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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Keling-A Word So Offensive that DBP is getting sued for it!

Assalamualaikum and Good Afternoon,

Frankly speaking, I think it is a case that has been left brewing too late by the 'defenders and custodians' of Malaysian born Indians sense of self dignity, pride and honour all these years due to the ball carrying mentality of its so called leaders and heads of the Malaysian Indians and Indian Muslims society!

All these years, the Indians and the Mamaks @ Indian Muslims just kept their pride in check and played footsie with the Malays for fear of retribution by way of economic sanctions and denial of place in the higher echelons of the Malaysian political scene.

Whomsoever dared to 'rock the boat' or show 'terrer' will immediately see themselves be set upon , chewed to a pulp and spit out as 'gone cases' political hasbeens and find themselves in the Malaysian political wilderness as experienced by so many before them.

The first and second generation Indians and Indian Muslims were very much a subservient lot who always toed the line that the Malay Nationalists in UMNO set that this offensive and derogatory term 'keling' that was used so frequently by the racists in the Malay community came to be taken for granted as a common term to call the Indians and the Indian Muslims of yesteryears.

I am talking about the 50's, 60's and 70's era. Those days , the denizens of the Malaysian Indian and Indian Muslims societies played dumb, deaf and ignorant of the racial slur being used against them by the racists in the Malay society from then till the present moment.

The Indians, whether consisting of the Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs have always been sidelined when it came to progressing because the leaders of the communities always have been taking care of their own fortunes and neglecting the people they are supposed to represent.

The Indian Muslims in Penang have had to fend for themselves and only those few who tried to assimilate themselves into the Penang UMNO and who had political aspirations have achieved any sense of self enrichment at the expense of the majority of the Penang Mamaks.

Many of the Indian Muslims in Penang hover between the poverty line and only a very small part of the population have any semblance of being well to do. These are the few Indian Muslim Jewellers found near the Masjid Kapitan Keling area and those doing the shipping stevedoring and ship chandlers business since the Colonial times.

Most Penang Mamaks live a very frugal life and life has been hard for them.

To add insult to injury, the idiots running the Dewan Bahasa and Pustaka so irresponsibly insult these poor folks with a term so offensive that today some of the latter day Indians and Indian Muslims have had enough and are suing the racists sitting so smugly over there in the towering Dewan Bahasa and Pustaka thinking that it's okay to call people 'keling' this and that!

It is so unbecoming for the DBP fellas from a race that is supposed to portray fine culture and tradition of being hospitable and mild mannered over the centuries to be so bloody adamant in sticking to their usage of such an offensive term and thinking that they have a right to call the Indians and the Indian Muslims so!

This is plainly a case of the fellows in the Dewan Bahasa and Pustaka of being ' kurang ajar!' The Malay proverb of 'Orang berbudi ; kita berbahasa' is lost on these guys!

Do the Malays know that they themselves are not really being put up on a pedestal by the Malaysian Chinese populations all these while?

Well, let me open them up to the reality of what the Hokkiens call them. 'Huan na!' literally meaning ' Jungle people' ! :D There you have it ! To those working in Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, I think it fits them to a 'T'. Don't you agree?

Only people with no manners and sense of decorum will think that it's okay to print and publish such official dictionaries of the Malay language calling their fellow Malaysians such offensive and derogatory terms ; hence I hope that they are happy being called as 'Jungle people' by the Hokkien Chinese of Malaysia.

The Chinese go a step further and call themselves as 'Thng Lang' @ 'Sweet People'. They too call the Indians 'Kalinga' meaning ' people from Kaling - a term they use for India. But the Malays in the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka use the term in a derogatory fashion with the added terminology of 'Keling Mabuk' @ Drunken Kelings, 'Keling Mabuk Todi' @ 'Drunk with Toddy Kelings, 'Keling Karam' @ Drowning Kelings, etcetera!

This is not healthy for nation building! The racist idiots using such derogaratory terms ought to retract the terms from their publications and apologise to the Indian and Indian Muslim communities in Malaysia!

What kind of a bloody vulgar example are these idiots in the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka trying to show to the young ones in our multi ethnic, multi cultural and multi faithed society in Malaysia?

This is just like the racist whites in America calling the Blacks in their country as 'niggers'! Many lifes have been lost as a result of folks getting incensed by such derogatory name callings!

Are the insolent chaps at DBP out to stir trouble by their arrogant refusal to oblige their fellow citizens and stick to their insulting ways in publishing such 'kurang ajar' terms in their dictionaries?

I call upon the ones responsible to allow and approve for publishing such offensive terms to withdraw and retract such terms immediately failing which, then be prepared for tit for tat insults coming to you in the future by the latter day generations of the Indians and the Indian Muslim communities of this land who wouldn't waste a minute in giving you back a taste of the same insulting manner set forth here by the likes of the 'kurang ajar' you!

Here is a report in the newspapers recently. This is taken from The Star Online.

"Suit against DBP over use of word set aside

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here allowed the application of Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) and its director-general to put aside the suit filed against the organisation over the use of the word keling in its dictionary by the Angkatan Pelopor India Muslim Selangor and Federal Territory (Apim).

The word was found in Kamus Dewan and was alleged to have humiliated the Indian community in the country.

Senior assistant registrar Nik Isfahanie Tasnim Wan Abdul Rahman made the ruling in her chambers yesterday.

Apim's counsel Priyadarshni Nair, when met by reporters, said an appeal would be filed against the decision.

On Dec 22 last year, Apim chairman Ramli @ Mohd Othman Ravinthranath Abdullah filed a suit against DBP and several others in connection with the word.

He applied for an announcement to be made that DBP had failed in its statutory duty and responsibility by acknowledging and allowing the word keling, keling karam, keling mabuk todi and keling pelikat to be published in the Kamus Dewan.

Ramli asked for damages to be decided by the court because the word brought shame and humiliation to, and degraded, the Indian community in the country.

Ramli applied that the word keling be taken out of the dictionary.

DBP deputy director-general Abu Bakar Mohamad, in his supporting affidavit, had said the DBP did not contravene any law according to Section 4 of the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 (Amended 1997) in publishing the third edition of Kamus Dewan. – Bernama"

This idiot in the form of the DBP DG ought to be pelted with rotten eggs and left to dry, tied up in the hot blazing sun at Dataran Merdeka's flagpole base.

He ought to be skewered for his idiotic stand in continuing the insulting offensive against his fellow Malaysians! What do you think? Can we allow this insulting behaviour by the DBP to go on?


lc teh said...

you wrote:
'Huan na!' literally meaning ' Jungle people' - wrong.
"Huan"'s acceptable meaning is 'direction' or 'change'. In the case of people, it can mean 'different'. Therefore the term, "Huan na" should be taken as 'Child of different people (strangers)'. In the case of the mainland Hokkien Chinese, they regard all those living beyond their borders as 'Huan na'. They even refer to overseas Chinese in the same terms and not just the Malays.

'Thng Lang' @ 'Sweet People' - wrong again.
Overseas Chinese refer to China as 'Thng snua' (long mountains). Therefore people from 'Thng snua' become 'thng lang' or short form for people from the long mountains. Nothing to do with being sweet. Far from it.

My above definitions are from my own understanding & knowledge of spoken Hokkien. Perhaps others can offer more accurate definitions.

mahaguru58 said...

Kam sia lu ar taikor.

Wa ey Hokkien pun minsi gao ey!

Tampok tampok ey say aa.

Thanks for sharing your understandings.

pgoh said...

My dear fellow countryman,
Sometimes when we are emotionally stirred we don't see things clearly anymore. I'm afraid this could be your case (kindly excuse me for saying so but I say this without any bad feelings I can assure you). Being a half-past-six lexicographer myself (I'm offering my English-Malay Online Dictionary free) I must say that a lexicographer's role is simply that of giving the meaning of a word that is frequently in use. The question that enters a lexicographer's mind is whether a word is used widely enough to warrant its inclusion in his dictionary, that's all. The moral aspect of it is not part of a lexicographer's makeup, I can assure you. If a word is often used he would like the user to be able to find the meaning in his dictionary. And as his objective is to make his dictionary as comprehensive as possible he would decide, on this basis alone, to put it in. To give you an example, I did hesitate whether I should include naughty words in my dictionary. I finally did. But then, as I said, a lexicographer's role is not that of a keeper of morals.
By the way I've checked with DBP's fourth edition of Kamus Dewan and found that they have withdrawn the terms keling karam and keling mabuk todi. This showed that they have not been insensitive to the feelings of those who felt hurt by them and we should leave things as they are.
As I see it the solution is not to get the word keling out of the DBP dictionary. The only real solution is for everyone to stop using the term keling since it has a pejorative connotation to a particular race. When everyone stops using the word it would fall into disuse. And when this happens the word would automatically not find its place in any dictionary.

mahaguru58 said...

Thanks for updating me Mr Goh.

I appreciate the feedback.

Thank God that the DBP have corrected their oversights on the issue.

Let's hope no more such insensitive actions take place in the future.

Happy Chinese New Year to all my Chinese readers!

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

pgoh said...

Dear Mahaguru58,
I am glad you are open enough to accept what I said. Thank you. In fact having an open mind and being able to see both sides of a question are the hallmarks of a good blogger.
Like me I think you like to be objective, though each one of us is objective in his own way. I on my part was not trying to defend the DBP at all (they have their lawyers to do that) but just trying to be fair to their lexicographers.

mahaguru58 said...


Being a decent blogger means having the insight to know what is constructive criticism and what is plain hogwash.

Some criticise just to show others that they are better than them and they are the perfect ones.

I abhor such smart alecs and will never allow them room in my blog.

I consider you to be a constructive critic thats why I allowed your comment through.

I appreciate such beneficial comments for it helps build up our database.

Plan stupid and idiotic comments won't do anyone no good hence I nip such useless diatribe and thrash them straight to the dustbins of the web, el pronto.

As far as the DBP are concerned, they do screw up every now and then, hence the need for us to point out to them their slip ups.

As far as our society is concerned, we expect the DBP to be fair to everyone and see to it that their lexicographers or any other fancy sounding names they wanna call themselves do not screw it up again and again through the years!

Let's close the subject, thank you.

pgoh said...

I cannot agree with you more!
Happy blogging.

barramundi said...

Thng Lang is not sweet or long mountain ..
It's a old reference to "chinese" or Tang dynasty
Means "people of Tang".
The sound Thng might not sound the same with many variants of hokkien thus leading to confusion.