What 'Excellent' News For The Festive Season!! MPs Using English In Parliament To be Fined.
The Malaysian government's top ethnic Malay language institute said yesterday it may impose fines on lawmakers and officials who use English in Parliament and other formal events without prior approval.
"If there is a need to use words or phrases in English, members of Parliament will have to seek permission to do so," said Noresah Baharom, the language department director at the government's Institute of Language and Literature said in an open letter in the New Straits Times newspaper.
"This is a show of respect for Malay as the national and official language of Malaysia ... DBP will be given a mandate to ensure that `code-switching' and mixing of Malay with other languages does not occur in formal situations," she said in the English language paper, referring to her institute's Malay acronym.
A fine of 1,000 ringgit (US$273) could be imposed on offenders, Noresah said in the letter, but did not specify how the department intends to enforce the regulation.
Most Malaysians speak the national language, Malay, also known as Bahasa Malaysia, but English is widely spoken, even in Parliament. A mishmash of both languages -- known as "Manglish" -- is also commonly used in the former British colony.
Critics have said Malaysia's decision in the 1980s to change most of its school text books from English to Malay has hurt its global competitiveness, and caused English language standards among students to plunge.
Malays form about 60 percent of the population, with ethnic Chinese comprising around 25 percent and Indians making up about 10 percent. Noresah said language mixing would no longer be permitted at "formal meetings." (Taipei Times)
**** Fantastic news indeed eh? The much vaunted privilege of immunity that parliamentarians claim for themselves has literally been thrown out of the Dewan Parlimen by this arrogant woman from the Dewan Bahasa. Who is she may I ask to speak of imposing fines on the use of any language in the hallowed halls of Parliament? When and by whom was she given the authority to arrogate the powers vested in the Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat and the President of the Dewan Negara?
Can someone with an unwarped mind, who can think rationally and is knowledgeable about the workings of the Dewan, like YB Zaid Ibrahim or YB Lim Kit Siang enlighten us on whether what that all-knowing woman said constitutes contempt of Parliament or an attempt to usurp the powers of the legislature? Or perhaps Minister Nazri who always seems to have the last word on matters parliamentary would like to take this sassy broad to task?
Threatening the ordinary citizens with sending the language police or monetary punishment for not showing respect to the national language is one thing but to try the same trick with parliament is to push things too far.
Can someone please tell me how and when this myopic, bird-brained idea of some flawed mind is going to end?