Monday, November 17, 2008

Building the National Language Failure Index

Imagine this….which language did the Chinese, the Indians and Malays used to communicate say in 1950’s to 60’s …bahasa or English? I surely don’t know if not I wouldn’t be writing this post…ok lets go back a bit further say when the British first brought in the Indians and Chinese over as workers into specific industries in Malaya….u think they came out of the boat to utter “Ape kabar pakcik?”

Look at us now…… much have been said since KijangMas Racial Polarisation and the Forging of Bangsa Malaysia …on the need for a uniting language which is already part and parcel of our constitution…what else is there to talk about?? Most people are inclined to point out vernacular school as the main culprit ……to me it is the "source" of the original problem but now the "effect" itself have become a bigger problem.hence..I would rather point the finger at us …..yes all of US….you and me and all the people around us…..are we not all customers some time in our lives of the printed press……how many of you got books, newspapers, periodicals etc……How much do u spend annually on reading materials? Let’s say 400 ringgit assuming the typical annual paper price + a few magazines….say how many of us are out there…10 million maybe?? Say out of that 30% are regular customers, how much would the industry be worth..say simple congak-congak could easily come up to 1.2Billion Ringgit……..or maybe lower...shit i dont know....but at least in the 100's of million

So now folks take a walk into our “Carrefour” of book-stores say MPH, Borders, Knokuniya, Popular etc….take a look at the size of the Bahasa Malaysia section….and compare that to the English section…sad indeed…..ok what if we were to look at the revenue composition of all bookstores in Malaysia how much is derived from Bahasa Malaysia…..I bet the numbers also indicate the same observation that you see in their stores…..It’s so simple if there is no demand then they would not bother to translate international books into our beloved national language….these are “pure for profit” institutions who will act only if there is sustainable demand to justify the investment into translating the magazines, books etc into Bahasa……some of you might be tempted to say but if we translate into Bahasa we would not be able to catch up with the evolution of terminology in Science etc…..I say NO…this is the very reason that our language have not evolve to the level where Bahasa Indonesia is and have lead us to ciplak from their language……just go to Indonesia and look at how their Bahasa have evolved and how "big" the size of the English language section in their bookstores……even International monthly or weekly periodicals have a Bahasa Indonesia version……hell they even got Playboy in Bahasa… or instead look at Malaysia music industry..... just turn on the radio n u'll notice that the Indonesian songs dominates the airwaves.....why?? Is our language so bad the we r unable to verbalise our thoughts n feelings in a convincing manner??Tak cukup vocab kut.....

To the policy makers out there may I recommend setting up a National Language Failure Index by monitoring the revenue composition and the square-foot coverage ratio [ (Total Size of Bahasa Section divided by ( Total Size of Bookstore – the administrative sections)] in the Malaysian Bookstores dedicated to promoting the sales of books in Bahasa Malaysia……lets see when we can overcome this coup d'état on our beloved Bahasa Malaysia……..if we want to go to the extreme lets disgorge the ill gotten gains via special “assimilation tax” on all English language books revenue…

So folks are you ready to read your Economist, Time, Fortune,Cosmo etc in Bahasa??? I believe we must do something about it urgently..if not Bahasa Malaysia could never fulfill its constitutional objective......


  1. Salam SatD,

    Interesting analytical approach to language enforcement.

    Yes, you have my support.

    Keep up the excellent work and do your part in our collective effort -- as the Anak Bangsa Malaysia -- to forge a unified, cohesive Bangsa Malaysia.

    I look forward to more of your thoughts.

  2. Salam Bro KijangMas

    Thank you for your support.

    Believe we must hit them where it hurts most....eventually everything will be decided based on cost of enforcement and monitoring and if too much focus is on the "bottoms up approach" i.e vernacular schooling, then the "lost in between generation" as we discussed before will not feel the effect of nation building..n will continue to be in their comfortable existence....



Folks let me know what u need for mumbo-jumbo pseudo intellectual bullshit crap...a simple hello would be great....n thank u for droppin more thing...ANON's please put a nick ya, susah want to address u ....n it also show that u r responsible for what u wanna say....

Minds are like parachutes; they work best when open. -Lord Thomas Dewer