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Saturday, April 17, 2004


Ban on Malay Songs with English Words?

According to the Star ::
One of P. Ramlee's classic hits Madu Tiga may end up being banned on RTM due to the Information Ministry's latest ruling which disallows the airing of Malay songs with lyrics that are intertwined with a sprinkling of English words like “I Love You”. Songs that have been “taken off the air” include Anita Sarawak's Seksis and Diva, Ruffedge's Tipah Tertipu, Too Phat's Alhamdulillah and KRU's latest song Bade.

According to producer and songwriter Norman Halim, the move is both impractical and unfair as it prevents musical creativity and expression.
He added that it was ironic that the ministry did not impose the same restriction on Malay songs with Arabic chorus lines.
The issue is said to have cropped up after Dewan Bahasa and Pustaka (DBP) chided the Information Ministry and Malaysia Communication and Multimedia Commission[MCMC] for allowing songs like Seksis and Diva to be aired.

New Information MINIster, Datuk Paduka Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir, says he is not aware of this ban, according to Bernama and he will carry out a probe into this alleged ban. "If at all we want to ban, it is not because of several English words used in the song (but) we do ban obscene words and so on," he told reporters. According to the MINIster, the banning of any song from being aired by RTM was done at the officers' level. Little wonder he is not aware. Anyway he went on to say :: "We will correct it, but I'm certain that they were not banned just because they contained English words...the meaning (of the words) may be obscene, we don't want any element of obscenity." Presumably, "I love you" in Tiga Madu, possess some degree of this! But as far as the MINIster was concerned it was not a problem if English words (presumably not obscene ones) were included in the lyrics of Malay songs. So there you have it from the MINIster's mouth. Probably some junior officer will be blamed for the ruling and RTM can continue to play these borderless rojak songs for all to enjoy.

Now a few words from our new Arts, Culture and Heritage MINIster, Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim regarding rojak language ::
On the heritage element in the national language, Dr Rais felt that the most glaring aspect was how it was being spoken in the country.
“This can also be a question for the Education Ministry but in the heritage department, we would like to say: Do not make the language so rojak (mixed) so as to make it unintelligible in the future. The French don't mix their language with other words. But in Malaysia, half our sentences is in English while the other half is in Malay. In the end, we don't pick up the good parts in either language.
“I've already told my officers: “When you give briefings, either you give it in Malay or you give it in English. Don't make a rojak out of it,” he added.


The new MINIster of Arts, Culture and Heritage has more to say then just on rojak language; he has much more, on :: 'arabisation', 'wayang kulit', Islam Hadhari, 'mak yong' and 'manora' and more.


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