Everything in Malaysia today seem to be so, so race based. Even the Malaysian Film Award Festival is affected although it is a creative industry which should have a certain level of “freedom of expression”.
How far are we taking all this race-based criteria under the guise of controlling language usage?
Let us be consistent in this. How many “Malay” TV dramas have we watched with more than a sprinkling of “Darling, I rasa you neglect I” and “Good morning, I nak adakan meeting management pagi ni“?
These are reflections of reality in today’s society in day-to-day life especially in Kuala Lumpur. Why are these permissible for so long on TV which enters most households where government control is so strong and productions are by government-friendly parties?
If they are so serious about control why not prescribe language “content” of each drama and movie. Is 100 percent or 90 percent or 75 percent the acceptable formula?
Let’s get real on this. Even the late P Ramlee Malay classic films used English in his humour. Remember his “Good morning ladies and gentlemen, tukang besi tukang simen“? We Malaysians loved it.
Malaysia used to pride itself of being a successful melting pot of all races and languages. What type of “pot” are we becoming today? A cracking pot?
What are we going to do about “official and semi-official government programmes with more than a sprinkling of Arabic like- “ana, ente,wasatiah,” just to mention a few. Strictly speaking they are not Bahasa Malaysia.
The question is where or how do we draw the line? Are we going to have dress code next for “religious programmes” where all must wear baju Melayu and not jubah robes or western coats ?
Let’s be very clear where are we heading to today. Satu Malaysia or where are we now?
What is certain now is that we are no longer being inclusive but getting increasingly more exclusive.
This is not in the true spirit of the Islamic teaching of “Rahmatan Lil Alamin“. Oops! Pardon me for using Arabic, which means rahmat untuk sekian alam or rahmat for all – the whole universe.
We have enough problems today and we don’t need to polarise Malaysia further.
Interestingly, both who withdrew from the festival awards are prominent Malay and Muslim personalities. I am sure there are more of the silent majority out there.
We are really tired of race being used to divide, segregate and bully. So are most right-thinking Malaysians.
Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah Raja Ahmad