PAS president Hadi Awang suffers from crab mentality.
For those who are unaware, those who suffer from crab mentality try and drag others down to their substandard level.
They are envious of those who wish to improve themselves and make a success of their lives.
So, what is Hadi’s vendetta against the use of English? Is it because he lacks fluency in English?
If he cannot, or will not, speak English, then who is he to insult others who wish to use English?
On July 3, Hadi belittled Malaysians who used English by claiming that they were trapped in a colonial mindset.
He said they were embarrassed to speak Bahasa Malaysia and preferred to use English instead of the national language.
Has Hadi lost his marbles?
Our political leaders have doctored the teaching of history in our national schools, and it is highly likely that the majority of our youths are not aware of our colonial past.
Moreover, why is Hadi fixated on the British? How well does he know his history? More importantly, how well does Hadi think Malaysian youths know about the colonization of Malaya?
In 1511, Melaka was colonized by the Portuguese. The Malay language is littered with words which are Portuguese in origin.
A hundred years later, we were colonized by the Dutch and the Dutch influence also infiltrated the Malay language.
Two hundred years after that, the British came, and if World War II were to be included, the Japanese were an occupying force in peninsular Malaya, Sarawak and Sabah.
The national language has been enriched with influences from these foreign languages, but if truth be told, the national language is mostly derived from Sanskrit, which has its origins in India.
However, one does not hear Hadi badmouthing Sanskrit at all. How come?
Hadi may think that his religious upbringing or his early schooling which probably did not include English, was sufficient.
His education may have been adequate for his needs, but it is not for those who think the world, not just their tempurung (coconut shell), is their oyster.
Malaysian youth has been exposed to the internet, books, social media, films, and television. They travel, not just to Saudi Arabia. They learn from the cultures of other people, and they know that English is a gateway to the various experiences they have read about or seen on their screens.
Unlike Hadi, Malaysians are not stuck in the dark ages. They realize that English is a global language. It is the language of science, commerce, business, information technology (IT), artificial intelligence (AI), diplomacy, oil and gas, hospitality, medical, aviation, aeronautics and tourism.
Many research papers and scientific journals are in English. Is Hadi that obtuse?
Just imagine if you were at a pharmacy in the highlands of Bhutan and you’re desperate to get medicine for an upset stomach. The pharmacist knows no Malay and you know no Dzongkha. If both you and he spoke English, he could prescribe the right drug for your ailment.
It is Hadi who is a slave to a primitive type of tempurung mindset, and it is best Malaysians ignore him.
English is not just a colonial language as Hadi claims, it makes all the difference when you are traveling.
As a tourist, English may help you appreciate the different cultures, and as an added bonus, you could converse with the local people, make new friends and learn from them about how they see Malaysia.
If Hadi lacks ambition, who is he to stop others from using English to improve their personal skills and achievements?
English is the language of the internet, and for many it is their ticket to a better job, a job overseas, or a job in a multinational, either locally or at other overseas locations of the multinational.
English does not just benefit the person, it may also open a whole new world and additional opportunities to the family of the employee who has been offered a posting abroad by the multinational.
If Hadi’s mindset is still stuck in the mentality of a few hundred years ago, then he is stupid to drag other Malaysians into his form of warped thinking, which equates the study of English as being trapped in the colonial mindset.
With English, a student has a wide choice of universities to choose from. With a good command of English, plus excellent academic and communication skills, the student may find that top universities around the world may beat a path to his door to offer him a scholarship.
Hadi is extremely shortsighted to stop others from achieving their ambitions, and for Malaysia to benefit from their citizens who wish to accomplish so much more.
Perhaps, it is never too late for Hadi to learn English. As one gets older, many experts claim that learning a new language may improve the person’s flexible and creative thinking.
Hadi said, “They are behaving like slaves to the former colonial masters despite having been freed from their clutches…and ignore the delirious voices which are trying to reduce the importance of the Malay language.”
Conversely, it is Hadi who is a slave to a primitive type of tempurung mindset, and it is best Malaysians ignore him.
No one is attempting to downplay Bahasa Malaysia, but many Malaysians are aware that with English, it is their ticket to more opportunities for good jobs, education, travel and social interactions.
- Free Malaysia Today: Those pushing for English stuck in colonial mindset, says Hadi
(Mariam Mokhtar is a Freelance Writer.)