"Munsyi Bahasa" - Language Police, Spy Or Snitch?
Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said Wednesday that the Cabinet had agreed to empower the DBP to fine 'language pollutants' in the country.
Asked how the DBP would monitor language pollution, Firdaus said the agency would use its existing network of 159 "munsyi bahasa" -- teachers or writers registered with the DBP -- nationwide to report on any public signboard found to be using incorrect language. "We want to stress here that even though we are empowered to punish language pollutants, we will only take punitive action as the last resort."
Meanwhile, the Malaysian Federation of National Writers Associations (Gapena) welcomed the move to penalise those found polluting and not respecting the national language. The Peninsular Malay Students Federation's culture, arts and heritage chairman Mohd Faizal Mohd Salleh said in a statement that the government's move would strengthen the role, status and competitiveness of the national language.
**** As expected the usual players in this charade who can always be depended upon to give their unsolicited support, like Gapena and GPMS, have come out of the woodwork. They are known nuisances. However the new kid on the block is a bit of a surprise - "munsyi bahasa!" This is the first time I've come across this rather cute term. Has a certain intellectual ring to it.
I wonder how these munsyis will operate? Will they be walking around from shoplot to shoplot, portable camera in hand, ready to film any evidence of 'pollution' of the pristine DBP interpretation of Malay? Will they openly record any defiling of our national language in the presence of the filthy polluter or like Maxwell Smart will they very cleverly put on RayBan glasses and take quick snapshots when they think that the contaminating criminal is not watching? Will they be given police protection in case the bahasa defiler decides to beat up our munsyi bahasa?
On the question of 'logistics' will transport be provided or will the munsyi have to ride his own motosikal or take the bus? Will they be trained on how to use cameras? Has the issue of hazard allowance, overtime rates and mileage claims been sorted out? 159 munsyi bahasa is too small a number to spy on the millions of language polluters shamelessly walking free in our country. Why not lobby Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim to lean on the PSC to approve at least ten thousand more posts? That way we can simultaneously ease our unemployed graduates problem too.
Will there be lady munsyi bahasa on DBP's spy team? Will they be accompanied by other ladies or God forbid, will there be men as well? I shudder to think of the consequences. And finally a question to the lucky munsyi who gets to spy on the filth in Malacca. Who would you blame, warn or take to task for the prominent roadsigns there which state Jalan Munshi Abdullah?