Sunday, June 6, 2010

Malaysian Mottos Makes Me Loco

Seperti ilmu padi hampa, makin lama makin mencongak
Loosely translated, this Malay proverb means ‘Like an ear of corn which grows tall in proportion to its emptiness’. The more one is puffed up with pride, the more likely that one’s achievements is just full of hot air. If we apply this to the length of letters in our slogans, it just shows how ‘tall’ we have grown. The more lavish our slogans, the more ludicrous records in our very own Malaysian Book of Records - the more ‘empty’ and ‘hollow’ our lives become.

Life in Malaysia is quite amusing at times. One inescapable fact of life is that when there is a change in the top leadership, a massive public relations campaign is mounted, spearheaded by catchy slogans promising ‘change’. Unfortunately, the nation seems to be headed in the OPPOSITE direction promised by these slogans. ‘Talking the talk’ is what we have come to expect from politicians. Not ‘walking the talk’ is also understandable. However, when one ‘talks one way, walks the opposite way’ or ‘Cakap Tak Serupa Bikin’, things becomes unbearable.

Bersih, Cekap dan Amanah
What does this motto mean? Loosely translated, it might mean Clean, Proficient and Trustworthy. Simply put, let’s just say it means ‘No Corruption’. Well, have we succeeded in reducing corruption in Malaysia? Let’s use the Corruption Perceptions Index by Transparency International as a measure.

Ooops… it appears that Corruption is actually on the uptrend rather than being reduced. See what I mean?

Cemerlang, Gemilang dan Terbilang
Excellence, Glory and Renown. A fantastic slogan that conjures up images a Golden Age filled with Emperors, Heroes and Glorious Armies of a long lost age. Perhaps one could use such words for the ancient Roman Empire or the Tang Dynasty. But for Malaysia? Is this realistic? A slide from PEMANDU should suffice.

So much for Excellence, Glory or Renown . Perhaps it is true that ‘Those whom the Gods would destroy, They first make Proud’?

One Malaysia. People First, Performance Now
Gee! This sounds quite swell. Finally a motto that actually makes sense. Now, if only the ruling Government could follow through on this one. Unfortunately, the walk has been in the opposite direction. Don’t believe me? Look at the picture below.

Nobody minds good mottos, especially ones that we can believe in. However, let’s have honest mottos that we can rally behind and work towards. How about an eminently more sensible motto on what Malaysians needs? (with apologies to William Boyd "Bill" Watterson II)

Kick MY Butt!



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we should determine our wealth by how long we can sustain with our currently living standard when we stop working. This include the housing loan that we need to pay monthly.


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