Wednesday, February 20, 2008

My Paper


My Paper, a bilingual (English and Chinese) free newspaper in Singapore, has commissioned me to write a daily column on Malaysia's 12th General Election from today until polling day on March 8, 2008.
The first instalment, Road Sign to a more Muhibbah Malaysia, appeared in today's edition of the paper. I was inspired to write on road signs after Knights Templar, a professional pixman and a regular commenter on my blog, sent me the picture below, with the message ..
"Bro , bet you havent seen a street sigh in malaysia with tamil and chinese words huh! well , DAP'S teresa kok put up a few today ( even in bukit bintang). i donno with or without city hall's approval ."

Read my column in my paper, HERE.

27 comments:

  1. Anonymous12:18 am

    Before that DBKL has replaced all the street signs in Taman Seputeh. in Jawi script apparently to attract Arab tourists. When the mayor was informed that Arab tourists never come to Taman Seputeh, his spokesman replied that having street names in Jawi was in line with Islam Hadhari.

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  2. i have said it before. i will say it again. i will continue to say it until you have done it ...
    when are you going to start an online newspaper?

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  3. race based politicking is so so boring and outdated. msian are bodoh in general.

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  4. Anonymous1:39 am

    Whaaaat????

    No more the "England"?

    But then there are so few people speaking the lingo now.

    When my horse, sorry car, broke down, I called the AAM but they no speaking the "England" anymore. Not a word. So you MU, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea gringos, beware. Take good care of your horses.

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  5. Anonymous2:02 am

    Good article! But should be: especially the “well-off” Chinese and the marginalised Indian.

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  6. Anonymous2:48 am

    Read your article in the paper..
    Quite lame though...

    You are better at writing than potrayed through the article...
    Buck up!

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  7. Anonymous4:02 am

    Salam Bro,

    Nyata induk DBKL lemah,

    Persoalannya adakah kita perlu tunduk pada kemahuan atau kemahuan tunduk pada kita?

    Sedangkan LKY dan anaknya boleh membaca JAWI.

    'Tidak ada kompromi dalam pengunaan,penulisan dan pemahaman Bahasa'

    -Pendita Zaba-

    'Perangai Terletak dikemahuan Sendiri'=DBBP 2005

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  8. Anonymous7:57 am

    There was this one Little Mosque On The Prairie episode about the town of Mercy's "Welcome to Mercy" signboard got knocked down by a tractor. And while the town's mayor was away, while working on replacing damaged signboard, the the mayor's proxy Sarah had this brilliant idea of putting up different languages for the abovesaid signboard to represent every ethnicity that lived in Mercy.

    When the signboard was finally constructed, there was much fanfare. Every townsperson turned up eagerly for the big event. You could see a variety of languages on the board - Mandarin, Arab, Russian, etc... declaring "Welcome to Mercy", including Klingon!

    Then they discovered that the craftsman forgot to add the English text for the welcome sign. As a result, every visitor that tried to come to Mercy got lost.

    Suffice to say, in the end they went back with the basic simple "Welcome to Mercy". In English.

    I thought that was pretty funny.

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  9. Greetings bro, It's high time the powers that be understood and changed all the road signs as what Theresa has done. A little late one would say but it's better late than never. It's very evident now that the general feeling around the country that everyone is wanting a change. Malaysia for Malaysians. NO MORE RACED BASED POLITICS!!!!!!!!! Yang Berhormat to be changed to Yang Berkhidmat NEXT!!!!! Lets see what happens!!!!

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  10. Anonymous8:18 am

    Ayah... Only three languages only, ie Malay, Chinese and Tamil.

    How about Jawi, Arabic and 'Inglish'.....

    The bigger the road sign the better.

    This means more money and ha ha more tourists can read.

    Why only in Kuala Lumpur, should do this for whoie country.

    Then this will be a billion dollar 'corridor' project.

    Just look at the benefits, cronies, BN, Umnoputra and of course tourists all happy.

    Only unhappy person the tax payers but who cares?????? They will forget and still vote for BN......

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  11. The BN government talks about learning languages
    Everybody should learn it to progress and yet
    We find ourselves reading at signs of one language
    Telling others but the BN leaders can’t start with themselves

    How are we to progress in the global economy?
    The Chinese government knows the truth
    The Communist regime tells the Chinese
    Master English to globalize the world
    And here in Malaysia
    It is back to the frog under the coconut shell!

    The little napoleons holding courts
    Pay by the taxpayers creating divisions
    Populating a language thinking it is good
    Look at us becoming a laughing stock
    Amongst the developing nations

    And spend hundred of millions
    Campaigning for foreign tourists
    When it matter most, it is lacking
    The road signs in a language
    Sad it is true of wasting money

    The road signs belittling our intellect
    We tell the world we are a progressive country
    And the road signs give us away
    Spending millions thinking it is worth it
    Back home our backyards stink!

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  12. Anonymous10:05 am

    Another article "Enter The Online Barisan Rakyat" dated 21 Feb 2008 can be found at
    http://myepaper.mypaper.sg/ebook/web_php/fvbrowserjs.php?urljs=http://myepaper.mypaper.sg/ecreator/sphopf/ep210208cnd_opf_files/ep210208cnd.js&ver=Gen

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  13. Rocky! Cut the beeswax! You do not find road signs in Chinese-Singapore!! Furthermore in this country Bahasa Melayu is the national language and the law says road signs must be in Bahasa Melayu. If you or anyone else want to speak Chinese of have everything in Chinese create your own country! But not on my watch. The sign in Taman Seputeh should be torn down and DBKL should take notice, otherwise Umno will most definitely be defeated for not defending the country's Constitution vis-a-vis the National Language and its usages!

    BTW! How much is the Singaporean paying you to play on their gallery Bro!

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  14. I am quite against multilingual signboards. We keep on hyping about how we should be more Malaysian instead of racial cards. We even applaud to the fact that Bahasa Melayu is changed to Bahasa Malaysia to reflect our Bangsa Malaysia identity (which I am pretty much against). Yet we talk about nationalism and national identity we never even and hardly use the National Language. There is no need for Tamil, Mandarin, Ibanese or Arab signboards. If we really want to be a Malaysian instead of Malay, Chinese or Indian perhaps the first step is to use Bahasa Malaysia.

    Just like how we should not have Arabic, Chinese or tamil schools. There should be just one federal school using the national language. In Europe the concept of National Identity is to integrate, the problem with us Malaysians are we only want to talk about National Identity only when it is convenient or benificial to us.

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  15. Anonymous10:57 am

    Rockyfella, "x-men" said...

    "Before that DBKL has replaced all the street signs in Taman Seputeh. in Jawi script apparently to attract Arab tourists. When the mayor was informed that Arab tourists never come to Taman Seputeh, his spokesman replied that having street names in Jawi was in line with Islam Hadhari,"

    In godforsaken Bolehland country, we are so keen on imposing "arabisation" and "creeping islamisation", we had forgotten this has been a multi-racial and multi-cultural country before, that is situated between two of the world's most enduring civilisations since antiquity. And albeit with an indigeneous culture of its very own - the unique Malay culture itself - which is now in a state of self-imposed and self-inflicted extinction. The western powers at one time contributed a fair share of their culture to us and to this day, we maintain a healthy respect for western ideas and habits and there's no denying that the West actually brought us to our senses. We are forever keeping up with the times now and moving forward.

    In wanting to return to the medieval age of so-called islamic glory,a time when violence reigns and where backwardness is just around your backyard, we are denying ourselves the benefits of modernism and progress. It seems there is no limits to the ends and means some will try or choose to impose on us to return to the dark ages. What a laugh- ha!ha!ha! - to come up with silly excuses of encouraging the sandniggers (sorry, Bolehland racism at work here) to visit Taman Seputeh. By travelling in camels and in bedouin gear? If it is really trendy to make Islam Hadhari fashionable everywhere in Bolehland, it is not in the name of a road or a place. It should be in our mindset and our culture - a gentler and softer Islamic culture? Again - ha!ha!ha! What a laugh, Rockyfella. We are presently living our worst nightmares in the horrors of the bodysnatchers and other spooky pseudo-religious crap. The howling mullahs must come up with better ideas of waht Utopia means in this godforsaken land.

    BTW, for those who as "chowkit cowboy" said are no more the "England" speaking (speaks much about Bolehland's pathetic education policy of the past 30 odd years}, we should ask Teresa Kok to add one small word, just below Jalan Taman Seputeh, in the phrase of "Seputeh Boulevard" - just tp pay a certain deference to the colonial masters. We, their pining and whining faithful slaves, still yearn of days long gone by when our whiteman masters simply like to give this godforsaken land classy names like VALENCIA, TIVOLI, CHELSEA, etc (you name it, we still like it). The legacy of this elegant road/place names still endure to this day all over the place in KL.

    Sandniggers (again, sorry for my racism) are our worst role models post-911. You think of Arabs, you think of suicide bombers and terrorists. No matter how we chose to blame the Western media or how we deplore our racist mindset, it is still a fact those sandniggers created such a horrific self-destructive image on us themselves. And here, we wish to honour them and impose their self-destructive faith on ourselves! That's Islam Hadhari in a nutshell. Hah!.

    For a brief period in his godforsaken reign, the good ol doctor's Look East policy was right on course. But due to political ineptness and stupidity of the worst kind, our compass was directionless for a time after and we are off course to the days of the camel-riding caliphs in medieaval times. Instead of teaching our children to look forward to trade and invest their future in China and India (learn their language, learn their style of doing biz), we deliberately chose to go "back to the future" in the glory days of violence, slavery and oblivion. We surely are an adventurous lot who wish to imitate Indiana Jones and dreaming of basking the wonders of Hadhari-land (a mythical kingdom of angelic paradise?).

    Let's be real again - those DBKL bastards are merely lining their pockets throwing the dough to the signmakers to think creative. You dump folks out there are conned. There's money in the signs! Let's be real, guys.

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  16. Advocating bangsa Malaysia while at the same time advocating signages in three different languages?

    Somehow I fine the two ideals are at odd with each other.

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  17. With all due respect to Theresa Kok, is this really needed? One wonders the purpose of this if not merely for political mileage? BM is the national language and Malaysians are expected to be able to read it, if at all there's a need to cater for non-Malaysians, then English should be used. To further elaborate, how many Malaysians read Chinese and Tamil (but do not read BM) to justify the need for such a signage?

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  18. Anonymous12:01 pm

    give singaporeans and the world the right deal. tell the truth in your writings on the election for this newspaper since you cannot do this in malaysian newspapers. they are all lying somehow or the other. malaysians would flock to
    the paper too. be prepared to take whatever consequences that follow though. that's what a real journalism is all about. tell people the truth! they pay for the newspaper to know what really happened, not to be lied to.

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  19. Anonymous12:45 pm

    I don't know what's the big frigging fuss over a multi-lingual road sign. Nationalistic fervour aside, at the end of the day language is just a communication tool. If you need more languages to get your message across, so be it. Arrive at LAX airport and you will see "Welcome to L.A." in half a dozen languages. I don't hear Americans making a big fuss about it. Danger signs are in multi languages, is anybody going to pick a fight over it? Jeez..

    SP

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  20. Anonymous1:12 pm

    i think most of the posts here r unclear on the concept.

    What Teresa Kok trying to do is that its better to put multiple languages on the signboard that reflects multiracial, multilingual make-up which is Malaysia.

    Signboard with only Bahasa and Jawi just seem out of place. And to argue its for Arab tourist is so lame, one would ask what about German, French,Indian, Chinese tourist etc?

    Do DBKL so accomodating and so mindful of the needs of foreigners that the need of the rakyat is ignored?

    Another lame excuse which said Jawi is in line with Islam Hadari. It reflects badly on this brand of Islam, the needs of other communities r no concern for DBKL, big waste of money and resources which served no real purpose.

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  21. Anonymous3:58 pm

    Bro,

    U dah kena beli ke!!!!!!!!!

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  22. Anonymous6:29 pm

    The practice of using additional languages for streetsigns is not practical from a national standpoint, mostly because of the additional work needed to fabricate additional text for markers that need to be placed in large numbers all over the city, be it Jawi, Chinese or Tamil.

    Even Singapore chooses to use solely English or Malay (yes, there are roads in Singapore which names still start with "Jalan") in all of its streetsigns. But Singapore does have multilingual signs in MRT stations.

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  23. Anonymous7:42 pm

    I must agree with pasquale and sinatra z...

    to anon SP 12.45pm, of course you find Welcome to LA in various languages at LAX because its the airport, duh, its the gateway to the city of angels where hispanic, moronic and americans mingle with each other.

    In echoing pasquale's sentiments, we should seek unity through one language, as the french, japanese and people elsewhere do.

    do you see rue du louvre or rue de tivoli as louvre street or tivoli street in the streets of paris? You dont right?

    Stick to Bahasa. Interesting footnote though. Lee Kuan Yew and the son can read Jawi.

    Just as many British residents in those colonial times could!

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  24. Anonymous9:13 pm

    Keep up the good work Theresa Kok and hopefully the ignorant municapal authorities can learn a thing or two as too what good road signs look like. Stop insulting Malaysians by putting up Jawi signs, it is like putting up road signs in the Hungarian language. Bodoh award of the year goes to the municapal council for wasting public funds on roads signs that nobody understands.

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  25. Anonymous2:34 pm

    they forgot we also have banglasdesh and indonesia and nepalese worker and filipine maids.

    So how now ?

    put all la

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  26. Anonymous2:38 pm

    Just put la

    Jalan seputih untuk orang putih

    orang lain jangan tanya jalan

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  27. Anonymous10:28 am

    As clarification, Kajang Municipal Hall has been including Jawi translations of street names alongside Malay ones for quite some time now, so this sign issue is not a new thing. It basically implies an attempt to please the local Malay populace with emphasis on their cultural heritage, even though residents within Kajang's jurisdiction are not entirely Malay. I'm expecting similar areas outside urban centres practicing this sort of street naming.

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