On the last night of our tour, dinner was arranged at a restaurant/club where some traditional/cultural shows were performed. Belly dancing, the main attraction, was a traditional/cultural performance?
Anyway, the best performance that night was the last show, where the host/performer started to interact with the audience in various languages. Beside us, there were other tourist groups from Japan, Singapore, Canada, America, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and a group at a table, simply referred to as the "United Nation".
The performer started the show by singing an American song and conversed mostly in English. He greeted us, table by table, in the national language of the group he was addressing. Amazing that he could speak (at least more than just a simple greeting) in every language of the tourist groups that were present that night. He greeted the "Japanese table" in Japan language and then together with the group, sang a Japanese folk song. Similarly to other tables as well, Australian English, Singaporean English, Greek, Turkish, South African and one or two others which I can't remember. A greeting followed by either a song or a short conversation in the respective language.
We, Malaysian did well that night. We sang together with the performer, the song "Rasa Sayang Eh" quite loud, just a bit less louder than the Japanese tourists (the loudest of all tables that night).
But what is interesting to me was that, the performer greeted our Malaysian table as "Ni hao" (Hello) before we proceed to sing the "Rasa Sayang Eh"
Performer : Malaysia ????!!!
Our table : Yesssss !!!!!!
Performer : Ni hao...!!!
Some of us : (responded in chinese)
One morning of earlier day, before starting the tour program of the day, the local tour guide started with "Good Morning" greeting followed by "good morning" in his national language. Immediately after that he said, "Ni hao". Later that day I told him that "good morning" in Malaysia language is "Selamat Pagi" or you can just say "Apa khabar" at any time of the day. "Ni hao" is chinese language, I told him.
Our group consisted of Malaysian families from Malay and Chinese ethnics. Majority were chinese ethnic. The tour leader (a Malaysian of chinese ethnic) conducted well throughout the tour period where he mostly spoke in English followed by Bahasa Kebangsaan.
What I don't understand is that, there were some of us insisted the tour leader to explain to them in chinese language. So the tour leader, after addressing all of us would approach nearer to these people and explained it again in chinese.
Do they not understand English? Do they not understand Bahasa Kebangsaan? Well, the local tour guide always spoke in English because he does not know Bahasa or chinese. I myself did speak to some of these people in English as well as in Bahasa. I believe they understood what I was saying to them. They even spoke back to me in Bahasa! Oh well... broken Bahasa. So why the need to re-explain everything in chinese language? Pity our tour leader when he had to do extra works in re-explaining in chinese. Who are these people? Chinese?
Long time ago, my American friend was confused.
American friend : Isn't he a Malaysian ? (pointing to another friend)
Me : Yes, he is.
American friend : But why he said he was chinese?
(so I did some explanations of our Malaysian background to this American friend)
American friend (after the brief explanation) : We, American, have many more ethnics than you do. Ours are from all over the world. But we are all American. We speak American.
The question is :-
- Have we failed, terribly failed in upholding Article 152 of our Constitution? Have we miserably failed to enforce The National Language Act? What is 1-Malaysia Najib doing when it seems Mandarin takes up more center stage than Bahasa Kebangsaan, let alone mentioning THIS?
- some of us simply "tidak berjiwa Malaysia" even though claimed to be Malaysians? Does not have a slightest inner consciouness or sense of being a true Malaysian. Malaysia, her cultures, her national language, and everything about the nation is not important to them? is second to their mother land where they originally came from? Obviously these people have no slightest clue of the proverb, "Di mana bumi dipijak, di situ langit dijunjung", it seems.
Look! Either one or both of above are SCREWING our Malaysian identity abroad and making those people confused on who or what the hell "Malaysia" is!!!