Friday, March 10, 2017

BAHASA MELAYU PUPUS DALAM 20 TAHUN?

SEMUA pihak harus memberi perhatian serius terhadap peringatan Penasihat Sosiobudaya Kerajaan, Tan Sri Dr. Rais Yatim pada 27 Februari lalu bahawa bahasa Melayu akan menjadi bahasa lemah hanya dalam tempoh 20 tahun akan 
datang jika tiada sebarang usaha dilakukan untuk memperkukuhkan kedudukannya.

Menurut beliau, perkara itu tidak mustahil terjadi kerana peranan bahasa Melayu sebagai bahasa ilmu sudah dilupakan dan hanya digunakan untuk urusan tidak rasmi.

Beliau meramalkan dalam tempoh kurang 20 tahun, bahasa Melayu akan menjadi bahasa lemah sama sekali seperti tulisan jawi dan digunakan di pasar sahaja.

Untuk memastikan perkara itu tidak menjadi kenyataan, semua pihak harus mengambil pengajaran daripada isu peminggiran tulisan jawi sehingga menyebabkannya hampir pupus sekarang.

Tulisan jawi berasal daripada huruf bahasa Arab yang telah diubah dan ditambah sedikit bagi menepati sebutan orang Melayu yang berbeza dengan masyarakat Arab.

Terdapat pelbagai sebab tulisan jawi hampir pupus, antaranya kerana tidak lagi digunakan untuk menulis ilmu pengetahuan baharu. Kebanyakan buku yang diterbitkan selepas merdeka menggunakan tulisan rumi termasuk yang berkaitan Islam.

Seingat saya, buku utama terakhir yang ditulis dalam tulisan jawi hanyalah Kitab Mat Kilau setebal 139 muka surat mengenai amalan pahlawan dari Pahang itu yang berasaskan ayat-ayat al-Quran sehingga beliau dikatakan ditetak tidak lut, ditembak tidak tembus dan boleh ghaib.

Keadaan itu nampaknya berulang apabila pensyarah di universiti tempatan lebih cenderung menulis hasil penyelidikan terbaharu mereka menggunakan bahasa Inggeris. Jarang mereka menulis menggunakan bahasa Melayu, mungkin kerana tidak glamor.

Selain tiada penulisan mengenai ilmu pengetahuan baharu, saya mendapati usaha menterjemahkan karya-karya asing ke dalam bahasa Melayu masih sedikit sehingga menyebabkan banyak pihak tiada pilihan kecuali mempelajari bahasa Inggeris untuk membolehkan mereka membaca naskhah asal.

Untuk mengelak perkara itu berterusan, buku terjemahan dalam bahasa Indonesia perlu dibawa masuk ke negara ini bagi mengisi kekurangan yang ada berikutan bahasa yang hampir serupa.

Satu lagi faktor tulisan jawi semakin pupus kerana tiada sokongan kuat daripada kerajaan. Tidak pernah pun kita lihat pegawai-pegawai kerajaan menulis surat rasmi menggunakan tulisan jawi.

Budaya gemar menulis dalam tulisan rumi bermula sejak zaman penjajahan Inggeris yang menggunakannya dalam segala bentuk aktiviti pentadbiran dan pendidikan di Tanah Melayu.

Keadaan sama berulang sekarang apabila ahli politik dan pegawai kerajaan lebih gemar menggunakan bahasa Inggeris ketika berucap pada majlis rasmi atau membuat kenyataan media. Kalau bercakap bahasa Melayu pun sudah pasti akan bercampur aduk dengan istilah dalam bahasa Inggeris.

Faktor lain yang menyebabkan tulisan jawi semakin pupus kerana disekat daripada digunakan pada papan tanda nama jalan dan taman perumahan.

Saya masih ingat kes pada 2008 apabila ada wakil rakyat pembangkang yang mengadakan sidang akhbar membantah langkah Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL) memasang papan tanda jalan baharu menggunakan bahasa Melayu dengan tulisan jawi dan rumi.

Walaupun bahasa Melayu tidak disekat untuk digunakan pada papan tanda dan nama taman perumahan sekarang tetapi perkara hampir sama berlaku apabila pihak tertentu memilih untuk mengutamakan bahasa Inggeris.

Cukup sedih sekali apabila pihak berkuasa tempatan (PBT) yang meluluskan penggunaan nama berkenaan diterajui oleh orang Melayu sendiri. Kenapa mereka sanggup menjadi pengkhianat kepada bahasa sendiri?

Sementara itu, saya menyambut baik langkah kerajaan dengan kerjasama Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) menganjurkan Kongres Budaya 2017 pada 15 April ini bagi mencari idea-idea baharu yang boleh diketengahkan dalam usaha memperkasakan budaya dan adat Melayu yang semakin terhakis sejak kebelakangan ini.

By: MUHAMAD NOR.

BAHASA MELAYU TERPINGGIR DAN DIKETEPIKAN.

MARILAH kita berbicara secara terbuka, rasional dan prihatin apa yang telah berlaku terhadap bahasa Melayu pada masa ini.

Peristiwa terpinggir dan diketepikan bahasa Melayu sebenarnya berlaku beberapa tahun kebelakangan ini. Sebelum itu bahasa Melayu begitu mantap dan dihormati semua bangsa dan seluruh rakyat, terutama para pemimpin yang menunjukkan semangat mengutamakan bahasa Melayu dalam sebarang urusan termasuk berucap di majlis-majlis rasmi dan mesyuarat.

Akan tetapi kini, kebanyakan pemimpin kita tidak begitu betah lagi menggunakan bahasa Melayu. Ketika ditemu bual dan menyampaikan maklumat melalui televi­syen pun mereka menggunakan bahasa Inggeris. Kerana itu berlarutanlah penggunaan bahasa Inggeris dalam kalang­an ahli korporat, apatah lagi rakyat yang berpendidikan Inggeris.

Sesungguhnya kita tidak sama sekali anti atau memusuhi penggunaan bahasa Inggeris, akan tetapi jika difikirkan secara rasional, suatu ketika dulu pemimpin kita beria-ia benar ingin mewujudkan perpaduan melalui bahasa Melayu, kebetulan pula bahasa Melayu sudah termaktub dalam Perlembagaan sebagai bahasa rasmi negara, khususnya Perkara 152. Bahasa kebangsaan adalah bahasa Melayu.

Kini negara kita sudah merdeka menjangkau 48 tahun, apakah kita masih mengekalkan isi Perlembagaan tentang penggunaan bahasa itu hingga sekarang? Selama 48 tahun itu kita sewajarnya sudah mantap menggunakan bahasa negara kita sendiri.

Kita amat bimbang usaha untuk menyatupadukan rak­yat negara ini, suatu ketika nanti tidak dapat lagi diben­dung apabila bahasa utama atau bahasa perpaduan bukan lagi bahasa Melayu yang kini menjadi teras perpaduan rakyat negara ini.

Apakah tidak berkemungkinan unsur-unsur perpaduan akan terhakis apabila rakyat negara ini tidak lagi menghormati bahasa rasmi negara, justeru tidak juga menghormati Perlembagaan?

Suatu kesan lagi yang amat ketara, apabila pemimpin-pemimpin kita bertutur bahasa Inggeris, sejumlah besar rakyat negara ini terutama kalangan orang Melayu yang tinggal di luar bandar tidak memahami mesej atau maklumat yang ingin disampaikan, kerana bahasa yang digunakan tidak dapat difahami oleh mereka.

Kerana itu, jika sekian banyak rancangan atau kempen kerajaan kurang berkesan termasuk Kempen Berbudi Bahasa, tidakkah salah satu sebabnya kerana rakyat tidak memahami maklumat yang disampaikan melalui bahasa Inggeris?

Oleh kerana pemimpin-pemimpin kita begitu meng­agung-agungkan bahasa Inggeris, tidakkah kehidupan bangsa kita akan terpengaruh dengan budaya barat?

Sekian banyak budaya bangsa kita kini, terutama anak-anak muda yang terikut-ikut dengan pengaruh barat terutama dari segi pakaian, tingkah laku, adab sopan termasuk kes jenayah seperti rogol, bunuh, rompak, tipu, rasuah, penyelewengan dan tindakan buruk lain yang sebelum ini kurang berlaku di negara kita, sebelum penggunaan bahasa Inggeris begitu berleluasa.

Tidakkah kesan pengaruh bahasa Inggeris itu menco­rakkan budaya kehidupan masyarakat kita sekarang?

Kita lihat negara maju seperti Jepun, Korea, China, termasuk negara barat Jerman, Perancis, Itali, Rusia, Belanda dan Portugis, kerajaan negara-negara tersebut termasuk para pemimpinnya tidak sama sekali mengagung-agungkan bahasa asing dalam kehidupan sehari-hari menyebabkan rakyatnya begitu mencintai budaya negara mereka sendiri.

Meskipun mereka turut mempelajari bahasa Inggeris akan tetapi bahasa ibunda negara diutamakan. Pemimpin-pemimpin negara tersebut akan menggunakan bahasa ibunda masing-masing jika diadakan apa-apa upacara pembukaan rasmi sama ada di peringkat negara atau dunia.

Begitu juga negara tetangga kita seperti Thailand dan Indonesia, bahasa ibunda masing-masing begitu dipertahankan. Mereka begitu ampuh mempertahankan jati diri, identiti dan maruah negaranya. Mengapa pemimpin-pe­mimpin kita tidak begitu semenjak akhir-akhir ini?

Apabila kita membicarakan tentang jati diri, identiti dan maruah negara dan bangsa, pemimpin kita sering menyatakan kita sepatutnya memerintah mengikut acuan sendiri. Di manakah acuan itu jika bahasa negara mengikut bahasa asing?

Bahasa Jiwa Bangsa, Lenyap Bahasa Lenyaplah Bangsa! Kata-kata hikmat ini sering dilaungkan oleh pemimpin-pe­mimpin Melayu ketika memperjuangkan kemerdekaan negara kita dahulu termasuk pemimpin-pemimpin UMNO. Apakah kata-kata atau slogan itu sudah basi dan tidak bererti lagi dalam zaman globalisasi dan dunia tanpa sempadan?

Apakah tidak berkemungkinan negara kita telah atau mulai terjajah kembali sekarang? Pemimpin-pemimpin kita dahulu begitu bersungguh-sungguh berjuang menuntut kemerdekaan, bukan saja kemerdekaan negara tetapi juga kemerdekaan bahasa, pendidikan, ekonomi dan budaya. Perjuangan mereka amat berjaya, sehingga bahasa Melayu dimartabatkan ke universiti dan sekian ramai anak bangsa kita lulus dan kini berkhidmat sebagai doktor, jurutera, ahli korporat di seluruh negara melalui bahasa tersebut.

Mengapa pula kita ingin undur kembali ke zaman penjajah? Tidakkah langkah tersebut akan memundurkan anak-anak Melayu, sepertimana yang berlaku dalam zaman penjajahan dahulu?

Kita mempertikaikan anak-anak Melayu lemah dalam pelajaran bahasa Inggeris, mengapa suatu ketika dulu anak-anak kita berjaya bekerja dalam sektor swasta yang ketika itu mewajibkan penggunaan bahasa Melayu?

Di Jepun, Korea dan China sektor swasta dan pelabur dari luar dikehendaki mempelajari dan menggunakan bahasa negara mereka, mengapa kita perlu mengikut te­lunjuk sektor swasta mewajibkan kelulusan dan penggunaan bahasa Inggeris? Di manakah kuasa dan jati diri kita?

Sejarah adalah cermin kehidupan. Sewajarnya pemimpin kita menggunakan ‘cermin’ tersebut dalam menentukan arus pembangunan negara terutama bangsa Melayu. Kita khuatir, suatu ketika nanti orang Melayu akan ketinggalan dalam semua bidang kehidupan sepertimana berlaku dalam zaman penjajahan ketika bahasa Inggeris diutamakan.

Pepatah bangsa kita lumrahnya tidaklah salah: Jika sesat di hujung jalan, baliklah ke pangkal jalan. Tindakan itu bukanlah sesuatu yang memalukan atau bukanlah pula sesuatu yang merugikan, sebaliknya suatu tindakan yang mulia dan murni demi keselamatan anak-anak bangsa kita jua.
By: Rejab Fi.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

THOUGHTS OF THE MALAY DILEMMA BY TUNKU ABDUL RAHMAN THAT WAS NEVER PUBLISHED.

This article constitutes the second in a series that will draw upon letters, emails, wiretaps, contracts, bank accounts and other forms of documentary evidence that are classified, i.e. evidence that has never before been revealed to the Malaysian public. Estimated to span some nine to ten parts, the series began with an article (refer link below) that made public the impetus to Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s secret pact with Lim Kit Siang, the de facto chief of the Democratic Action Party (DAP).

In this part, I will attempt to retell history as it was seen through the eyes of the late Tunku Abdul Rahman, the first Prime Minister of Malaysia. Much of what is written was derived from private communications that took place between the Tunku and a late historian who played a major role in drafting the early History of Malaya and Southeast Asia.

The historian, whose memoirs were never published, left behind a trove of manuscripts that chronicled events as they had unfolded, including accounts the British deliberately suppressed to mold history in a way they deemed fit. The purpose of this article and another to follow is to make public those accounts and to anticipate how history had shaped the corrupt leadership of Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia.

As we go along, I shall attempt to publish documentary evidence wherever necessary to support my claims, particularly those that relate to the Maminco and Bumiputra Malaysia Finance (BMF) scandals, the mother of all scandals to have rocked the nation since independence.

When the aristocrats cried foul

The period between the late 1800’s and early 1900’s was an era of moral renaissance for British Malaya. It was during this period that rulers began to realise how little the Chinese regard was for the eminence of the Monarchical institution. The aristocratic class was particularly concerned that the Chinese, who considered themselves traders and merchants at most, had purchased large terrains of land without the need for royal assent.

Bothered by this development, the rulers approached the British and requested that the practice of selling land to the Chinese be stopped. According to them, the Chinese were outsiders who still regarded China to be their domicile of origin and had no business owning land within the Malay states. The rulers insisted that the Malayan peninsula belonged exclusively to the Malays and expressed dissatisfaction that the British had ignored the question of heritage.

By heritage, the rulers implied that land ownership was as much a matter for the state as it was a question of Malay rights. On this basis alone, they argued that the Monarchical institution did in fact possess jurisdiction over matters of land ownership and acquisition as it was the duty of the Monarch to uphold the rights of the Malays.

But their arguments were hinged on perception. Back when the British began expanding their dominion over the western peninsula, they (the British generals) acknowledged the existence of established Malay governments within the Malay states and identified these governments with the traditional Monarchs. The British further recognised these Monarchs to be the heads of states and chose only to negotiate terms of occupancy with them.

The rulers took this to mean that the British recognised the Malayan peninsula as being the land of the Malays. But the British denied this. They argued that the peninsula was never exclusive to the modern Malays and as such, was never ‘the land of the Malays’. According to them, rulers had no say in matters of land preservation or reservation unless it concerned land customarily reserved to the Malays.

The British alluded to the fact that the rulers had welcomed Chinese traders from earlier arrivals with open arms. Many of these traders had assimilated with the locals both culturally, and in a limited sense, religiously. The British asked the rulers to decide if these groups were regarded to be outsiders, as a blanket rule against Chinese ownership of land would impinge on these groups as well. That became a serious problem for the rulers, as some of the Chinese from early arrivals had married Malays and were regarded to be a part of the extended Malay community.

So it became a question of communal rights vs Malay rights, which, in the books of the rulers, meant the same thing. But the British didn’t see it that way. To them, a Chinese was a Chinese, and likewise, a Malay, a Malay. This upset the rulers considerably. It dawned upon them that the British were being manipulative in their associations with the palace just to protect the Chinese. They began to see the British induced diaspora of Chinese towards the Malay states as being a threat to the sanctity of the Monarchical institution.

But all of this didn’t just happen overnight.

The rise of Malay nationalism

The Chinese had already been swarming around tin mines in British Malaya as early as 1865. Back then, Straits tin had come to earn a reputation in the British and European metal markets owing to its superior quality. The British needed the Chinese to work the mines. They knew that the Chinese had a penchant for hard work and were willing to slog it out under extreme conditions for a meagre wage.

Over the years, the British developed a symbiotic relationship with the Chinese that factored out a Malay presence. The nature of this relationship was such, that the Chinaman would help establish townships and businesses around mining enclaves in return for land sold to him at dirt cheap prices. The Malays couldn’t afford land within these townships as the Chinaman would offer them prices that didn’t make sense.

The fact is, by 1900, an unprecedented number of Chinese had gained enormous wealth and diversified into other business domains, some infiltrating the plantation sector and establishing schools in the Chinese medium. Within a decade or two, many Chinese had come to own large plantations and began cultivating rubber on a mass scale.

The problem with the Chinese was their greed for money. Though hardworking and industrious, many were concerned only with enriching their community and never gave a hoot about nation building. Whenever approached, a typical Chinaman would tell you that he was not a subject of the local Monarch. When asked why, he would tell you that he was in Malaya only to do business and nothing more.

These attitudes, though despicable, were ignored by the British, as all that mattered to the colonialist was the expansion of the economic pie. That expansion brought forth the development of transportation infrastructure and facilitated better communication between village elders who were spread across the Malay states. The better the infrastructure, the more frequently these elders met. By the early 1930’s, many of these elders were organising secret gatherings in villages along the west coast of the peninsula to discuss what was then regarded a Chinese threat.

These discussions spawned a number of movements centred in remote villages spread across Perak, Kedah, the inner regions of northern Selangor and areas surrounding the Linggi River in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan (a transportation route for tin traders). The leaders of these movements feared that the British were deliberately steering the Malay states towards a Chinese hegemony of sorts.

The British, however, did not think much of these movements. They did not believe the Malays were capable of organising nationalist movements that were large enough to pose a threat to their hegemony of the Malay states. As far as they were concerned, the Malays were a submissive group that could easily be bought over with sweet talk and empty rhetoric.

But they were wrong.

Towards the second half of the 1940’s, a large number of Malays had organised into various interest groups that sought a reform of the colonialist constitution. A major grouse emanating from all these groups was the ease with which the British dished out citizenships to the Chinese under the Malayan Union proposal. The aristocratic class, in particular, was pissed that the British had resorted to finding ways to curb the powers of the traditional Monarch.

While some of these groups comprised labourers who were tired of being treated discriminately, many were fuelled by the question of indigeneity and the eminence of the Monarchical institution. It is said that the palace secretly got its people to infiltrate these groups to advance pro-Monarchical stances against the British. Regardless the agenda, these groups had but one thing in common – all of them did not see a clear future with Chinese being granted rights equal to Malays.

It didn’t help that the Malays were seen to be at the bottom of the socioeconomic strata. It irked the average farmer and fisherman that the British paid little attention to their welfare and focused on developing infrastructure around ‘Chinese run’ townships instead. By 1948, the Malays began to develop a deep sense of nationalism and transformed many of their movements into political outfits. It was no longer just about preserving the sanctity of the Monarchical institution.

It was all about preserving the dignity of the Malays as a race.

To be continued…
- Malaysia Today.

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