in turning themselves into consumers of American music, films and the arts.

The Indonesians had tried to call the 'Indonesian Ocean' by even writing the name in the maps and globes that are sold in the country for a long time. But after failing to get the international community to agree, and with the disagreement of India, they finally and officially gave up. Failing this they tried to get back their 'batik', 'keroncong'...but not their 'kretek' clove cigarettes that they willingly export to Malaysia, with some being smuggled into the country.

I wish to make it clear so that there is no one who is confused with this interesting issue. Because languages are not created by individuals with the stroke of a pen but they evolve with the race that was created by God, with the smaller groups of people becoming extinct including the Seletar and Siglap tribes in ancient Temasik.

No...Or not many Singaporeans know why there are places in their country that are called Seletar and Siglap till today. Now they do and these names and tribes are found in the said novel.

Not many people, especially the Melayu would want to dispute the fact the Bahasa Melayu (Yes, this is my mother tongue, the ‘Bahasa Jiwa Bangsa’ – or ‘soul of my race’ – a special gift from God no less!), must evolve like it has over the centuries starting with words that only had two syllable each.

Example: 'Jan-gan per-gi ja-uh-ja-uh. Sa-na a-da han-tu. Ba-lik si-ni du-lu. Ki-ta tung-gu du-lu dan ki-ta bo-leh per-gi ma-suk da-lam hu-tan un-tuk pe-tik bu-ah-bu-ah dan ma-kan sa-ma. Le-pas itu ki-ta bo-leh per-gi man-di da-lam sung-ai.' (Each of the words has two syllables only, not more - with the hyphens to stress it.)

One does not know if the leaders and linguists of old had also faced similar problems with the ordinary folks who were too eager to use whatever words that they could pick from those whom they encountered and brought with them from all corners of Southeast Asia or Nusantara Melayu.

If this is not the case, then I am sure the Melayu language would not have existed in its own special form and way today, but would be absorbed into any of the major languages especially Tamil or Mandarin, the languages of commerce then, much like English that many people today like to think, albeit wrongly, that it should be the main language of communication and education for every Malaysian.

The modern day example is the languages or dialects of the Orang Asli which have so few words that their radio announcers have to use Melayu words to such an extent that there are more Melayu words than their own.

In the next five to ten years or so, the Orang Asli language will be so dissolved that it does not make sense for them to speak in them anymore. (Just listen to the Radio Orang Asli to know what I mean and speak to them.)

But what I feel totally unnecessary is for countries that have Melayu majorities to use the Bahasa Melayu as they please, so that we now have its variants or clones called Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia, and what have you.

What will the Melayu in Singapore, Brunei and South Siam speak in? Surely, they cannot be using Bahasa Malaysia or Bahasa Indonesia.

And how will the government want to encourage non-Melayu in Singapura and other countries to speak in Melayu when it is described as bahasa Malaysia, anyway? No wonder, many of them just say ‘bahasa’. Even on the covers of many Hollywood films, they only say ‘bahasa’ to refer to both ‘bahasa Malaysia’ and ‘bahasa Indonesia’.

Furthermore, bahasa Melayu has been enshrined in the constitution as the ‘bahasa kebangsaan’ or national language, so to change it, due process must be followed and it cannot take a mere cabinet decision to do it.

As guardians of Islam and Bangsa Melayu, the Melayu rulers ought to have been consulted first before any change to the status including the name of the language of the Melayu be done or altered in whatever way necessary.

Worse, there should have been a national referendum on this matter to determine if all the Melayu agree to have the name of their language changed to Bahasa Malaysia.

To me, the usage or adoption of the terms, Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia are nothing but mere slogans used by the leaders in these countries to use just to describe Bahasa Melayu which is the national language of these countries for pure jingoism and nothing more.

So the full name of the Bahasa Melayu is ‘Bahasa Melayu ialah bahasa kebangsaan Malaysia’ or the Melayu Language is the national language of Malaysia as much as it is of Indonesia.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

THE 2010 BUDGET CONSULTATIVE COUNCIL MEETING AT THE MINISTRY OF FINANCE (MOF):

…WASTING TIME AND TALKING ROT…WITH THE COUNTRY NOT GOING ANYWHERE WITH EXPERT SIDELINED AND THEIR VIEWS DISCARDED.
By Mansor Puteh



SO YOU THINK BEING INVITED TO ATTEND THE 2010 BUDGET CONSULTATIVE COUNCIL MEETING AT THE MINISTRY OF FINANCE (MOF) WITH THE PRIME MINISTER OFFICIATING AND OTHER SENIOR OFFICIALS OF THE MINISTRY AND MORE THAN 300 SPECIAL GUESTS WAS INTERESTING.

YOU WILL BE SURPRISED AT HOW SHALLOW THE DISCOURSE IT WAS UNTIL YOU WERE INVITED TO ATTEND IT AS WHAT I HAD FOUND OUT WHEN I ATTEND THE ONE HELD AT MOF LAST 6 JULY.

THERE WERE SOME PEOPLE WHO WERE INVITED TO PRESENT PAPERS. THEY WERE ASKED TO PRESENT VIEWS ON HOW TO EXPAND THE ECONOMY AND HEIGHTEN IT.

But they ended up giving a public relations speech on behalf of their agencies and also companies which the prime minister found it necessary to chide some of them.

The prime minister gave a long speech, meant mostly for the press. It was nothing for those who were invited to swallow, as most of the things he said were what he had been saying before.

He should have given any speech other than to thank those who were there at their own time, with some others spending their official office time.

I sat at the back feeling lost.

So when the prime minister’s speech ended he opened those who were in the hall to offer views.

One by one they took the microphone. But none of them said anything that is close to the main topic.

If the prime minister and the panelists could stray from it, they thought they also could do the same.

In the end no one from the floor or in the panel said anything substantial.

I was expected to say something on how the government could do to expand the film and entertainment industry.

But I chose to remain quiet.

Freddie Fernandez of Karyawan took the microphone at the end of the session and said something which I thought was only good at the ministerial level. It was certainly not appropriate to raise petty issues in such a function.

But then he would have sensed that the function had strayed too far, so he thought he could also join in the bandwagon.

I did not speak because the time allocation was a mere three minutes.

How could anyone in the right mind offer views on something important to him without being the chance to elaborate?

So I decided to write beforehand a 71-page report which I did not get to present to the prime minister or anyone from the MOF.

I did not want to draw attention on it at the function, so I sent copies of it to the prime minister, the deputy prime minister, and minister of finance II and the secretary-general of MOF.

None of them bothered to acknowledge receipt of the report, which I had taken a lot of time and energy to write.

When I called MOF and the others, I found that the report was forwarded to a low-ranking officer, who then forwarded it to his junior.

None of them could find the time to study what the report contains.

And I am sure they are also not qualified to study it because they are not trained in film to know what I am writing. But they are too smug to admit it.

Being officers in the MOF and other agencies, they can pretend to be important and intelligent by forwarding the report to someone lower than them.

Thus, ended the 71-page report into the waste-paper basket.

Thus also ended what slogans the government has been using which could heighten the spirit of some but which can cause many others to feel like he wants to puke.

What they say is often not what they desire to do.

So slogans are only good at exposing their limitations. They are only good to use to hoodwink the Malaysian public into thinking that the slogans are jumping points for them to lurch forward.

But alas, they just end there, as mere slogans – empty ones at that.

Yet, there are still very many Malaysians who fall for the crab, repeating slogans on top of their voices and thinking that the louder the collective roar, things can happen like they are appealing to the higher being for help but without doing anything to make it happen.

So what good do you think those budget consultative meeting are. The answer is that it serves no one any good.

I doubt it if there was anything interesting that the officers of MOF could get from the meeting at the ministry on 6 July which I attended.

Lim Kok Wing, the president of his university with his own name, said something stupid by my standards.

He said the private sector and the government must sit together to look at the same picture so we know what we are seeing, instead of the two parties sitting in front of each other so we do not know what each party is seeing.

How on earth can such literary jib do to the well-being of the country and its citizens?

The meeting was supposed to be for qualified people in the different sectors to offer views; it is definitely not for someone to say something like that.

The worst comments, however, were given by an old man who claimed to represent two million old men like him, in an association.

He dared to provoke the government by saying that their two million members could turn things around and determine the outcome of the next general elections, if the government does not accede to their demands.

And just what did he want for his two million members?

He asked for the government to offer each of the old man and woman in the country a ‘social pension’ amounting to RM400 per month.

He claimed that there are many old men and women who lead a life as strays, in their old age, as what an English tabloid had just highlighted a few days earlier.

He did not say why those old men and women were doing that and what caused them to want to do that.

RM400 a month for more than two million of the members of his association amounts to RM800 million ringgit a month. For one year, he expects the government to come up with RM9.6 billion ringgit.

The amount will be larger if it takes into account other old men and women who are not members of his association.

I thought the proposal or threat was so stupid.

This is not the platform for him to voice his views on such matters.

It is one for him to offer his views and propose to the government what his association can do to help develop the economy of the country.

Yet, he did not do this, and on the contrary, used the occasion to demand from the government.

The two million members of his association are old people. And when will they want to say, its time for them to give back to the society and country?

This thought had never occurred to them, so they will die by asking for things from the government and the society.

It is a pathetic display of misplaced priorities.

Yet, this old man got a loud applause from the crowd of people who are CEOs and senior officers from many other government, semi-government agencies, NGOs and individuals like me. But I chose not to applaud at such a crass display of priorities.

But mostly those who took the microphones used the occasion to show their faces to the prime minister so they could be recognized by him and the other senior government officers.

They were not there to offer views, but to demand from the government.

So now you know what the budget consultative council meetings and other NKRA laboratories conducted by Idris Jala are.

They are just for show. They can never achieve what they desire to do. And all the views and proposals are only those from the ministries and nothing from the guests and other experts.