Wednesday 28 September 2016

Zahid's English

So, they said the English of DPM DS Zahid Hamidi is not good enough.

They whacked him that, following his recent speech at the UN, it seems.

Well, I'm no big fan of Zahid, but in this case, I wouldn't worry too much if I'm him.

He's not an Englishman, after all.

He is a Malay of Javanese heritage like my father, if I'm not mistaken. Cool.

Why then should he be too bothered about such a complaint?

See, I'm not English too.

And I think my English is not much better than Zahid's.

You can read about people complaining about my English in this previous post of mine,

Good day and bad English

And as you can see, I just keep on writing in mostly English...if I may describe it as such lah.

For me, all that matter is for the audience to understand and appreciate the message I'm trying to convey.

Do people read my blog despite the said bad English?

Do they got the message I'm trying to convey?

I think the answers are a certain extent of course.

That's good enough for me.

Did the delegates at the UN understood and paid attention to what Zahid said?

I believe they did, despite his less than perfect pronunciation of some of the English words.

Hey, I even think that Zahid's grammar is even better than mine.

At least his English is not the Chinese sing song style of mine.

So, I don't think that's too much of a problem.

Nothing for us Malaysians to be embarrassed  about, okay.

Anyway, I don't understand why some people are so particular about getting our English perfect.

Especially so when they don't seem to be too concerned about perfecting their Bahasa Malaysia.

For the record, I don't care for either.

I just want people to sometimes listen and understand me, instead of praising my English.

I do however suspect that all those complaints were because those who made the noises think that form is more important than substance.

They prefer bullshit in perfect English rather than good argument in a "lesser" language.

And there's the ego thing too.

Some people are only good with their English. So when they lost an argument, they started to bitch about the superiority of their English over the other man.

Well, that's all they have, after all.

I encountered these sorts of people many times in my life.

"Oh, my English is so perfect, worship me," they seemed to say.

Eh, F@#* off la.

Next time Zahid talk at the UN, I suggest him to try this kind of English,

True Londoner, eh.

Zahid can mix it with his Javanese accent for all I care.



  1. Malaysians should be more embarassed for failing to speak proper BM and not English, Chinese, Japanese, Tamil, etc. Zahid should have addressed the crown using BM instead of smattering in English. Afterall he has good reason to stammer in English. The same is not true for MPs who cannot speak or read quality BM. Reminds of one MP from Sarawak who'd mistakenly pronounced the word "terbulu-bulu" instead of "terburu-buru".

    1. Blur ke blue? Mabuk ketum ke engko?

    2. Yang mabuk tu awak lah, bongok!

    3. 'Blur' is more accurate, no?

  2. I think it's kinda rude to comment on someone's command of the language publicly. Let alone concerning to someone holding such a high office in the government like the TPM. I had watched his speech at UNGA. To be honest he did pretty okay. In fact he did better than those world leaders from third world countries whom hardly incomprehensible while giving speeches at UN.

    It is not really about proficiency or eloquency, as long as you get to put across the message that you intended to put and people get it then the job is done. Even Tun Mahathir himself is not sounds phonetically Queen English the way PM Najib does but world leaders still eager to hear him giving speeches. It is not about the sound but the message. When Mahathir takes the stage, you know you are in for a ride.

    And those of you who ridicule him, yours aren't that good either. Those guys probably feel that their mastery of the language are top notch while others are just mehh... I tell you what, even native speakers who speak and write perfectly good English don't go around ridiculing someone else's English because they know once you feel that you're awesome at something, there's always, I repeat always someone out there who are better than you..

    Being crowned debate champion doesn't qualify one to making facebook post to mock and making fun of other people's command of the language. He should knew better. It only made him looked like stucked up individual who had just got out of college thinking he knew how the world worked when in fact he knew next to nothing.

    I believe everyone should be allowed to make mistakes and learn from them and less discouraging them by being unnessarily nitpicky when there is no such reason to do so.

    1. najib public speaking teruk penyamun tu, mcm bad drama actor, xde carisma langsung....

    2. Anon 20:18,

      Will you shut the fuck up? Is your English really that good? I have living overseas for many years and am married to a foreigner but I still speak English with Malay slang. As long as I manage to get the message across, that's enough.


    3. Why the outburst, 01.44.

      Let 20.18 say his/her piece, that is his/her right.

      So you married a Mongolian or an Eskimo or whatever and you live in Timbuktu, who cares?

      Got the message?

    4. 'I have living overseas' - okayyyy, instant cred fail. Whoopsie.

  3. This is NOT JUST A MATTER OF PRONUNCIATION, my dear Annie.
    This involves THE CONTENT OF HIS SPEEACH. The content was
    out of date - thing that has been discussed 2-3 years ago!!!
    No wonder the UN hal was empty!
    Zahid should get a better speach writer.
    Fired the one that wrote the blue ocean speeach.
    Get RPK to write for him......hehehehe.

    1. RPK x pandai spin pun....dah nyanyuk dah....

    2. Betul betul betul betul..
      Tak ada isi speech dia.
      Itu le yang patut disoalkan.
      Apa dia ucap tu macam dia ucap di perasmian mesyuarat bahagian..klentong pun ada...

      English dia..dengar memang la dia tak biasa berbahasa Inggeris. Tapi peduli la..

      Soalan terutama kenapa perdana menteri tak pergi ?

  4. i like how you put the word "WHACK" with word of "ZAHID".

    You mean like this guy?

    WAJIB TONTON......


    1. Same as clinton told trump, you cannot have a bad temper on the nuclear button".

      You see lah whether this kaki pukul can handle or not. Gangster pure and simple, but not smart gangster.

  5. Thing is ... Zahid should not talk cock in bad English. What's his doctorate all about anyway Annie?

  6. Annie,

    I, for one, am not going to criticise Zahid Hamidi for his English.

    After all, I don't speak Javanese and I'll bet I sound really really weird speaking Javanese to a native Javanese speaker :)


  7. It is s big stage why use a language which you are less proficient

  8. Why anyone would condemn zahid because of his english? If you are an EPL fan, would you condemn the foreign managers of EPL clubs whose English are no better than zahid's english?

    I would rather criticise the content and the accuracy of the text. For example President Najib Razak. As far as I know we only have a prime minister not a president unless, it changes recently. I believe that all who were present on that day would be able to understand zahid's english.

    If we want to progress as a nation, we should offer constructive criticisms. We need to criticise the poor command of english by most malaysians. We need to have an effective english usage in schools and in offices. Forget about being too nationalistic. I would be more embarassed if I could not speak good english which is an international language.

    People in former soviet republics and china can speak better English than most malaysians eventhough they only learn english much later than us.

  9. Why not just speak in BM and be done with it? The UN is very good at arranging simultaneous translations.

    Anyway, it seems that Zahid was addressing a half-empty chamber. Maybe a lot of UN delegates didn't put a high priority on listening to a speech by the Malaysian Deputy PM.

    That should be a lesson in power politics....

  10. Like Annie, I have no problem with Zahid's English too.

    But... what worries me was... his reference to Najib as 'President'... was sort of, alarming or disturbing.

    His boss... Najib with the New NSC, had practically taken away YDP Agong's decree to declare a state of emergency... for himself... including the prerogative to override inquest.

    Before that... Najib had set the precedent of not presenting 1MDB's...forensic... Audit Report to YDP Agong too, against what was prescribe in the Constitution, then tabled in Parliament for a debate.

    Now... when Zahid refer to Najib as 'President'... people might have the impression that the government is trying to behave like a 'Republic' which... almost always... is representing a country without a King or Queen.

    Maybe the 'Majlis Raja-Raja' should be aware... especially when they meet... soon.

    Don't tell me its a slip of tongue or that it was the mistake of Zahid's speech-writer. You just cannot afford to make stupid mistake in the UN. If its the English language that cause the mistake, then next time... do away with it.

    1. 'Now... when Zahid refer to Najib as 'President'... people might have the impression that the government is trying to behave like a 'Republic' which... almost always... is representing a country without a King or Queen.'

      Already happening after they passed the NSC Act without consent of Rulers.

    2. He was referring to UN president lah, not Najib.


  11. Annie,

    Actually, Zahid has terrible speech mannerisms in any language.

    Over about the past year or so, his "advisers" have almost cured his worst habit, which is that erect index finger pointing everywhere in the most biadap fashion. I guess they told him if he was ambitious, that bad habit was huge big no-no in Malaysia.

    The once thing he cannot control is what I call the "face-eyebrow scrunch", which is where half his face will grimace like he just tasted a sour lemon at the end of every sentence. He does this in BM also, look at speeches at PAU etc.

    But I agree with the view that content is far more important than form.

    Nelson Mandela, Tun and many other world leaders do not have perfect English accents, they have a heavy accent of South African or Malaysian, but they make points with substance.


    Zahid talked about some meaningless Blue Ocean fluff.

    What "Blue Ocean" is that?

    The one where US$7 billion of our money vanished?

    1. No the blue ocean is where the cayman islands are, where the jho low 'donation' came from...saudis, yea rite!

  12. Ohhhh yes, and the Hitler hand, that's still there when Zahid speaks locally at a rostrum.

    Mini Nazi salutes galore.

    But if had to watch either Zahid or our pink-lipped Conman-in-Chief, I'd go for Zahid.

    Mark my words: after the Bugis thief leaves office, that speech where he went:

    "asalnya jangan songLAPPPPPPP wang rakYAAAATT!"

    will be his epitaph.

    It will be the same as Nixon's "I am not a crook."

    1. 'It will be the same as Nixon's "I am not a crook." - Najib said the same thing 3-4 months ago, I think you forgot!

  13. Nothing wrong with Zahid's accent. I commend him for speaking in English at such an international forum, knowing that his English speaking skills aren't perfect. At least, he had guts and didn't cabut like a certain someone.

    My beef is the content of his speech. It wasn't written to give Malaysia's positions on international issues. It sounded as if it was cut and pasted from various MITI, domestic speeches.

    Can we stop with this Blue Ocean Strategy that Jibby and gang love to spout ad nauseam? It's so passe. It's like the time when Anwar as Finance Minister went into ecstasies over "paradigm shift." Every speech must mention it.

    Jibby can speak very eloquently in English and look where that's got us.

    Zahid should brush up on his pronunciation and get someone senior from Wisma Putra to write his UN speeches next time. If got next time lah.

    As for the empty hall, it's because he is a deputy prime minister. Only in Malaysia, it's a powerful post. I used to work with foreign media organisations and they used to ask me why need to cover Anwar as DPM as in their home countries, this post is largely symbolic.

    Malaysians shouldn't be embarrassed about speaking English with our accent. Look at Ban Ki Moon with his thick accent, and he's sec-gen.

    1. 'At least, he had guts and didn't cabut like a certain someone.' - yea ha ha! But if you have "everything to hide" of course lah you will run away.

  14. Nobody cares about zahid's english proficiency nor his outdated content of speech
    Umno ke tali gantung

  15. Annie,

    So the point here is bad English is not a problem, Bahasa Melayu is more important because it's national language, substance prevails over form etc. etc..

    Bahasa Melayu is a lingua franca, we were taught in school. Some commented that the great leader should use Bahasa instead of English, well maybe in the next perhimpunan agung UMNO someone must make this proposal, that Malaysian punya great leaders when making speech in an international arena must use Bahasa Melayu the lingua franca.

    While we are at it, take this opportunity to sack all non Malay speaking ministers and government officials who could not speak proper Bahasa Melayu.

    You see, it's not all these ketuanan talks that are disgusting. In the not-so-long ago past Malays who went to China would share the jokes on bad English they saw on public notices around China, not anymore now.

    UMNO government would not dare to walk their talk by implementing policies on Bahasa for reasons that ketuanan supremacists in this country would not admit openly. But I dare the nationalists to force the great leaders to transform Malaysia to a Malay speaking country.

    It's not a difficult language and it has sufficient words to make your point. Like English in China, if there's a need people will master it. Don't criticise people for failing to master your language when there's no market for this language as far as the said people are concerned, and there's no law to require them to do so.

    Now come back to the great leader's not so eloquent English speaking session, while it was a disaster for him in many respects, what we see here about the inclination of certain people to 'menegakkan benang basah' and their capabilities in doing so, in such a natural way as if they are born with this ability, is extraordinary.

    Is there no shame in this people?

    Then do anything and say anything you like. Prophet Muhammad s.a.w told you so if there's no shame in you. Nau'zubil-Lah.

  16. When he cant communicate his message. there is NO message communicated OK!!! Anyway, crooks will never admit they were wrong (eg 1mdb)!!!

  17. As long as Zahid refrains from talk cock sing song, bear with him lah...

    1. Ya, but that's the problem lah.

  18. If ur working OTC at the KFC outlet, sesiapa pun tak kisah if English broken sini sana...

    But as a DPM of a country kena laaa ada standard ckit..
    President of Malaysia apa pulak tu..?

  19. Give the guy a break - English is not his first language and he likely was recruited to go on short notice.

    Aside from a very few country's leaders - these speeches are ignored. It is not like the whole UN was riveted in their seats waiting for speeches or paying attention.

    Like, who remembers the speech from the president of Togo.