Thursday, September 30, 2010

Grandma Deserves Better

You knew Home Affairs Minister Wong Kan Seng was in serious deficit of thinking matter when he said, in response to queries about Mas Selamat 's whereabouts, latter was either in Singapore, or not in Singapore. Demonstrating similar dereliction of duty in disseminating useful public information, Acting Minister for Information and the Arts Lui Tuck Yew was quoted as saying. "And if you ask if not now, then when, or if ever - I don't know." What the fish do you know, Mr Minister?

Lui was presenting his stand that the country is not ready to lift the restriction on dialects, and his dubious claim that allowing full content in dialects could "hypothetically impact the standard of Mandarin by 20 percent". His other hypothesis is that "It is already difficult enough to learn English and Mandarin, I think it would be quite challenging to learn a third language."

We don't know when Lui last had a conversation with his parents. If he did, he would have been enlightened that dialects are as natural to the young as fish is to water. For generations, grandma have been teaching kids to finish the food in their bowl, and to be respectful to their elders through culturally rich anecdotes like not pointing your finger at the moon. Mandarin not required. And grandma does a better job at holistic education than those MOE bucreaucrats who coerce school kids to attend YOG events. Or fly in native English speakers, complete with wife, kids and the family dog, because they have no confidence in our own language teachers.

Dialect programming on free-to-air-television is meant for the enjoyment of the silver haired generation who are now unable to engage in conversation with their grandchildren, thanks to the alienation brought about by the Mandarin language. It's supposed to be a small token of appreciation for our senior citizens who dutifully  procreated and worked hard to make the present generation possible. So are we to wait till they are gone before the Hong Kong Cantonese and Taiwan Hokkien programming get to be aired? The only appropriate response to Lui for this disrespect is, boh tua boh suay.

7 comments:

  1. I don't agree that Mandarin caused the alienation. At the most it is the government's policies that cause the alienation.

    ReplyDelete
  2. So are we to wait till they are gone before the Hong Kong Cantonese and Taiwan Hokkien programming get to be aired?
    ========================================

    No need...got $$$, cable t.v got liao

    ReplyDelete
  3. The PAP are treating Singaporeans as fools while smiling and laughing heartily with their sycophants.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Okay, here clearly is a case of a parliamentarian who knows near to nothing about his people.

    Listen Minister Lui; dialects, Tamil, Hindi, Malay and other natural languages and dialects of our fellow Singaporeans ARE WATER TO US. Do You understand?

    Funny, this particular Minister does not leave me the impression that he live on 'kantang' alone and neither is his Mandarin proficiently fluent. How is such a person qualified to talk about languages and arts etc???

    And most important of all, if Singaporeans are deprived something most intimate to their live with absolute nonsnsical reason, what gain does the society or the Government get???

    COME ON! ALL THE CABINET MEMBERS, WAKE UP TO YOUR SENSES! All of you have been behaving very queerly for too long.

    patriot

    ReplyDelete
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