Off On Topic

Kind of on-topic considering the “English Lessons” that have been hashed out here.

Off-topic because it’s not aviation related.

Be glad we don’t live in Malaysia! Some of us here would be spending a lot of money (including your’s truly on occassion) on fines.

Malaysia to levy fines for poor speech

Thu Oct 5, 7:52 AM ET

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Malaysia will levy fines on those incorrectly using the national language, and will set up a specialized division to weed out offenders who mix Malay with English, news reports said Thursday.

Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Rais Yatim said fines of up to 1,000 ringgit ($271) can be imposed on displays with any wrong or mutated form of Malay, the Star newspaper reported.

The move was to ensure “the national language was not sidelined in any way,” Rais said, according to The Star.

Fines will be imposed after a first warning, the national news agency Bernama quoted Rais as saying.

Most Malaysians speak Malay, also known as Bahasa Malaysia, while English is widely spoken but a mutated form, known as “Manglish” a mishmash of English, Malay and other local dialects is commonly used in the Southeast Asian nation.

The government will attempt to swap commonly used English language words with Malay substitutes, The Star said.

“It has to be admitted that a mixture of Bahasa Malaysia and English sometimes cannot be helped, but we hope these measures can arrest the decline,” Rais said, according to The Star.

He said a national language unit will be set up in an attempt to reduce the English-Malay mix, especially at official functions.

An official at Rais’ ministry, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed his comments as reported.

Critics have said Malaysia’s decision to sideline English in favor of Malay is hurting its global competitiveness level and a downward spiral in English language standards among students.


Somehow Quebec provincial attempts to promote the French language have just popped into my mind. It’s probably very politically incorrect for me to say so.

Though this may not be the stage for this discussion, Bill 101, the Quebec law enacted to preserve the French Language as the primary language of Quebec. It legislated "French only " commercial / road signs, French as the first language of the work place and most importantly, took away the parents choice of Education. If your parents were imigrants to Quebec or French speakers, you HAD to go to French Language school. These laws were enforced by the " Language Police " and many many fines were handed out. This lead to an out migration of English speaking families and resulted in a severe brain drain and ultimate decay of the economies of Montreal and the Eastern Townships ( borders on Vermont and New Hampshire. )

Bill 101 has since been watered down but is every bit as controversial today as it was in the 1980’s.

Malaysia is trying to prevent the corruption of its native language. I think Malaysia would like to see both languages work side by side. Both spoken with knowledge and presision.

…and in conclusion, discussion should not be quashed just because it may be deemed politically incorrect.

Just take the discussions we all had on the " war on terror " just after 911 for example. There was none. Whether we were American or Canadian, any discussion on the matter was very one sided at the expense of facts and ideas for alternative action. " Either you are with us, or the terrorists" How do you argue with that statement?