3/07/2009

Don't be stupid

'We have achieved progress with our bilingual education. It would be stupid for any Singapore agency or NTU to advocate the learning of dialects, which must be at the expense of English and Mandarin.' Chee Hong Tat, Principal Private Secretary to the MM. I cannot agree more with this statement. The romancing of ethnic, parochial and sectoral emotions and sentiments must not become a national preoccupation. Go on and cultivate, preserve and enjoy your personal romance with whatever holds dear to one's heart. But pushing such agenda is, yes, STUPID. It is stupid, it is stupid. Primordial instinct cannot be given too much of a free play and become a national agenda. The above quote is in the forum page of ST today. I am not sure if the stupid comment was Chee Hong Tat's comment or MM's comment. It is his letter, so it must be his. But the nuances and the familiarity of the stupid comment and its origin is well known. I thought only in cyberspace that such liberal use of the word stupid and expletives are common. I am glad that the main media is also feeling more free to express stronger feelings on issues. I am also glad that a PPS is also comfortable to use such terms in public statements.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I really regret not teaching my children my teochew dialect. Yes, I was stupid, stupid enough to listen to people telling me that dialect is redundant in the push for a national agenda.

Lost Citizen

redbean said...

hi lost, a national agenda shall not be confused with a private agenda. within the homes or a community, they shall do what they feel comfortable to enjoy that uniqueness in their own privacy. the dialects will give a very personal and sentiment touch in communications. the feeling of closeness.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Total government horseshit again.

It isn't the language you speak that creates wealth. It is how well you can produce stuff other people want which makes you rich.

People who work for the government must always be challenged when they talk — mostly shit. No one in the government creates any 'value' for others.

It is impossible for the government to create any 'value' so what the fuck would they know about value or wealth creation?

Mercedes said...

This article exposed the real attitute of some government officials:

i. I know and you know not.

ii. I determine your future, not you.

iii. I am right and you are wrong, always.

iv. I am the Nation, for I speak for her.

v. You can be sacrificed at any time for the Nation.

Now, the no. "vi" would be: you speak the language I asked you to speak.

These government officials, wouldn't plant one tree, wouldn't harvest one crop, wouldn't rear one chicken. Yet their livelihood is secured.

Because their livelihood is secured, they have no fear of losing their job, for the people are a foolish and stupid lot.

When they are angry, it would be just an impromptu reaction for them to utter the word "foolish" and "stupid" to call the people.

When the people is angry, it would be the ruling political party that is going to suffer.

Pity for PAP.

Dog said...

4 years back I vacationed in a theme park for locals around KL. Was surprised to note that the security guards and cleaners spoke English. Of course we know all Malaysians, regardless of race, speak bahasa. And though their gahmen do not promote mother tongues, the malaysian all spoke mother tongues. And we know every malaysian teochew, hokkien, cantonese, etc do speak dialects plus mandarin too.
This dog here speaks teochew from birth. So does every member of the family incl. children. And we have no problem with mandarin and passing our GPs.
To the dog's eyes, those who are bilingual have binary brains only.

redbean said...

hi mercedes, welcome to the blog.

this PPS, i doubt he is speaking in his own capacity. if i am not wrong, his parents also spoke dialects and so did he. most of our parents and even our generation and some of the new generations speak dialects or know dialects.

in the brief stupid statement, i think he failed to deal with the emotional issues of dialect/mother tongue and the need for a common means of communication. speaking dialect is not stupid. otherwise all our parents and their ancestors are stupid. so are those among us who speak dialects or chose to speak dialect.

and i think many are angry for reading his message in a different light.

Jaunty Jabber said...

Hi redbean,

As citizen we tried hard to respect and not to mix the national agenda with our own personal agenda.....but, we were told to relate the size of our working-week with procreation of our next generation. And, we were kindly advised to relocate our parents or even ourselves when we have aged enough to some cheaper places.

Why interfere with our personal lives? Why hint us on what we should do on our weekends? Why asked us to formed a family fast and then teach us how to split the family to beyond causeway?

redbean said...

it is claimed that singaporeans like to be nannied. without the govt they will be lost.

Jaunty Jabber said...

One has to succumb to the nannies if one's assets and monies are tied down, once these are tied down, one loses all the mobility and freedom.

You do what your nanny bring you, you try to be different? Then you will be subjected to names- calling from the nanny.