Thursday, September 26, 2013



Being colonized by the British for 170 years does not mean that Malaysians are able to speak and write well in their language, English and to master the language.
            Today, after so many decades of becoming independent from Britain, many Malaysians still generally speak bad English and poor Melayu. They mix them up because they cannot form a reasonable sentence in either of the language.
            The number of Malaysians who speak and write well in English is so few.
            More and more Melayu are opting to speak in Melayu over English which they use only when absolutely necessary.
            But the Melayu have to lower the understanding and usage of Melayu in order to allow the Chinese to understand them by also imitating them on the way the Chinese speak Melayu with a thick accent and incorrectly, so much so that the Chinese had taken it to mean that they did not have to learn the language to get by.
And no wonder, too, even if they are so old, they still could not speak Melayu well, compared to the Bangladeshis, Myanmars and Vietnamese and other foreign workers who have lived in the country barely two years yet they are able to speak better Melayu compared to the Chinese.
            The younger Chinese and Indians, however, speak better Melayu because they revolt against their parents and grandparents who had tried not to allow them to speak in Melayu well.
            There is therefore an unwritten and unacknowledged ‘clash of the generations’ between the old Chinese and Indians and the younger ones, who are more in tuned with the realities of New Malaysia, with their parents and grandparents who they think cannot be saved from their daydreaming of Mother India and Mother China. 
And not surprisingly, many of the lawyers, too, do not speak good English or Melayu, as is evident from the hearing in the courts prove.
            Many Malaysians may be able wrote better in English or Melayu, but when it comes to conversational English and Melayu, they falter.
            The Chinese and Indians generally speak horrible Melayu with many of them not able to speak in English at all.
            Even those who write well in English are not sure if they can speak in the English language well. Many of them who do, often have accents which do not do justice to their command of this language.
            So no wonder, if they are interviewed by foreign film companies, what they say is subtitled in English.
            And one needs to watch the many documentaries or magazine programs on Astro to realize how many Malaysians who are profiled in some of them have what they say subtitled in English.
The Singaporeans are no better or worse…because what they say too is subtitled.
The problem being their spoken English is oftentimes not spoken well for the English to be able to understand. They have a thick Melayu, Chinese and Indian accents, which those in America or England have not yet fully understood or are familiar with.
Even though it is strange how they can understand their own kind even if they have such a thick southern American or hilly-billy accent and who seem to be speaking through their noses.
            Yet, what they say is not subtitled.
            Former American secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, who was born in Germany with Jewish ancestry speaks English in a strong whatever accent with a groveling voice, yet, his speeches are never subtitled.
The broadcasters and filmmakers did not dare to add English subtitles to his speech which could not be fully understood by many even in America, out of respect.
            But the same broadcasters and filmmakers in America, habitually subtitle speeches by non-Americans who speak good English, which could be understood by many Americans, but they are still subtitled anyway.
The reason being they did not want to see the non-Americans to be seen to be speaking good English which is sometimes even better than their own.
            Maybe it is just the prejudice or superiority complex that the producers of the documentaries or programs have, so if they subtitle whatever the non-English speakers say, they make it seem that the speakers are inferior to them.
Even though some of the Asians who speak in English well, yet, it is still given subtitles.
            The campaign and efforts by the Malaysian and even Singapore governments to encourage their citizens to ‘master the English language’ therefore can never succeed.
            They can claim to have got many of their own people who fully understand English, but when they speak, they still show a thick accent.
            It even shows in their senior government officials who speak good English but their accents often fail them, even though many of them have gone to study at the leading universities in America and England, and not just at the local universities.
            There are some Malaysians and Singaporeans who speak good English, but they have to make sure they have the ‘American accent’, and most of the time, they imitate the Americans they see on television or when they have got some experience studying and living in America, so that they can acquire such an accent.
            But generally speaking most Malaysians and Singaporeans do have a thick accent, even though they may write in English well.
            What caused this to happen? They studied in English-medium schools from Standard One, to university in Singapore and sometimes in England and America, yet, they speak English with such an accent, which has to be subtitled.
            It is a shame because this should be the case.
            Maybe there is a problem with the education system in Malaysia and Singapore and in the other countries, including the Philippines many of who do not speak English well with them having a strong Spanish and Tagalog accent, which they could do without.

Thursday, September 19, 2013


By Mansor Puteh

Few years ago a Melayu man was charged in court for causing the death of his young daughter. This may be the first case of this nature that had been brought to court.

She was left in his car while he went into a shopping complex – the only past-time or hobby of many a young Melayu and non-Melayu men and women these days, especially of those who do not have real past-times or hobbies.

They are people of the ‘Lonely Generation of Malaysia’ those who have education but not too much, and who also did not get enough of foreign travel, so they are vulnerable to the pull of the advertisements who draw them to the shopping complex, where they buy and buy many things they do not need, or do things they do not know of.

In the process, they drag their children who are taught to behave like them when they grow old and are married later.

And when the Melayu man of the Lonely Generation of Malaysia returned he found her dead.

Yet, in the court, he had the temerity and audacity to tell the judge that he had taken his daughter with him and she left to return to the car which was parked outside in the hot sun until she died.

Yet, the good judge believed him, so he was acquitted of the charge – he who had taken his daughter for a ride for which she had died, and now he also took the good and sympathetic judge for another ride for which the judge believed in what he says.

But at the same time the prosecutors did not produce a CCTV recording that could show what the man had done if he had taken his daughter with to enter the shopping complex and that she had returned to the car to sit inside it and died.

Didn’t all shopping complex have CCTV systems which record anything that moves around and within their premises?

The court also did not ask if it was plausible or logical for the young girl to find her way back to the car, and how she managed to get the keys to the car to open the door and sit inside it.

And didn’t the prosecutors also asked those same questions to the man they had charged, and also what was the girl’s reason to return to the car alone, if he had any?

The question may be moot since she had already died.

And how come her father did not know she had left him until he returned to the car to see her inside of it, and dead.

But surely, he would be alarmed when he realized that his daughter was not with him. And he would definitely want to find her, to get the authorities in the shopping complex to make an announcement for the girl to go to a certain place and wait for him there.

But this did not happen.

But what did the prosecutors do that allowed the man to be acquitted of the charge that they had leveled against him?

And recently, a Melayu woman found his daughter dead in her car. She had taken her with him to her school where she was teaching.

And when she returned to the car six hours later, she discovered her dead body inside of it.

Yet, she was not charged for negligence, because the authorities and also some members of the public said she had suffered enough.

She may have suffered enough but the large members of the public have not.

She must have been charged for negligence, inspite of what she had suffered as a result of the death of her daughter, which was purely her own doing.

It is like the prosecutors not charging a man for killing his own mother or grandmother, because he had suffered enough.

The law does not take into consideration about a person who is said to have suffered enough; it rests on an act which under the law must be punished, severely if the court says so.

And there is also another case of a young Chinese woman who abused her daughter until she finally succumbed to the injuries she had suffered.

And when she finally died, the woman who had earlier been charged for physical abuse, was now charged for murder for which she could be sentenced to hang.

A Melayu man was sentenced to eighteen years jail and given ten strokes of the rotan for the charge of raping his daughter.

He was again given a similar sentence for raping his other daughter.

And another person was charged and sentenced in court for molesting his own daughter.

So it seems for molesting and even raping, the man could be charged in court and given the sentence, yet, for someone else to have caused the death of her own child, she is not charged, because she has suffered enough.

What the authorities should do is to put here in a lie detector test to see if what she says is true, that she had forgotten that her daughter was in her car.

And it also seems that to kill a person by knocking him with a car is less severe a crime for which a person can be fined a paltry sum, compared to the person actually killing him by shooting him with a gun.

There are many people who had died in road accidents, by people who drive recklessly, yet, they are not given a harsh sentence including to hang, despite the many people who had died in their hands.

So no wonder, there are many bus drivers who drive recklessly because they know they can get away with it by blaming the faulty brakes, not enough sleep, etc.

The companies concerned and their directors have hardly ever been taken to task.

Sunday, September 15, 2013


By Mansor Puteh

How do you like to be in the same elevator with the then three-time world heavyweight boxing champion, Muhammad Ali? It happened to be, but by accident.

I was attached to Gaya Filem in Kuala Lumpur during the second semester break when I was studying at the school of mass communications of Institut Teknologi Mara (ITM) or Mara Institute of Technology in Shahalam, now known as the Mara University of Technology.

And while at Gaya, I was put at the different departments for the whole of one and a half months.

It was already an exciting experience to be placed at this film company also produced films and provided post-production services at their studios in Jalan Ceylon.

One day, an officer from the company asked me to join him to go to a location of an advertisement they were producing.

The place was at the Paddock, a bar on the topmost floor of the then Kuala Lumpur Hilton Hotel, an beside it was the race course; and hence, the name Paddock was chosen by the hotel for the bar, which in normal times would not be a place I would go to.

I walked through the lobby on the ground floor and headed to the elevator or lift with the Gaya officer, and waited for the elevator door to open, so we could enter it to go to the Paddock.

At that time everybody knew legendary heavyweight boxer, Muhammad Ali was in town to box British ‘white hope’ Joe Bugner, who was staying in another hotel, the Equatorial Hotel.

Of course when Muhammad Ali and his entourage arrived at the Subang International Airport at least fifteen thousand people had gone there to greet him and to see him arrive for the first time in Malaysia. That was in June, 1975.

Joe Bugner arrived the next day, but the crowd was smaller.

Of course, there were people milling outside of the two hotels to catch a glimpse of the two boxers, who appeared and returned to their hotels where they were to stay at for one month to prepare for the fight in Stadium Merdeka or Independence Stadium.

The other reason was for them to be fully acclimatize for the fight which would be held in the morning, so that the live broadcast could be held for the viewers in America, who would see it at night the day earlier as there is a twenty-four time difference between that of Malaysia and America.

I did not plan to see Muhammad Ali and had forgotten about him staying at the Hilton. But I had to go to the hotel to do some chore, which would take me out of the Gaya Filem studios, where I had been holed in the whole day.

It was always fun and a relief to be able to go out of the studios to go anywhere and certainly to be able to go to the Hilton then would be more fun.

And the least of all was to be able to see Muhammad Ali and his small coterie of supporters which included his personal trainers, and younger brother, Rahman.

The hotel staff had blocked the elevator which they were going to take. But somehow he allowed me and the Gaya Filem officer to enter the same elevator even though we had to squeeze in it as Muhammad Ali and his buddies are already four, all of whom were larger than me.

I looked at Muhammad Ali who was standing so close to me and I was surprised that he did not appear to be too tall or large. He was six feet two inches and I was five feet and nine inches.

So the difference in our height was not so crucial that I had to look up to see him face to face.

And he also did not realize that I am also Muslim like he is, as Muslims in Malaysia who are mostly Melayu do not really have the typical Muslim face; we have Oriental looks, more so me, who looked more Chinese than Melayu.

To most American Muslims, Muslims looked like Arabs.

But I did not expect Muhammad Ali or any of his buddies to strike a conversation with any of us who were also with them in the same elevator.

In fact, the four of them did not say a word and just wanted to get to the floor where their suites were, which was one floor below the Paddock.

However, I managed to speak on the phone with Rahman Ali, and he asked me to come to the hotel to see him, but I did not as I did not have the time. 

The elevator stopped after a while and they got off to go to their suites, while I had to wait for the door of the elevator to close to take us to the next floor, where the Paddock was.

And at the Paddock some filming was being held for an advertisement of a brand of toothpaste. So they had a young woman with nice and white teeth to film.

I did not care too much about Muhammad Ali and the earlier episode in the elevator. My mind was already elsewhere and not even in the Paddock.

I wanted to find out if I could finally manage to get a place in a university in New York City to do my master’s degree in film. This is more important than the Paddock, Hilton or Muhammad Ali…

But I did watch the boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Bugner which was shown live on Malaysian television as well, and in black-and-white.

The match went through to all the rounds, so those who had paid the money to buy the tickets must have been fully entertained.

But Stadium Merdeka itself was not full. The price of the tickets were so expensive, with the ring seats at RM1,000 or US$250 then, and the other seats at RM100 or US$25.

And since the match was a non-title bout and it was going to be shown live on Malaysian television, what use was there for the ordinary Malaysians to flock into the stadium.

Not surprisingly, despite there having fifteen thousand Malaysians who had come to the airport to greet Muhammad Ali and to see him at such a far distance from the airport to the plane from where he had to walk on the tarmac to the airport building, so few of them bothered to see him box in the stadium.

Muhammad Ali won. He went on to box, while Joe Bugner who was floored disappeared from the scene.

Unfortunately, and ironically, it was not any boxer who had floored Muhammad Ali but Parkinson’s Disease which he has been suffering from for many years, which has left him almost disabled, and mostly unable to speak.

Thursday, September 12, 2013


By Mansor Puteh

The world is definitely not better today than it was in 2004.

Maybe it was better in 2004 than it is today, with the Arab Spring not yet happening. It would take nine years before it happen.

And it happened not without a cause. It had many causes or reasons to happen.

But till now no one had ever dared or knew what had caused it to happen and for what reasons.

Perdana Global Peace Foundation (PGPF) started to organize their Perdana Global Peace Forums since 2004.

One would have thought or guessed that because it was organized with good intentions, some good would come out of it.

Many waited, and continued to wait. Until the Arab Spring happened seven years later.

And they continued to organize more of the same global peace forums and on the Palestine issue.

Yet, nothing happened. On the contrary, worst things had happened while they are discussing on the same tired issues, by inviting the same group of speakers from the same countries, America and Canada and also England and some Arab countries.

And they only talk about the same things.

They get the space to express their thoughts which are limited in scope and intellectualism. No wonder the local press almost spawned the forums that have been held, giving them scant regard by reporting the statements of the more or less interesting ones.

Yet, when one cares to look at it, none of the statements or even resolutions have come to anything more than the expression of anger, frustration and confusion.

But the speakers and organizers want to claim to be doing good to the cause they are into, but none of the Palestinians in Palestine has benefited from their charity and support.

In fact, some had even died when some ‘peace missions’ which wanted to send goods to the people of Palestine in Gaza were shot and killed by the Zionist forces.

No retribution was given and the relatives of the dead did not get any compensation.

Gaza continued to be under siege by the Zionist forces.

And PGPF continues to organize more of the same forums whenever there is a regional crises, mostly those that involve Arab countries in the Middle East, with their latest forum held in August that brought the same motley crowd who said the same things which did not end up to benefit anyone, even to themselves.

Not only that they also organize the kangaroo court or tribunal called the Kuala Lumpur International Tribunal to hear charges they leveled against some ‘war crimes’ including George Bush, George W. Bush and Tony Blair, who have all been found guilty, with them not represented in the tribunal.

A lot of money had been spent to organize these forums, all of which could easily be used to spend on things and good to support the Palestinian refugees and also the Rohingya refugees who are now living in Malaysia.

And over the years they have organized similar forums which invited fewer and fewer international personalities, who often-times repeat what they had said in the same forum earlier.

Unfortunately, none of the international panelists who mostly come from America or Canada and England has anything interesting or new to say; they like to blame America and the Zionists.

None of them had said anything interesting enough that what they had said could be implemented, by some of the sane Arab leaders and countries.

In the meantime, the wealthier Arab countries who had benefited from Islam and the OIL that their countries were blessed with look at the other side and continue to seek the others to marvel at their first or world-class airports and tall buildings, all of which are built by non-Arabs, with many of the facilities also managed by non-Arabs, who are not qualified or trained to do the job.

Many Arabs had fled from going to America or Europe for vacation and to collect some misdeeds pretending not to be Arabs or Muslims, so they flock to Mumbai, Bangkok and sometimes to Malaysia, where they can flash their cash and do what they please without ever being charged for any misdemeanor or crimes, which in their own countries would merit these action against them.

Nine years of the PGPF forums have not come to anything. The world has changed a lot, with the Arab world almost destroyed. Yet, PGPF would continue on with their blind mission to discuss issues which had happened.

PGPF would not come up to the level when they become smart enough that they are able to see what had caused the Arab Spring to happen and how not to be angry or confused with what is happening in Palestine especially and in the other Arab and Muslim countries to give views which matter.

They will continue to be political and not engage the others to hear what they can and have to say on the same matters.

PGPF did not care for the other intellectuals only those professors of history or political science who they think deserve the attention.

Alas, most of them are nothing but armchair experts in the field; they are also blind to the cause not knowing how the issues in the Arab World and on Palestine were, to know how to solve them using the same methods that the others had used to allow them to do and get what they wanted.

Blaming them would be futile. They do not care about anyone blaming them for doing whatever they think they had to do, because their books told them to do these.

PGPF has organized few forums, the last one in August; but they will continue to organize more forums in the future, in a world which continues to be fractured, with the Arab World and Palestine becoming worse than they were in 2004 and also are today.

One can expect PGPF to organize a much bigger forum next year to mark the tenth anniversary of their first forum held in 2004 with the same speakers in attendance who say the same things that they had said in 2004, when the world was much better then than it is now.

Saturday, September 7, 2013


By Mansor Puteh

Unfortunately, the stand of the Indians today is pretty much the same as their forefathers did but those amongst them who have moved away from such thinking is increasing in numbers with only some of those who still had a ‘rubber estate’ mentality who want to continue to feel marginalized, as those Chinese who still insist on marginalizing themselves.

But alas, it was due to politics and not commerce or economics, unless if these Chinese who are in the opposition such as the DAP including some who are in Barisan such as MCA and Gerakan, who still think their race is still being marginalized.

Didn’t they know how the Melayu had deliberately wanted to make them prosper?

Didn’t they know how Tunku had deliberately chosen Chinese to become the first two finance ministers, who had done a lot to  ensure the Chinese dominate the economy of the country so they who did not have possessions of money, business and land were encouraged to do so?

This was done at the expense of the Melayu, who it turned out later became enraged by what their forefathers had done to marginalize them in the country their forefathers and ancestors.

Where did the Indians get such an idea from that they were marginalized?

They were meant to be in the rubber estates as that was the deal they got from the British colonists who wanted them to come from their remote villages in India to work as laborers and virtual slaves of the British rubber plantation owners in Malaya then.

So why did they have to complain later about the deal? There was a contract that they had agreed to accept.

But despite all the failings, the Malayans then comprising of the major Melayu and minor, Chinese and Indian races were united in spirit. The level of discontent was low and restricted only to some political discourses when some chose to flee modernization to serve their chosen and course from deep in the jungles.

These Chinese and some Melayu were the ‘selected’ few who were bent on changing the course of the country’s history.

This they were able to do up to 2 December, 1989, when their group calling itself, the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) officially seized to exist with their senior leaders appearing in public for the first time looking debonair and stylish like successful businessmen in a hotel in Songkhla, South Siam, when they should have been paraded much earlier outside of the Pudu Prison in Kuala Lumpur in less appealing surroundings.

The Malayan leaders were busy doing other things and also having fun, which also included enjoying the cinema – the Old Malaya Cinema – which was based in Jalan Ampas and East Coast Road in Singapore, with Tunku himself dabbling into it as a screenwriter having written ‘Mahsuri’ and ‘Raja Bersiong’ which were produced by Shaw Brothers’ Malay Film Productions (MFP).

Unfortunately, he and the other political leaders didn’t realize how the cinema then was holding the people together, when even the Chinese and Indians were ardent viewers of films produced by MFP and Cathay-Keris owned by Loke Wan Tho.

They didn’t realize how the cinema was binding the two major and one minor race together in Malaya to create a potent force.

Hong Kong cinema and Hollywood were not important influences in Malaya then.

There certainly were some interesting dramatic and colorful elements in Malaya then which was supposed to be independent or Merdeka, but which was still uncertain as to what course it was to take.

Barely a few years after the collapse of the old Malayan cinema based in Jalan Ampas, Singapore, racial strife was rampant culminating in the 13 may, 1969 incident.

So can the government learn something useful from this?

Or do they want to continue to develop the economy of the country just to enrich those who are in business, commerce and banking?

Does the country need more people to go into politics where the roads are many, or does it need to get more of their own kind to go into the film industry?

But I doubt it if the government and the other politicians will want to accept facts; their level of awareness of the arts is so low.

They only know how to use or misuse some of the starlets who are willing to become their third or fourth wives and invite some others to grace their functions.

But they do not know what else that they can use with the cinema.

It has done wonders to America with their Hollywood, which is a major industry.

It became so because their early leaders had ensured that this industry was developed so that it could become a huge sponge to absorb all the latent and useless creative and artistic energies so that they did not spill over to politics.

If that was not done, almost every other person in America will be politically charged and in every other county there is a political forum or ‘ceramah’ every night like what is happening in Malaysia.

This is where the government and their not so smart economic planners and visionaries lack any understanding of.

They want some film directors to produce wonderful films. But they do not know how to create a system that allows for that to happen.

The cinema can do wonders.

But unfortunately, the political leaders and economists do not want to take this course of action to create and establish the New Malaysian Cinema, New Islamic Cinema and New Melayu Cinema or Sinema Nusantara as they cannot take the lead and have to leave the task to those who are better qualified in film.

The development of these film industries will cause the politicians and economists to lose a lot of credibility; they can be condemned by the Muslim Ummah, Bangsa Melayu and Malaysian society as being people of low stature.

That they are war-mongers and racists and social misfits that they are.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


By Mansor Puteh

The political analysts that we have in Malaysia and also Singapore have other views on the same matters. The historians, psychologists and sociologists also have their own takes on them.

And the economists as well as politicians too, did not think it was within their scope of thinking to look at the real magic of Hollywood, only to be distracted by the obvious distractions that their films could offer.

The economists only want everybody else to think that material well-being is the be-all of our endeavor, and the creation of the New Malaysian Cinema to be outside of their consciousness and therefore not important.

The film industry that we have in Malaysia is sufficient if there are people who make films, without care for the after effects.

In America, the entertainment industry is the sixth largest. And without it, America would not be what it is today.

Unfortunately, because of its foreign policies and attitudes towards the Arabs and Muslims, top Hollywood actors who used to get US$20 million per film can be lucky if they can get US$3 million these days.  

But a deeper investigation and study of the history of Hollywood and what it had managed to do to America, can be useful to Malaysia, which must embark on a more grandiose plan to reconstruct its own New Malaysian Cinema.

Making films and encouraging those who are not qualified to enter the industry has caused the industry to fail on all counts; it has only managed to turn the cinema into a new business opportunity to those who are capable of churning films copied from Hollywood and Hong Kong, which do not help to create the New Malaysian Cinema, but to push for the agendas of those countries.

Unfortunately, all of them had neglected to consider the cinema in the equation.

Consider also: If America does not have Hollywood, would the whole country not be in the same situation as Malaysia today?

And in the 1960s at the height of the American Black Movement or Civil Rights Movement, Hollywood was churning a certain type of films. Did they also help to contribute towards social, cultural and hence political discontent amongst the Blacks in the country?

Therefore, can Malaysia continue to be in this state of limbo without having the New Malaysian Cinema? What social and political costs can the government continue to bear?

Up to the 1960s there was less racial and social as well as cultural discontent in Malaya and Singapore then and what valuable lessons that can be learnt from the cinema to day that can
be used to promote national unity and also the unity of the World Muslim Ummah and
Bangsa Melayu.

Tunku Abdul Rahman said how proud he was in being able to achieve independence or Merdeka for Malaya then from Britain ‘without spilling a single drop of blood’.

But on 13 May, 1969, a lot of it was spilled in the Kampung Baru/Chow Kit area in Kuala Lumpur and in some other places throughout the city and in few other towns.

This unfortunate event was not caused by political discourses which broke into different directions by the two plus one major minor race in the country; the two major ones are the Melayu and Chinese, and the plus or minor one, being the Indians, who should have known better not to take the wrong side and created more rifts.

The Indians having mostly left the rubber estates were not able to comprehend what could go wrong with the two major races if a tiny spark was ignited by politicians who knew better not to play with fire.

The collision and siding of the Indians with the Chinese in the 13 May, 1969 incident should be a good enough subject of any serious study on old Malayan politics.

Did the Indians then also feel discontented for having been stuck in the estates?

And did they think by being a ‘minority’ in Malaya, they found affinity with the Chinese who were also the minority, which were bigger and perhaps together, they could form a stronger minority force to oppose the Melayu majority and might?