Archive for June 30th, 2007

British English vs Malaysian English

(For a laugh. Thanks Huang for forwarding the following email:)

Who says our English is teruk.? Just see below –

Ours is simple, short, concise, straight-to-point, effective etc:


Britons: I’m sorry, Sir, but we don’t seem to have the sweater you want in your size, but if you give me a moment, I can call the other outlets for you.
Malaysians: No Stock.


Britons: Hello, this is John Smith. Did anyone page for me a few moments ago?
Malaysians: Hello, who page?


Britons: Excuse me, I’d like to get by. Would you please make way?
Malaysians: S-kew me


Britons: Hey, put your wallet away, this drink is on me.
Malaysians:No-need, lah.


Britons: Excuse me, but do you think it would be possible for me to enter through this door?
Malaysians: (pointing the door) can ar? Read the rest of this entry »


NEP – about time the government wakes up

AY forwards an incisive critique of the NEP in the wake of the ruckus over EC Ambassador to Malaysia, Thierry Rommel’s public spat on NEP (reproduced below) ending with this very perceptive observation:

“I tell my clients that in Singapore, everything from education to jobs to business and government contracts, we have to compete with the rest of the world. In Malaysia, the Malay only needs to be better than other Malays.”

I refer to the malaysiakini report EU envoy summoned to explain NEP criticism. After reading the comments made by the European Commission’s top envoy to Malaysia, I cannot help but put my two cents worth into the fray.

I have worked and lived in Malaysia and am well accustomed to its social fabric and political system. As a foreigner, I have a better understanding than Westerners on this issue because I speak Bahasa Malaysia and have been exposed to Malay culture and traditions from young. Still, I am perplexed by the NEP and its predictable ills especially coming from an environment where meritocracy is, to a small extent, worshiped.

Essentially, all societies are unequal in some form or other but few in the developing world would attempt to make more equal by legislating a heavy-handed unequal-ness. This is what Malaysia has done. The extreme of this ideology has to be Mugabe’s confiscation of white-owned farm lands in Zimbabwe.

To me and others who swear by free competition, the NEP is flawed from its conception in 1970. What baffles me is that the Malay political elite remains adamant that a redistribution of wealth via such means is the one and only solution.

In my dealings with the Malaysian government, I have learnt that there is a feeling of ‘entitlement’ among Malays that makes for a curious insight. Read the rest of this entry »


Pak Lah “I am no sleeping PM” – walk the talk!

“I am no sleeping PM” – this is the newspaper headline of Nanyang Siang Pau reporting on the speech by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, when opening the Perak Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s trade exposition in conjunction with its centennial anniversary in Ipoh yesterday. This is also the headline used by China Press.

I am glad that Abdullah has brought this issue out into the open from the closet as neither the Prime Minister’s public image nor the national interest is being served or furthered by pretending that such increasing talk does not exist.

In fact, Abdullah should seriously find out why more and more people, including in government, the ruling coalition and the public, are talking in this vein about “a sleeping PM” when it was never said against the four previous Prime Ministers, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Tun Hussein Onn and Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad in the first 46 years of Malaysian nationhood.

One could disagree with the first four Prime Ministers, whether on government policies, measures or specific issues, but no one would attribute it to lack of focus, attention or interest by the Prime Minister.

Unfortunately, under Abdullah’s premiership, more and more people are putting the blame for many of the ills in government and country on “a sleeping PM”, which has not been helped by several factors, including: Read the rest of this entry »