Part of the Do'a Iftitah

"Verily my solats, my ibadah, my life and my death I surrender to Almighty Allah, Creator and Lord of all the worlds. Never will I associate anything with Him. So am I commanded and I am of those who are Muslims."

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

When scholars screw up in misunderstanding English quotes!

A major problem with most of our Malaysian politicians, leaders and said to be academicians or those who are deemed to be scholars are that they are seriously lacking in their grasp and understanding of the English language.

Many of Malaysia's current batch of political leaders lack the finesse in being able to interpret and decipher simple quotes made in English by those who are their political adversaries.

I usually try to stay away from commenting when such screw ups involve those who are notorious for making nonsensical statements which often come from basically the whole Malaysian political diaspora.

Its not worth my time so to speak and I just wish for such diarrhea of the lip to dissipate and blow over. Not beneficial to dwell on the obvious. A large majority of the Malaysian politicians are generally not gifted with the gift of the intellectual gab and consist more of those who made the most of their apple polishing skills and climbed up the rungs of their chosen political party's ladder.

I can't for the life of me expect to see duds turn overnight into diamonds. I as well as millions of other of my fellow citizens who know the kind of 'leaders' this country is doomed with just try to mind our own business and live out our lives with the dimwits we are straddled with and hope for something better to one day crop up and make our day.

Yet when a scholar whom I respect very much for his Islamic knowledge and a personality that all this while stayed above the fray decided to speak about what Tun Dr.Mahathir Mohamed Iskandar, Malaysia's 4th Premier quoted recently about asking Malaysians to stick to the devils that they know instead of opting for the angels they don't, it saddened me and forced to share my despair that we are now genuinely screwed.

Malaysia my dear readers is truly in a quandary. There's a serious lack of people whom we can trust and depend on to know how to differentiate between the chaff and the grain. The problem lies in how this country's education system has been mismanaged and ruined. Each and every Prime Minister almost always wants to leave his legacy as the saying goes.

To show that he knows better, the Prime Minister and his chosen Education Minister will shove down unto us their chosen national education policy and excepting Tun Dr Mahathir, they almost always alienate the English education syllabus to be that of a level way below that of the British hallmark that once produced eloquent speakers and orators whom the nation once was proud of.

Today we have people like Nik Aziz and Harun Din plus many other leaders of the Malaysian Opposition misunderstanding what the general English understanding world knows to be the true meanings of what Mahathir really meant when he spoke in jest about sticking to the 'devils' that we know instead of ending up with those deemed to be 'angels' when voting in the coming 13th Malaysian General Elections?

I have long dismissed Nik Aziz's rants and raves to be that of an ageing megalomaniac stuck in his ways imagining himself and his ilk to be the chosen ones who can dictate to us as to who goes to hell or heaven? 

Thus I try to look the other way when his gob-speak is often headlined in this country's 'news'papers the next day and often bandied about till such 'news' goes stale like 'beating a dead horse' and decomposes into another meaningless issue that this country's media thought of being newsworthy.

Dato Dr Harun Din has long been silent by not responding to the many issues that have been trashed about as national news and views. All these while, I had been thinking that here's a man who knows to stay clear from such petty issues and speaks  only when it is necessary of him when anything concerning Islam or that which needs his help to clear the confusion.

I have been wrong. He himself is not free from error and has also succumbed to the malady which seems to plague most of this country's politicians. That which involves lacking rationality and knowing in depth about a subject or topic but still want to have their opinions aired or published, no matter what! 

Its more of a delirium into thinking that anything which concerns reference to the devil to be that which is dark and evil and ought to be commented upon no matter what!

I am not trying to be a 'devil's advocate' here but am just sharing out loud my dissatisfaction in seeing Dato Dr Harun Din himself getting drawn into the latest shit stirring orchestrated by those who have a tendency to turn non issues into tomorrow's newspaper headlines!

It all boils down to lacking a higher level of English Knowledge in one's education. I for one am a very passionate and concerned citizen who loves this country and all that we hold near and dear. Malaysia has a history of once being ruled by the British and whether we like it or not do have a need to master their language which is now the international lingua franca that transcends all borders.

By not being skillful in English and knowing its intricacies in depth, my friend and mentor the scholar Dato Dr Harun Din alHaj whom I respect for his Islamic knowledge, has done himself a disservice by drawing to such a conclusion that Tun Dr Mahathir is in need to repent for 'calling others to trust in the devil' by using such a phrase.

Tun Dr Mahathir might be many things but he is not a devil worshiper. He might be a secularist but satanist he surely is not. We need to be careful in branding anyone to be something he or she is not for it will come and kick us back in our ass if we are wrong?

I call upon my dear friend Dato Dr Harun Din to retract his statement which has been published in the media and refrain from speaking on the matter which is more of a media concoction into misleading the ill informed into concluding that the BN are the very devil that Mahathir is inferring to and that the Opposition are the angels he seems to refer by his quote.

We all know that so called haloed beings can still screw us with a smile and that's something this nation has learned of in the past few years or in the last decade!

Learn English for what it is and not what some folks deem it literally to be! There's more to the language than to just take it verbatim. It would be wise to have true British teachers return here to Malaysia and teach English Literature instead of settling down by having some half baked tutors teach our people what they deem to be English?

This has taken place in India which was once ruled by the British from 1757 to 1947! Watch this:


190 over years under British rule and most Indians have still not mastered the English language because India prides itself with all things Indian like 'Jai Hind! Vande Mataram' and other patriotic sloganeering!

I have no problems with that but that does not seem to help them in knowing how to speak good English! It causes them to convey the wrong message when they attempt to speak in the world's internationally accepted language.

Here's another hilarious video showing how an Indian call center operator screws up things by just referring to manuals and printed sample texts but does not really understand what he is talking about to US customers:


Over here in Malaysia, those of us who grew up in post British Colonial times were schooled under the British educational system and have come to a level of understanding English quite well. I for one am also quite well versed in Malay, our national language. It doesn't make me less Malaysian because I speak and express myself well in our former colonialists language, does it?

Malaysians would do well if we return to what we once enjoyed? The best of both worlds. 
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