Navy Conducts Contest To Name Malaysian Submarines. Do Terms And Conditions Apply?
The contest, with a total cash prize of RM5,000, is divided into two parts with the first part involved naming the first submarine and the main prize is RM2,500. The second part is to name the second submarine with RM2,500 as the top prize.
Defence Ministry's navy headquarters public relations officer Lieutenant Masliza Maaris said five consolation prizes in the form of TLDM souvenirs worth RM100 each would also be given out for each part of the contest. "TLDM is giving the honour to the public as the Scorpene submarines will be the country's first submarines and TLDM's strategic assets," she said.
Masliza said contestants must provide background information as well as the rationale for their suggested names for the submarines. "For example, TLDN has named its battleships after national heroes, national and state figures, and so on," she said.
Entry forms for the contest can be downloaded at the http://www.navy.mod.gov.my website and the closing date for entries is Dec 30. The competition is open to all Malaysians and contestants can send as many entries as they want. Joint entries are also allowed.
**** Those are the details that can be revealed. But what about the fine print? Are there some microscopic 'exclusions' which we can't see or not supposed to notice or even if we do, are not supposed to voice out, as Najib would prefer? For example if given a choice between a national pioneer and founder like Yap Ah Loy and a current state figure like Khir Toyo, which would the RMN find acceptable? A Chinese who has centuries-old connections here or the son of a Johhny-come-lately Indon immigrant?(BTW does the RMN really have the power to decide or some Umno politician decides for them?)
What if I were to nominate the late Tan Sri Manickavasagan, the then Minister of Transport who risked his life and went into the US Embassy in KL to successfully negotiate with the terrorists after it was hijacked by the Japanese Red Army, while the Home Minister conveniently hid in the background? Will he be acceptable as a Malaysian hero or will his name be considered either too long or not sufficiently 'appropriate?' Will his nomination be considered less acceptable when compared with say the Klang palace builder Datuk Zainal @ Zakaria Deros?
I've always harboured great doubts regarding the naming of public buildings, monuments and properties. It is inevitably hijacked by the narrow-minded and the jaundice-eyed. Why even the police dogs of the seventies were not spared! While even the house pet then was named 'Tiger' or 'Killer' our ferocious canine cops were named after Malaysian fruits! 'Duku' and 'Langsat' were the more well known ones then. Which rambutan-brain thought of that idea I still don't know.
My personal nomination at this point in time would be among others, Datuk Dr. Jemilah Mahmood of Mercy Malaysia.
In any case we still have time. After all the submarines arrive here only in 2009. There will be a general election before that. The victors of that election will really decide the final naming. I wonder what names PAS will think up if it should win?In the meanwhile you can give free rein to your imagination and genius by suggesting a couple of interesting names here.