By – Hesmel Faznee Faisal

The Penang state government has decided to use various languages for its road signs. But the idea has been strongly opposed by the Minister who currently holds the most tasks, as he is responsible in taking care of the Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage, Dato’ Seri Shafie Apdal.

According to him, the multi-language road signs would disunite the people.

This statement comes from an UMNO politician who, coincidently is vying for one of the UMNO Vice President post. If he wins, there is a prospect of him being one of the candidates who will initially become the Deputy President (if elected!) and later the Deputy Prime Minister and Prime Minister (God forbids!). It appears to be that this set of narrow thinking politicians will shape the future and direction of UMNO. Imagine having a future Prime Minister (God forbids, Jose!) articulating such idea!

I hope any of the Bacalah readers (Jose, can you please stop behaving as if there are thousands of readers reading this piece where actually there is none!) can retort such argument!

There are no differences in writing in Jawi, Tamil, and Mandarin or even in Roman as it carries the same meaning for a certain point of depiction. The name Penang Street carries the same denotation even if it spelt in any of the languages.

Does this mean he is disparaging the beauty of those scriptures? Such statement coming from a Minister who is in charge of Arts and Culture is ridiculous indeed. At the same time, it shows his immense ignorance on arts and is an artless person!

The rigidness thinking of the leader is worrisome. How could we achieve the aim of uniting all races into one, when a suggestion to use 3 common languages of the biggest race in Malaysia, has been opposed by a Minister who is supposedly be responsible to unite all Malaysians.

It is also important to note that the city of Georgetown have received the acknowledgment by UNESCO for being one of the historical cities in Malaysia, besides Malacca. Another way of promoting the beautiful Jawi or Tamil and the Mandarin calligraphy is by using it commercially.

In some of the neighbouring countries, the usage of different languages that represent a group of race has become a non-issue. It is not an issue in the first place at all. According to Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng the inclusion of languages other than Malay in signboards applies to only a few streets within the UNESCO heritage zone.

He said the Acheen Street would also have Arabic or Jawi, while streets in Little India would include Tamil.

One should try to look beyond about it and think in a more global view.

I could not tampered my enticement from touching the political issue and with that, forgive me for what I am about to write after this.

Dato’ Seri Syed Hamid Albar, one of the UMNO Vice President Aspirants had proposed a suggestion to allow all UMNO members to vote for the incoming party elections, scheduled next year. This writer had come out the idea and had even written about it in this blog, a couple of years ago.

I have already mentioned in my writing previously that it would be easy to bribe a few of the UMNO goombas to vote for a certain candidate, but a nightmare to try to bribe three million voters!

During the American Presidential election, bribery is legal and political funds had become a norm. Even candidates vying for the Presidential post will compete with each other to determine which of them will get the highest fund raising. However, I am not saying that we should have that kind of system in the local political scene.

My point of argument (Jose, if there is any) is that we should legalize it in Malaysia and the funds that have been collected, should later be donated to those in need, rather that using it personally. Nevertheless, I strongly belief only a foolish man will do such thing. Collecting funds during the campaign and later see the juicy cash went into any of the welfare bodies!

Another topic of discussion, which I believe, would give a spill chining to the National Front is the number of new voters registered with the Election Commision between July and late last month. There are 24,500 new registered voters between the month of July and October and the numbers keeps rising initially. According to the Commission, they also received more than 6,200 applications for change of address at the same time.

In other words, if the National Front is not playing their card well, they could see their number of seats won during the last election will drop tremendously. I am not saying that I would love to see the opposition come into power after the 13th General Election.

I do not mind, personally. But as long as whoever being elected as the government of the day, could able to liberate our beloved country from the downfall of the economy clutches and revived the once glorious Malaysia into the year 2020. (Jose, I have strong doubt we would be able to achieve Vision 2020!)

It’s about time we all should start to think as one and put aside the racial politics. There is no point of having a one race political party when only a group of people has received benefits from that kind of system.

As a conclusion, the future leaders of this great nation should stop wandering and bickering about trivial issues. They should start to try to think in creative ways and have a different set of mind that would enable them to generate the creative thinking and expose them to the outside world. It could enable them to reach beyond the international benchmark and rather being a village fighter (jaguh kampong!).

We need not go to some countries to learn their agricultural technologies. This is an insult to our own specialist in the agricultural field as we have our own people who are are capable of developing our own technology.

Where have the spirits of “Malaysia Boleh” gone?

Kita Kan Tersesat Pabila Malam Menjemput Bulan Semula Ke Sangkar Waktu – The Salam Connection.


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