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Thread: Malay language needs to be reformed

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Malay language needs to be reformed

    Interesting idea.

    Compare English, Chinese and Malay:

    One, yi, satu
    Two, er, dua
    Three, san, tiga
    Four, si, empat
    Five, wu, lima
    Six, liu, enam
    Seven, ji, tujuh
    Eight, pa, lapan
    Nine, jiu, sembilan
    Ten, si, sepuluh.

    Malay have two or three syllables for the numbers.

    Never thought of it that way. I always felt that Malay was long-winded and that it needed 50% more words to express an idea compared to English or Chinese but never correlated the length of the words with slow-thinking. But that does not explain how Tamil have double consonants for numbers and Tamils are not slow in their thinking.

    Of the three, Chinese, English and Malay, Chinese is definitely the most compact. Probably explains why I could never master it. :)

    Probably they may want to start with the names. That is an easier task to achieve. When I registered my daughter's name with a Christian first name, I did not realize I had condemned here to writing an extra word to her name for the rest of her life.

    Malay language needs to be reformed

    Mokhtar Mansor | Nov 18, 08 4:20pm

    I am a Malay. I was born to a poor family in a remote village at Bongor, Baling, Kedah. I graduated from the Universiti of Malaya and immediately upon graduation, served in the Judicial and Legal Service since July 1985. I resigned as First Legal Officer of Supreme Court shortly thereafter to concentrate my effort on telling Malaysians, especially the Malays that, genetically, the Malays are exactly the same with the other races.

    Unfortunately the 'software' that was installed gradually since birth in most Malay minds is in dire needs of upgrading.

    To me, there are very close links between the lagging of the Malays with the language they use as a thinking and communication tool. I found out that there are highly significant co-relations between the length of the basic words spoken by a particular community and their working cultures and achievements.

    Generally, those people whose mother tongue languages consist of shorter words are more advanced and outdo those people whose mother tongue languages consist of longer words.

    After delving further into this phenomenon, I found the explanations - people with longer words for thinking and communications would need longer time to transmit messages as compared to people with shorter words. Longer time results in higher costs.

    In1992, after grappling with the failure of getting my children improve their performance in science and mathematics by forcing English upon them when they were at home, I discovered a much effective solutions- by synthesising the pronounciation of the basic numbers (0 to 10) and implanting it in their minds through intensive usage.

    This was much better than using English since the synthesised pronounciation was much more friendly and closer to the Malay language which they used and had been exposed to for every second of their life since the time they were conceived.

    The few days after starting to use the synthesised Malay pronunciation for numbers, I found that my children's mathematical learning speed and capabilities escalated beyond even my own expectations. Not only could they remember the basic operation tables effectively and at unbelievable speed, but their ability to solve higher mathematical problems improved tremendously.

    When would the the Malays be mentally prepared to face the challenges of a new, free Malaysian society? The answer is they would not be prepared so long as they practice BM in its present form because long words impede effective thinking, effective communication and effective working.

    For mathematics, I believe that I've found the correct solution in Kaedah Mokhdar. The systematic synthesised pronunciation of numbers and mathematical symbols and expressions has made all my children masters of the basic multiplication tables when they were aged between three to five years old.

    I did all this research to change the mind of my people so they shall be ready for any challenge ahead, especially in a society moving towards equal rights and opportunities and transparency.

    The Malay language, which functions as a 'thinking software' and communication tool, needs to be reformed to increase the thinking speed as well as the speed in acquiring and transmitting messages.

    Instead of making Malay words longer and longer, why not take steps to make them shorter and shorter? If, for practical purposes English words and features could be borrowed and used so much in the reformation of the Malay language then what is so wrong with reforming the Malay language to improve it's usage speed and efficiency by shortening the words or by incorporating some short words of the various local dialects into the standard language?

    After all BM now is more or less 'the English language disguised in the Malay costume' as it is now inundated with the English words, syntax and spelling. For instance, the spelling of kru, skru, sains and skor were all alien to the BM spelling system but was introduced to enable the importation of certain English words into BM.

    To conclude, I would say that the Malays would only be truly prepared for a truly free society if they could 'upgrade' or reform their language to make it more efficient by increasing the speed of the transmission of input using the language.

    The best solutions for the time being is by putting more efforts into increasing the Malays’ proficiency in the English language, both for thinking and communicating purposes, to the extent that their proficiency in the language would be as good as their proficiency in their mother-tongue language.

    At the same time, we must start reforming the Malay language to increase it's speed and efficacy in thinking and communication.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Re: Malay language needs to be reformed

    During the 2008 PKR Annual Congress at Stadium Melawati this morning (30th Nov 0, several resolutions were tabled on improving the standard of education, especially Malay. I thought back to the above article. It is beginning to make more sense.

    Could this be the reason why the Malays are struggling to keep up with the other races, leaving aside the leakages and corruption? What is the point of reforming the education system if the vehicle (language) is too slow? Sort out the language first.

    I believe if our leaders are serious about helping the Malays to progress with the Malay language and to be on par with the other communities, the Malay language itself need to be studied carefully and if need be, reformed.

    I found Moktar Mansor's blog here -

  3. #3

    Re: Malay language needs to be reformed

    There is no need at all to reform the Malay language.

    On the contrary, pointless, isolationist and expensive institutions like Dewan Bahasa should be scrapped immediately.

    And the focus should instead be on increased cultural exchange with Indonesia, including making use of more Indonesian reading material in Malay education.

    Another important factor in the furtherance of Bahasa is the liberation of press; allowing Indonesian and Singaporean TV channels to broadcast in Malayia, allowing Indonesian and Singporean newspapers to be distributed in Malaysia.

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