Monday, May 08, 2006

"Ni Pu Xi Huan, Ni Li Khai Ma Lai Si Ya!"

The above title translates as "You tak suka, keluar Malaysia".

Sounds familiar? Well, it could be the slogan to replace 'Malaysia, Truly Asia' at all! Read the following news from The Sun:

`Tell tourists they are not welcome'

HOW CAN WE TRANSLATE SUCH REMARKS BY IMMIGRATION OFFICERS, SAYS AN INTERPRETER AT KLIA

by Kong See Hoh


"TELL them not to come, to avoid creating trouble for us." This is the message that some frontline staff at the KL International Airport entry points want Mandarinspeaking interpreters to convey to the tourists they are hired to help.

The interpreters are in a spot, having to choose between offending the tourists by telling them that they are not welcome in Malaysia, or being accused of being uncooperative by KLIA officers.

An interpreter stationed at the airport asked Nanyang Siang Pau: "How can we translate such remarks, which will only damage the country's image?"

The interpreter, who did not want to be named, said about 50% of immigration officers appear to be making life difficult for certain tourists and often want the interpreters to translate negative remarks to them.

He said for example, that some officers make their own rules and tell tourists from certain countries that they must at least have a specific sum of money with them before they can enter the country, despite the Home Ministry's directive that tourists should be allowed in so along as they have valid travel documents and a return air ticket.

"We are in a difficult position and we are unable to help these tourists who feel victimised," the interpreter said.

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Tan Chai Ho admitted that the ministry had received complaints about the attitude of some immigration officers.

He said the ministry is investigating the complaints and will take necessary action against those responsible.

He said that although immigration officers can enquire as to the sum of money tourists are bringing in, they cannot be discourteous to tourists.

While we are extremely friendly to certain tourists, the others are not spared from being racially-profiled.

If it so blardy difficult to shed off our obsession with race and skin colour, why not just make us wear this T-shirt already! I'm so farking tired of empty promises and sweet talks! Image source.

I have personally witnessed how some customs officials at KLIA trying to 'shoo' away some tourists from China by rudely saying 'Na pian, na pian' (that way, that way) in order to get them queued up.

Please make up our minds whether we want to live under coconut shells cocoons or to open up to the world. Please do not make up empty promises and sweet talks saying that we are so Asia or so friendly and what not. That just irks me a lot.

The same goes for whether we want to stay a Third World Country or not. Please do not beat our chests saying that we want to become First World, while supporting 'yes man-ism' or 'ke-pak turutan' (is there such a word?) in an insititution which represents the voice of the rakyat.

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