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yeah . . . just another blogger ... Alumnus VI KL; MU KL Retiree since 2001 Former workplaces : Public Services Commission, Malaysia. Ministry of Education, Malaysia. Oxford University Press. Penerbit Fajar Bakti Sdn Bhd.; Gapura Cita Sdn Bhd. Positions before retirement: Translator, Editor, Editorial Manager, Director, Publishing Consultant. Principle: Likes to live simple....... and will stay simple.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Kita Yang Mana?

Selamat Sejahtera

Kasar, Kurang Ajar, 
Tak Tahu Adat, Tak Tahu Bahasa, Biadab

Kamus Dewan terbitan Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka memang ada memberi erti bagi entri kata 'Kasar', 'Kurang Ajar', 'Tak Tahu Adat', 'Tak Tahu Bahasa' dan 'Biadab'.

Namun saya amat tertarik kepada penjelasan terperinci yang dibuat seorang pakar bahasa Prof Dato' Asmah Haji Omar (mantan Pengarah Pusat Bahasa, Universiti Malaya) tentang maksud kata-kata yang berkenaan.

Dalam buku beliau berjudul "Concepts of Conflict, War and Peace in the Malay Language" yang diterbitkan Akademi Pengajian Melayu Universiti Malaya pada tahun 1998 Prof Asmah ada menyentuh erti yang tersirat di sebalik kata-kata Melayu :

'Kasar', 'Kurang Ajar', 'Tak Tahu Adat', 'Tak Tahu Bahasa' dan 'Biadab'.

Sentuhan pandangan ini terdapat dalam Cap 3 Para 3.7 Being Rough and Rude buku tersebut.

Penulisan Prof Asmah telah dibuat dalam bahasa Inggeris. 

Untuk kemudahan dan ketepatan rujukan  sebilangan besar audiens di negara ini ... sama ada mereka yang masih tidak mudah memahami bahasa Melayu ataupun mereka yang kurang mahir 'menangkap' maksud yang tersirat dalam bahan sebaran berbahasa Melayu ... maka saya turunkan di bawah ini hasil penulisan Prof Asmah dalam bentuk asalnya (berbahasa Inggeris):

Being Rough and Rude

An aspect of a person's behaviour that is likely to cause a conflict is one that is rough, rude and 'uncivilised'. In Malay, there are various lexical items for this. Among these are kasar,kurang ajar,tak tahu adat, tak tahu bahasa, and biadab.

Kasar (literally: rough) is the antonym of lemah lembut (gentle).The kasar characteristic in a person may refer to his movements and mannerisms, his choice of words and his intonation. He may or may not be aware that his verbal or non-verbal demeanour or both are offensive to others, for example , when he points with the pointer finger when he should do it with his thumb; beckons people with the palm of the hand facing upwards and the fingers moving towards the inside of the wrist, instead of the other way round; looking at people straight into the eyes instead of drooping the eyelids slightly, etc.

All these are examples of behaviour that is rude, crude and uncouth. However, what is just kasar in one situation may be interpreted as kurang ajar, tak tahu adat, or biadab in another.

Situation here refers to the setting of the event in which the traits of behaviour are manifested together with the degree of formality or solemnity that goes with it.For example, handing over something to someone or taking something from someone with the left hand is considered kasar (rough) if it is done among peers and colleagues, or in relation to those below one in terms of age, rank and family hierarchy.It becomes kurang ajar or tak tahu adat when the other party involved is one who is higher in rank ( social, official or family hierarchy) or older in age than oneself. It becomes biadab when the other party is one who is very highly placed in society, for example, the King, the Sultan, the Prime Minister, Ministers and so on.

From the above description it is clear that the lexical items and idioms under consideration may be placed in a hierarchical order, based on the intensity of the denotation of 'rough', 'rude', and 'crude' borne by them. Kasar may be considered as the mildest of the lot.It just means that one is rough. A little bit of coaching will make one more gentle. Next comes tak tahu adat or tak tahu bahasa. Both these idioms mean that the person involved does not know of the custom and tradition of the people he is interacting with. When these idioms are used to describe non-Malays, local as well as foreign, there usually is a tinge of mitigation; because they are not Malays, one cannot expect them to be conversant with the custom and tradition of the Malays. However, if these idioms are used to refer to the Malays, there is no forgiving about it, because a Malay is expected to know and practise the custom and tradition of his own community which have been handed down to him from generation to generation.

Among the Malays, a person who violates a custom or a tradition is said to be tak tahu adat (does not know the tradition or custom) or tak tahu bahasa (does not know the language). The latter phrase denotes the close link between language and culture.

Kurang ajar (literally: not fully taught) seems to bring with it a more serious note than tak tahu adat and tak tahu bahasa. This particular idiom means that one is not taught the rules of decorum by one's parents. However, usually it is the mother that is implicated when a child does not behave properly. This is evident when the phrase kurang ajar is placed in a discourse. The onlooker or the disputant is usually heard to say to or of the person involved in this crudity as 'kurang ajar, anak mak tak terajar' (which may be translated as 'you are rude, you are the child of a mother who is not able to bring her child up properly'). The severity of kurang ajar is supported by litigations and court cases taken up by people who have been referred to as kurang ajar by others. (There was such a case in the High Court in Kuala Lumpur in 1977, in which I was subpoenaed as the language expert).

Biadab (literally: uncivilised) is a loan word from Arabic which means 'uncivilised'. An 'uncivilised' person occupies a lower social level than one who is not properly brought up by the mother. There has not been a court case or a litigation on biadab so far. There are two possible explanations to this. Firstly,biadab is not as frequent in occurrence as kurang ajar, perhaps due to it being a sophisticated word. Secondly, if it is used at all, it appears in a more general context with no particular personal referent.

- Asmah Haji Omar

Demikian sedikit sebanyak pemerhatian yang dapat saya kongsikan di sini bersama rakan-rakan yang budiman.

Semoga dapat jua kita membuka minda dan berlapang dada dalam ikhtiar mencari sesuatu yang lebih baik untuk meningkatkan cara dan daya kita berkomunikasi dan berinteraksi antara satu sama lain.

'Kita Yang Mana?'

Terima kasih.


RMAF Museum 2014

Assalamualaikum and Greetings

'To be or not to be . . .'

The soliloquy ' to be or not to be ' in Shakespeare's play Hamlet has always been considered as the most famous in English drama.

These exact words came to my thoughts and lingered on my mind when I went-a-visiting the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) Museum at Jalan Sungai Besi, Kuala Lumpur.

With due respect to one and all concern with the upkeep of this museum . . . my question then was: Is this museum ' to be or not to be? '

I visited the RMAF Museum on Wednesday 10 September 2014 after being convinced by an ex-military officer, Lt Col Basri Omar (rtd) PGB, that I will surely love to see the exhibits at the museum.

Love to see the exhibits I did. It was indeed pleasant to note that many extinct aircraft / carriers of historical value are still available for public viewing . . . but then that was to be about all.

Enjoyed my visit to the fullest satisfaction as a museum enthusiast? I shall prefer to reserve my opinion if not my judgement on that one.

I am jotting this down not to belittle the effort by certain quarters in the air force to uplift and upgrade the RMAF Museum standing to at least be at par with if not higher than that of other local museums in the country.

The Army museum at Port Dickson or the Police museum in KL for instance will be fair examples of some better kept museum.

A museum by common definition will indicate a place where objects / artifact of historical, cultural, artistic or scientific interest are kept. 

These objects / artifact are for the public to see.

The RMAF Museum is not lacking in the collection of objects / artifact to show . . . (in fact some objects of 'museum piece' standard could be found right here) . . . but the upkeep / maintenance of some of these objects leave much to be desired (especially that of the aircraft in the open field!)

It is rather unfortunate I had to start my coverage with not so pleasant an intro.

My observations could be far-fetched for an otherwise potentially good museum . . . given a better space and atmosphere to perform in.

Moving on to something more positive . . . I would want to sum up this short intro of mine on a more encouraging note.

I would like to congratulate the RMAF Museum management team headed by its Director, Lt Col Roslan bin Manan RMAF and ably assisted by Major Sukumaran P. Karunandi RMAF (ex-Nuri, Black Hawk, Alouette Pilot) for a job well done.

The support staff were noticeably capable and helpful too.

RMAF Museum Director
Lt Col Roslan bin Manan

Director n Deputy of RMAF Museum
Lt Col Roslan Manan RMAF(left); 
Major Sukumaran P. Karunandi RMAF

Good Support
Hafizzul (left) with Sukumaran

Several busload of young students were seen entering the premise. They arrived from as early as when the museum opens for daily operations.

They were from schools in the vicinity of the city including greater KL as well as from areas on the outskirts.

The children were noticeably excited . . . and deeply interested in what they saw . . . the planes of course!

Their awesome experience . . . a combination of both raw excitement and crisp imagination . . . should be nurtured and kept actively fresh in their heart, mind and soul . . . to be turned into a love for national heritage.

These sets of young Malaysians will in the long run be at the helm . . . steering the nation . . . towards achieving national aspirations!

The school children left quite late in the afternoon . . . after enjoying themselves for quite a while . . . toying with the big boy's toy.

After all . . . it is not every day that one has the opportunity to get as close to as many aircraft of various make and model at one instant.

Many adults were also seen at the museum. They too were obviously 'fascinated' by what they saw.

L to R:
Voon, Sukumaran, Writer

I come to understand that these gentlemen were ex-RMAF pilots . . . Nuri and all . . . veterans and experts in their own right.

Let us now salute the 'stars' of today who were made from yesteryear's achievement and glory.

[In actuality they came for a 'tv shoot' assignment . . . a national heritage documentary by a production house.]

More lively promotions of the RMAF Museum to the general public would definitely help attract more visitors to the museum.

When fully rejuvenated . . . the new look museum could perhaps be established as a 'compulsory' destination of visit to every RMAF personnel / new intake . . . at least once (or twice?) throughout their career with RMAF . . . (a moral obligation from within!)

It might also be useful to mention that the aircraft 'simulator' section / area be upgraded to create a more relaxed ambience.

The section / area must have 'd oomph' to capture the visitors attention and rouse their curiosity.

It must at the same time appear challenging to the layman.

It will be no surprise when this 'simulator' thing turn out to be the 'star' attraction for visitors to this museum in the near future.

Indoor exhibits and artifact kept in various buildings of the RMAF Museum premise looked reasonably well maintained. 

All said . . . clearly the RMAF Museum management team . . . had rendered fantastic services in keeping the museum intact even while faced with many obstacles, and experiencing much restrictions and limitations.

I trust with such continuous grit and spirit in getting the job done . . . the number of visitors to RMAF Museum will increase tremendously over the immediate years.

When this happens all of you will relish in the truthfulness of the saying :

What you sow you will harvest . . .

You will reap the rewards of all your hard work!

Thus in saying thank you to you and team for being both very professional and hospitable host, I wish you a successful ultimate in an unending endeavour.

Writer with Museum Director Lt Col Roslan RMAF

Good luck to Lt Col Roslan Manan RMAF and Major Sukumaran P. Karunandi RMAF and all the team members.

To all fellow Malaysians out there . . . do support our local Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) Museum.

Our very own heritage!