Monday, August 4, 2014



Language is a funny thing. 
It allows you the privilege to consider and administer new ideas based upon the structural formulations of that languages' grammar and word construction but at the same time it also allows (some) individuals minds to be limited - or expanded, by the very words and language within which the concept resides and is used.
It is worth noting that at this point most normal readers would lose interest in reading further given the type of words used!
Many men and women of note (or those who wants to be noted) with great ideas often tabulate and present their ideas upon the unsuspecting masses as a new ideology using the gift of language and explain it away using the emotional attachments/ linkage words and structure to give the ideas and concepts weight and gravity.

In my life and experiences, the dreams I have are in this language you are now reading although my mother tongue should be Chinese and Tamil (Father's side); and ideally the 13 years of National School tutelage should nominally make it be Malay, but somehow or rather it stuck on me that I should find expression best in this language.
How that differentiates me in thinking and thus manner from the usual brethren of my social circle is often a predicament that over the years has crossed both sides of the emotive chart as people I encounter often peg me in their respective minds as either one of them or not one of them which often results in ridiculous situations arising out of these assumptions.

But,I am digressing. To revert back to the issue at hand, a simple example of how the area where the most striking evidence for the influence of language on patterns of thought is the  act of describing spatial differences ( space) to another person — how we describe the orientation of the world around us. 

Suppose you want to give someone directions to get to your house. 
You might say: “After the traffic light, take the first left, then the second right, and then you’ll see a white house in front of you. Our door is on the right.” But in theory, you could also say: “After the traffic lights, drive north, and then on the second crossing drive east and you’ll see a white house directly to the east.
Ours is the southern door.”

These two sets of directions may describe the same route, but they rely on different systems of coordinates. The first uses egocentric coordinates, which depend on our own bodies: a left-right axis and a front-back axis relative to it. 
The second system uses fixed geographic directions, which do not rotate with us wherever we turn.
Now imagine if you will, in a country of 27 million different people of myriad beliefs with different levels of language usage and understanding how certain simple requests or reactions can/would inflame the fragile egos of the other various individuals and communities; that is ill equipped / prepared to tolerate such remarks or requests; if  it is not peppered with the correct social decorum / platform.

Though harm or insult is never intended, but nonetheless some styles of a person’s request can be deemed infringing on another’s life choice although mind you,on a different outlook, given how over the last 54 years our elders and even theirs before them, have lived amicably with even lesser knowledge and intimations; this represents (to me at least) the remarkable adaptability and forgiving nature of our sociological make up and national social structure whereby the not familiar is still accepted and allowed to grow & prosper in peace !

It would appear, to me at least, that the greatest foe to our national strength and solidarity nowadays seems to be misplaced fear. 

Fear of being maligned; fear of losing out .

Left unchecked though, once these fears are entertained, and is normally fueled by the various egregious actions and reactions of a certain political sorts, over time, the subliminal parochial language patterns (name calling, racial slurs,etc) and it's connotations on these various communities fears would have imposed on impressionable young minds, either by society or parents; an unreasonable view of their own individual & immediate woes and problems which would be later tinged with a racial platform.

Eventually these little observed intolerances would lead those with a different mother tongue to see the animated world through lenses tinted with associations and emotional responses that are always racially conceived. 

These would gradually grow into differences of  interpretation/opinion when the two separated worlds of either Tamil,Chinese,Malay & English language speaker later meet and engage with each other.
A collision of cultures and expectations so to speak.

Which makes the current peace and stability this country has preserved, practiced and makes customary amongst its people of all races, customs and religion all the more precious, remarkable and worthwhile to cherish ever after.

Even though our country’s individual; cultural and ideological stances are many and could often grate the others in ways we cannot always identify; Malaysians as a whole have accept this difference as part and parcel of our culture within this country.

This heritage of our fore fathers are the cultural and sociological treasures that we must never unlearn nor choose to disregard, for we do it at the peril of ourselves and of our loved ones future.

Blog Archive



"Rojak " Video By The Suleiman Brothers

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The Malacca Story (Chinese version)

with courtesy to asmaliana-BPP

The Malacca Story (part 2)

The Malacca Story (part 3)

With courtesy to Asmaliana-BPP