Sunday, July 30, 2006

What's In A Name? Plenty!

The National Registration Department has 'outlawed' the use of certain names for newborns. The idea is to save the babies from possible embarrassment when they grow up.

This is in fact a very good idea as previously, some parents with God knows what they had in mind, gave their kids the most ridiculous of names.

Among the no-no names for Malays are Zaniah (female adulterer) and Woti (sexual intercourse). Zani is a male adulterer.

While it is crass to name your son, Ah Kow (dog), the department has also Ah Gong (unsound mind), Chai Too (pig), Kai Chai(chick) and Sum Seng (gangster) on its "undesirable list".

Besides Karruppan (black fellow), other Indian names which are quite "colourful" are in the undesirable list, like Sivappi and Vellayan (both meaning fair), and Amma-kannu (mother’s eye).

To be fair the list was not compiled by the department but given to them by various authorities. Among them were the Buddhist Missionary Society of Malaysia, the Malaysian Hindu Sangam and the Universiti Malaya Tamil Language Association.

Apparently the "undesirable" names were popular with the Chinese community decades ago as some believed they could ward off evil spirits and bad luck.

Many adult Indians had approached the Malaysian Hindu Sangam for recommendation letters to have their names changed.They were unhappy with the names given by their parents, so they approached the body for help.

In the case of Muslim babies, the parents will be referred to the Islamic Affairs Department if the name does not sound right. Again, the department can only advise them, but if they are insistent even after knowing they are unsuitable, they may be allowed to use them.

Besides names of dictators like Adolf Hitler and Stalin, these adults had grown up being teased in school for being named after natural disasters, vehicles, household items and countries.

Parents are not allowed to name their babies after animals, insects, fruits, vegetables or colours. It looks like we will not be having babies named after Amber Chia.

Naming your baby Hitam or Putih is not allowed. Similarly, you can’t call him Zero Zero Seven, 001 or K7. You will be surprised to know we have Malaysians named after Japanese car makes. Sorry, there will be no Honda Tan, or Suzuki Lim.

Malaysians are also not allowed to register initials with the names of their new born. Examples are M.S. Krishnan, T.M.S. Mohamed Ghany and T.M. George.

Sorry, if you are not royalty, you cannot name your offspring with royal-sounding titles like Raja, Tengku or Tunku. These titles are only allowed for members of the royal family. You will also have to prove your lineage if you want your child to carry the prefix Ungku, Engku, Ku, Syed or Syarifah to your name.

Names with officials titles such as Tun, Tan Sri or Dato’ Wira Jaya, Haji, Nabi, Rasul, Guru, Ustaz and Hakim are also out. (NST)

On a personal note I've been told that one of my uncles had wanted to name a newborn cousin of mine as Apollo 11!! On being overruled by the family he had tried his luck again and attempted to name him Joe Frazier! When rejected twice he gave up and entrusted the name selection to my aunt. The cousin is ever grateful to his mom for giving him a 'normal' name.


Blogger Yung Jie said...

How about Lee Kee Si ?! XD

Sorry that's a name from Jack Neo's "Money's Not Enough". No offence, just a suggestion about what chinese name will be banned.

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