Mahathir says Chinese papers should be in Malay
Posted by admin
Saturday, 22 August 2009 01:44
By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal, The Malaysian Insider
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad suggested today that Chinese and other vernacular newspapers be translated into the national language to avoid any misunderstanding and to promote better race relations.
In addressing the issue of the recent heightened race rhetoric in various print media, the former prime minister said racial issues occurred because there was a lack of understanding in the medium of languages, specifically in Chinese newspapers.
“While Chinese people understand Malay language newspapers, most Malays don’t understand the Chinese press. Sometimes when the Chinese press say something harmful, people will not get the idea because of the lack of understanding,” said Mahathir.
He was referring to a recent public outcry concerning racial remarks in Utusan Malaysia and Chinese newspapers Nanyang Siang Pau and Sin Chew Daily.
However, the tone has become sharply provocative in the case of the Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia who have embarked on a campaign to reclaim the Muslim-Malay ground by branding segments of the community aligned with the opposition as traitors to the race and Islam.
Analysts note that this is a strategy to lure back Malays who abandoned Umno in the last election and force sections within PAS to question their allegiance to Pakatan Rakyat (PR).
The upcoming by-election is also a catalyst to Utusan’s growing racial slants.
Dear Dr., for your information, Oriental Daily has a fabulous daily column that translates editorials from Utusan Malaysia and Berita Harian.
I once read Utusan Malaysia back in the 1980s so that I could prepare for my SPM but stopped reading Utusan Malaysia after 3 days as I vomited after reading those lop-sided opinion. I switched to Bacaria and those lovely articles like "...aku meronta-ronta namun tenaga kegadisanku tak dapat menahan kemaraannya...: Mind you, I scored very well in my BM paper.
As a read of Chinese newspapers for decades, I can vouch that any articles in Chinese daily that carries view points from a racial perspective, which is not that many but inevitable since we racialise everything in Malaysia, are considerably more rational and objective.
It is suicidal for any Chinese newspaper in Malaysia to be aggressively, emotionally and illogically voicing out in a racist and irresponsible manner. Don't worry, the Chinese readers themselves would give negative feedback to the Chinese pres if this sort of stupidity ever happens. Given the Chinamen's main concern is peace, harmony and make money, this is entirely comprehensible.
Dear Dr., in order to promote "better racial relations" it is more important to stress on what is written, rather than what language it is written in. I am sure good old Awang Selamat thinks a lot about us non-Malay when he pens his article that is widely read in Malaysia.
However, it will be nice also for Malays to be able to read correctly translated Chinese newspapers as Utusan sometimes can miss out on noteworthy incidents: