Miss Snark is Investigating a New Job...in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Language experts want to give Malaysia's literary agency the power to prosecute anyone who violates the purity of the Malay language, a newspaper said on Thursday.

Bahasa Melayu, spoken by ethnic Malays who account for just over half the population, is Malaysia's official language, but English is widely spoken, with Chinese dialects and Tamil used by those of Chinese or Indian descent.

The guardians of Malaysia's heritage would have their work cut out for them if the National Language (Purity and Preservation) Act 2006 became law, and not least while monitoring sessions of parliament, the Sun newspaper said.

"A language campaign when our honourable MPs are engaged in full-throated name-calling would undoubtedly yield a handsome crop of summonses and an arrest warrant or two, to boot," it said in an editorial comment.

But the wider population ran many risks, too.

"Do you freeze in mid-sentence and unscramble your corrupted grammar lest the sharp-eared pundits of the language house haul you up for the wilful murder of the gerund?" the paper asked.

(thanks to the non-royal pixie for the heads up)


Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...


Miss Snark said...

yea, there are two regular pixilated commenters here. You, the royal one, and the other one. It was either non-royal or non-goat tending. I opted for A.

Feel free to baaaaat around other options.

Lydia Teh said...

Hi Ms Snark, This is my first comment though I've been lurking here for a while.

If the recommendation goes through, the speaking of our national language will be curtailed, because many of us speak bazaar Bahasa Malaysia, even our venerable MPs.

Where English is concerned, we speak Manglish which is a wonderful succinct language on its own though it flouts every grammar rule there is.

If you set up base in Malaysia, I think you'll have a thriving business.

There are no literary agents in Malaysia, at all. You'll have a monopoly. All aspiring and established writers will come flocking to you. But I must warn you that our population is only 27 million and the last official survey revealed that Malaysians only read 2 books per year. Of course, that is ancient statistic and not to be trusted at all.

Please come to Malaysia. You are so needed here.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

Umm I think you ummm need to check the address on the email containg the article. I belive it ends in @yahoo.co.uk. That'd make it the royal pixie's email, I think. Perhaps we both sent it?

Miss Snark said...

you're both pixie addresses?
I thought Bill E. lived on a goat ranch in Arizona.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

I use WarDancingPixie@yahoo.co.uk and ThePixieShael@*****.com. The WarDancingPixie email is the one connected to my blog. I use the second email mostly for exchanges with other writers. (Hi Barbara!)

I don't live in Arizona. I haven't been there since I was a child, and I probably slept through most of the trip.

I do live in the western USA, despite the email address. Bill E. Goat is an all American goat. He comes from a long line of American-born goats.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

lydia - I have been vicariously vacationing in Kuala Lumpur this summer, by reading Nzingha's blog. KL is beautiful. I think Miss Snark ought to take you up on your offer.

Corn Dog said...

Call me confused. I thought sha'el and Bill E were out here in California with me. I guess there is the possiblity Bill E Goat got himself a passport and flew the coop. I suppose Britian would suit him. Does that make him HRH (his royal highness) Bill E?

On a sad note, roosters and goats have been outlawed here in Oakland. Yeppers. So I guess HRH Bill E won't be visiting me any time soon.

Lydia Teh said...

Laura, Malaysia is a beautiful country. (Ahem, must do my bit to promote tourism to my country). Come visit us, our Tourism Board's tagline is Malaysia, Truly Asia. You just need to come to Malaysia and you can boast you've experienced the whole of Asia. Honest.

Homie Bear said...

I was in KL one day, wandering around, and saw a pet store with a Help Wanted sign. It said "Must know English, Malay, and Mandarin. Preference given to those who speak Tamil as well."
That's not an exact quote, but definitely the gist.

Lydia Teh said...

Homie bear, trilingual Malaysians are not uncommon : we know English, Malay and a mother tongue (Chinese or Tamil). Those who speak all four are the exception.