12, Jalan Bodek
My dear dear Yang Sangat Berhormat Mr Loh,
Congratulations on your most worthy victory in the recent general election. My cousin (from my mother’s side) who voted for you in Kelana Jaya has been ecstatic with sheer joy and honour at the privilege of having you as his parliamentary representative.
However, he and I have been extremely incensed by the outrageous and undoubtedly jealous rumour that your most honourable father paid for your seat. This is plain ridiculous when you are a PKR member, no doubt only for one week just prior to the election as you had mentioned in an interview with Malaysiakini, but nonetheless incontrovertible proof of your rightful and deserving eligibility to be nominated by the party.
I attribute this malicious rumour-mongering as typical insidious BN lies, no doubt spread by now-unemployed female liars who constitute 80% of the notorious cybertroopers.
Indeed, how dare Malaysiakini even raised that question when they should know better than to question anything about your pristinely perfect party, with your famed fantastic and fabulous reformasi leader, who had personally invited you to contest in Kelana Jaya, on recognizing your talents, potentials and assets (as a politician of course).
But if Malaysiakini is good for anything, it has at least published your comments as follows:
But when I met Anwar he asked why don’t I join the (party and contest in the) election? That became something more substantial as opposed to going back home and hide under my shell. I told Anwar that if you think we can contribute, then I am at your service. He said, "I think you can" so the next was to look at our areas and he asked, "Why don’t you go to Kelana Jaya?" Then I thought yeah, we can do this.
A good worthy quote – though spoilt somewhat by Malaysiakini’s grammatical error in not using the continuous tense of ‘hide’ to ensure consistency of grammatical employment. Anyway, as we can analyze from that quote, there was a whole lot of ‘thinking’ by both Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and you in your selection and gracious acceptance.
I have been so impressed by your frank confession that you have problems with Bahasa Malaysia, and that you intend to quickly bring your Bahasa up to speed in order to be able to contribute meaningfully to parliamentary debate.
Yang Berhormat, do not fret over such an easily manageable issue; if you may permit, I like to add a word of encouragement. Please remember Yang Berhormat, despite your (temporary only, of course) lack of Bahasa proficiency to deliver speeches in parliament or to debate issues in that hallowed house, you were personally chosen by none other than Datuk Seri to be the party’s representative for Kelana Jaya.
His confidence in you is the sole important factor. And indeed, such must be his confidence that he personally persuaded you to enroll as a member in his party just a week prior to the elections, when you were then nominated to stand for that federal seat. Many have been envious of that, which in a way could explain those nonsensical rumours of your father paying for your selection as the party’s parliamentary candidate for Kelana Jaya.
I salute your proactive intention to bring your Bahasa A.S.A.P up to speed. Let me assure you that some parliamentarians have been known not to be even able to say what you already can, like, as Malaysiakini reported, “… go the stall and buy stuff, order food in a mamak …”.
By the way, may I just say you made such an endearing confession that I would advise you not to hesitate reusing those words, to disarm and win people over.
Now, to the purpose of my letter - It just so happens that I can offer you some support in the matter of the Bahasa. I propose to do this as a two pronged strategy. This brief is only exploratory. Please do consider whether my plan can be of some help to you. If so, we can subsequently discuss our collaboration in greater details.
Firstly, we must enable you to get several of those ‘Master this or that language in 24 hours’ programs. Virtually everyone knows that with modern technology all sorts of languages can be mastered in a mere 24 hours. If one does not manage that, namely, master a language within 24 hours, the fault usually lies with the technology rather than the difficulties of a language. The obvious remedy is to take another 24 hours, etcetera. A catalogue of language software programs from my Dodgee Bookstores outlet (with its generous discount offer to Parliamentarians) is already in the mail to you.
If I may digress slightly to provide more encouragement to you, I am planning to make, through my Dodgee Documentary DVD Department, a series of motivational documentaries on fast track achievements. In today’s world where everyone is fascinated with, and wants to fast track everything (even in corruption), there is a market for quickie glories such as “Lose 10 kilograms in 3 days” or “Be a Kungfu Master in 7 days” or “Be a millionaire in 3 months” or "Speed Reading", etc. Thus fast learning a language is not un-do-able.
Perhaps later, once you have settled down in your lawmaking duties, we could make an inspiring documentary on you, with the catchy title of “14 minutes from photographer to parliamentarian.” If you do not like that tentative title, we can discuss.
Continuing with my proposal, in the second prong of my visualized strategy for you, my team at Dodgee Con-Sultan e-Solutions will develop a special package. This will be for you to raise as an opposition motion in the Dewan Rakyat.
Not meaning to trumpet, the brilliance of this strategy is so staggering that you will be the envy of your colleagues including Datuk Seri. They will wonder why they have not thought of it.
We will have you passing a motion to re-introduce the e-tanda back into our Bahasa Malaysia, or better, we will also have you at the same time escalating a demand that our national language be reverted to its proper title of Bahasa Melayu.
In one fell swoop, you will (1) put the UMNO (and other) nationalistic conservatives on the defensive with such patriotic issues (where we will ensure your speech is nicely spiced up with lots of bangsa and negara), (2) camouflage your current (just temporary, of course) lack of Bahasa proficiency with the nationalistic fervour you will undoubtedly raise even though you will only be reading (emotionally) from a prepared statement (we will write this for you), and (3) exploit the e-tanda as if it is a modern Internet compatible terminology like the vogue e-commerce, e-business and of course e-solution - this will catch the imagination of the younger voters.
Then our plan continues to unfold as such: Once you have flung that e-bone into the parliamentary arena, you retreat gracefully to high patriotic grounds, sit back quietly and let the language hounds tear themselves silly to shreds over ridiculous linguistic pedantry. And that should see you nicely through until the next parliamentary session, where by then Dodgee Con-Sultan e-Solutions will have develop another special package for you to raise again in the Dewan Rakyat.
Our Dodgee Con-Sultan e-Solutions e-strategy is to keep our client e-xquisitely, e-fficently and e-lusively one step ahead of the ordinary pack.
Now, you may ask what is the e-tanda? Well, it was an additional grapheme in Romanized Bahasa
The e-tanda was written as ě, that is right, basically an e with a diacritic mark. Dr Asmah said that with this ě plus a couple of other linguistic innovations, the Za'aba system provided greater facilitation in reading texts compared to the Wilkinson system.
Personally, though not a linguist, I can see the importance of the e-tanda because without it, as an example, the word ‘Bersih’ if read by a Penangite with a horrible accent like that terrible blogger kaytee, could sound like ‘Beh-sih’ (pronounced ‘Bay say’) which means ‘cannot be cleaned’, totally deforming the very meaning of the word.
There is no mistakening how 'Běrsih' should be pronounced. Such is the importance of the e-tanda.
Alas, it was disgracefully done away with by BN bureacrats in the 1972 Bahasa spelling reforms.
With Dodgee Con-Sultan e-Solutions’ strategy for you to reintroduce the e-tanda as your debut parliamentary motion, you will become an instant national hero.
As nationalistic rational, we will arrange appropriate material for you to argue that the French still have their l’accents aigu (é), grave (è) and circonflexe (ê), la cédille (ç) and le tréma (ë), and likewise the Germans, Vietnamese, Arabs and numerous other nationalities continue to have their linguistic diacritical marks in their written languages.
You will put BN people like Rais Yatim and Hishamuddin Hussein to shame when you (pretend to, of course) rail against BN cultural cringe for accepting the removal of the glorious e-tanda grapheme from our beautiful Bahasa Melayu. In fact I dare say you should be the Shadow Education Minister, one who waves the e-tanda instead of the kěris.
We will prepare stirring phrases for you to fling around in the Dewan Rakyat, like “Sěmangat Za’aba masih hidup”, “Kěunggulan Bahasa Mělayu harus těrjamin”, “e-tanda enak dulu, sěkarang dan esok”, so on so forth – phrases to warm the cockles of the heartland.
And as a contingency plan, when you sense any lukewarm or faltering reception to your stirring phrases mentioned above, you throw in the secret weapon we will prepare, which will be ‘Něgara, Bangsa dan Grammar’.
That will surely shake those complacent BN neocons who have thus far foolishly imagined they have a monopoly on issues of nationalism.
Yes sir, your Kelana Jaya predecessor and ch’in lang Loh Kok Seng might have been a hero only on one side of the ‘divide’ for demanding historic correction, but you will be a hero on both sides for displaying histrionic correctness.
I anxiously and eagerly await Yang Berhormat’s indulgence in considering Dodgee Con-Sultan e-Solutions’ proposed enrichment program for your parliamentary career.
Tuliskanlah Bahasa Mělayu
p/s apart from my Dodgee Con-Sultan e-Solutions, my other company Dodgee Electronics carries an impressive range of items that can be useful to your needs, such as GPS, iPODS, Camrecorder, etc – all available with the usual concession to Parliamentarians.
The Yum-Cha Chronicles:
(1) Apology - A letter to the minister
(2) Bloggers - A letter to the ministry
(3) Drama queens & kings wanted
(4) May 13 Book - a letter to the minister
(5) Appreciation - a letter to the minister
(6) Goblok to Golek - a letter to the minister
(7) MGR-ish makeover - a letter to a minister