Siapa boleh anda panggil? (A reader-requested translation)

Backstory: @widbrain asked me on Twitter if I could translate my latest TMI column — “Who do you call?” — to Bahasa Malaysia. Since he asked nicely, I said sure. Here it is.

Siapa boleh anda panggil?

31 OKT ― “Kami polis. Kami boleh tanya, tahan dan tangkap siapa saja.”

M (dia minta namanya tidak disebut sini) cuma bertanya kepada dua pegawai polis bermotosikal itu sebab mereka meminta kad pengenalannya.

Malam itu hujan, M tengah memandu. M ternampak seorang penunggang motosikal di hadapan lantas membunyikan hon kereta. Dia takut pemotosikal itu tidak perasan M berada di belakang; M cuma berhati-hati. Itu niat M, sebenarnya.

Tiba-tiba, dua lelaki bermotosikal saling mengepit kedua-dua belah kereta M.

Salah seorang lelaki itu memarahi M kerana membunyikan hon ke arahnya. M menerangkan maksudnya dan juga menambah, memang M yang punya hak untuk berjalan dulu.

Sekali lagi, anggota polis itu menyebut jawatannya dan hakya “menangkap siapa-siapa”.

Lalu M meminta kebenaran untuk membuat panggilan kepada kawannya, seorang pegawai polis kanan, untuk nasihat.

“Panggilah, saya takut apa?” sergah polis itu.

M memanggil rakannya. Terus rakannya meminta nama dan nombor polis kedua-dua lelaki itu. Tiba-tiba polis yang “tidak takut” itu kurang berani memberi pengenalan diri penuh.

Mereka cuba membohongi rakan M, mengatakan tujuan mereka “hanya nak tolong”.

Akhirnya beredar juga dua polis itu, tinggal M dalam keadaan perasaan terganggu.

Nasib M baik. Bukan ramai yang boleh memanggil polis berjawatan tinggi apabila dikacau anggota polis yang berperilaku buruk.

Hakikatnya, situasi sebegini tidak sepatutnya berlaku.

Memang ada anggota polis yang baik pekerti. Saya pernah bertemu polis sedemikian. Tapi pada masa yang sama, perihal “polis jahat” sering kedengaran.

Polis yang meminta rasuah. Polis yang mencuri. Polis yang buat tak tahu tentang jenayah atau berpura-pura terlalu sibuk dengan tugas pejabat untuk melayan laporan kesalahan.

Kita sudah jadi takut kepada polis, kerana sebab yang tak patut.

Terus-terang, saya pun takut polis. Pernah saya pergi buat laporan dan tidak diendahkan, semua kerana polis bertugas tersalah fikir saya berbangsa Filipina. Saya tunjukkan IC, baru dia layan. Ada juga polis yang cuba meminta ‘wang suap’ atau naik kereta mereka, hanya kerana tersalah anggap saya pekerja asing.

PDRM harus mengambil tanggungjawab menangani polis yang membuat salah laku. Mereka perlu juga mewajibkan anggota polis memaparkan nombor pengenalan diri pada setiap masa.

Jika seorang polis enggan memberi nama atau nombor pengenalan, seharusnya tidak salah untuk mana-mana rakyat Malaysia untuk tidak mengendahkannya.

Hakikatnya, ada polis kaki buli. Namun, jika ada polis meminta anda memberhentikan kereta, jangan terus menggelarnya pengacau. Mungkin lampu isyarat anda mati. Mungkin bumper kereta atau plat lesen terjatuh. Bersangkalah baik tentang polis itu.

Tapi jika ‘polis’ itu ternyata bermasalah, inilah tindakan anda seterusnya:

1. Jika dalam kereta, jangan turun. Turunkan tingkap sedikit (tak sehingga cukup untuk polis itu memasukkan tangannya) dan minta pengenalan diri polis itu. Kalau mereka bagi pun dan mereka suruh anda ikut ke balai, cuba tegaskan anda akan memandu sendiri ke stesen terdekat. Amat berisiko jika anda wanita untuk menaiki kereta polis yang entah niatnya baik atau tidak.

2. Guna telefon bimbit anda dan panggilah sesiapa yang anda kenal. Beritahu keluarga, rakan anda di mana dan dengan siapa. Ambil gambar. Guna media sosial: Twitter dan Facebook, jika boleh.

3. Jika anda tidak berada dalam keadaan, bawa bertenang. Cuba buat panggilan tetapi jangan cuba melarikan diri. Nasib tak baik, polis yang anda jumpa tu, kurang terlatih dan jenis menggunakan senapangnya sesuka hati, yang akan menjadikan cubaan anda untuk lari sebagai alasan untuk menembak. Ingat, cerita yang akan lebih dipercayai adalah keterangan dari polis dan cubaan anda untuk lari akan dijadikan bukti.

4. Jangan terikut-ikut perasaan untuk tunjuk kurang ajar. Polis adalah penjawat awam, bukan kuli. Berlagak biadap menyusahkan diri sahaja, jadi elakkan.

Negara telah membangun seperti Amerika Syarikat dan UK pun ada kes salah laku polis. Jangan anggap semua polis itu sama tetapi eloklah juga bersiap sedia untuk apa-apa kemungkinan.

Sekurang-kurangnya, harus ada talian untuk dipanggil rakyat Malaysia jika perlu mendapat perlindungan daripada polis yang berlagak samseng.

Persoalannya: Apakah talian itu akan pernah lengang?

 

NenekTatabahasa: About ‘tentang’ and ‘mengenai’

This is the first post in a hopefully regular series about the deceptively easy-to-learn Bahasa Malaysia.

Tentang and mengenai are words often used interchangeably by the populace, used as the equivalent of the English “about”.

My argument is that translation-wise, tentang is the preferred word for about.

“Tentang” is a kata sendi nama or the equivalent of the English preposition (not proposition, you dirty, dirty minds).

Examples:

Mereka berbincang tentang masalah negara. (They spoke about the country’s problems)
Kami berbual tentang kejadian rompakan itu. (We spoke about the robbery)

Other kata sendi nama include: di,ke,dari,daripada,kepada,pada,bagi,demi,tentang,sejak,seperti,akan,terhadap,oleh,hingga,antara, untuk,dengan,dalam,sampai.

Notice that mengenai is not listed. This is because mengenai is actually a kata kerja (verb) that means kena pada (to hit).

Tembakan pemburu itu mengenai sasarannya. (The hunter’s shot hit its target)
Bola yang ditendangnya mengenai palang gol. (The ball that he/she kicked hit the goal post)

Does this mean that you can’t use mengenai to mean about?

Not necessarily. This is because mengenai, like melalui (to go through), mengikuti (to follow), and menerusi (via) are all words used as prepositions, despite being in actuality verbs.

My personal leanings is that if you mean “about” or wish to translate “about”, use tentang as your first choice but use mengenai as a variation.

For instance, say “Hari ini saya ingin bercakap tentang buku Hakim Salleh mengenai beruang.” But some might prefer to use mengenai instead, which is a personal choice but here’s a pro-tip:

Few things mark your amateurish grip of the language as much as overuse of mengenai. It’s not a bad word, but use tentang as well, whenever its use is warranted.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments.

 

What you can do about the CPB

There’s been quite a lot of buzz about the CPB, thanks to irate techs.

Another blogpost to read on the issue:

http://uppercaise.wordpress.com/2011/12/09/new-law-puts-noose-around-computer-techies/ 

If what you read about the bill made you mad enough to, oh, do something, here’s what you can do:

1. Show up to the Open Day being held by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) this Tuesday. Details are below:

Date : 13 Disember 2011 (Tuesday)
Time : 9.30 pagi – 5.00 petang
Place : Dewan Perhimpunan
Aras 1, Blok C4, Kompleks C
Kementerian Sains, Teknologi dan Inovasi

Official FB page for event: http://www.facebook.com/events/205572512858664/

 

2. Write to your MP and voice your opposition to the Bill. Urge your friends to write/call/Tweet their respective MPs.

In the meantime, enjoy Ikhwan Nazri (@tekong)’s take on the whole thing, YouTube style:

 

 

 

 

Learning to work with the iPad

It’s been 2 weeks with the iPad and though I miss my laptop on occasion, my iPad is the superior traveling companion.

Whether it’s the bed, sofa, coffee house, car or pub, the iPad has proven capable and sturdy enough for what I needed. Paired with the iPhone and a camera connection kit, I take more photos now and share them easily.

For long-form writing and editing, my MacBook is still the superior machine but for everything else, I am happy to use my iPad.

The iPad does require a high degree of flexibility and a willingness to experiment with apps until you find what you need. For work, Writing Kit allows me to research and add source material from within the app itself without switching and copy-pasting from Safari.

For blogging, my WordPress blog is served just fine from the elegant Blogsy. Blogsy’s only real letdown is being unable to set categories or tags.

I have yet to really try video editing on the iPad but my brother and significant other both love GarageBand. In five minutes they can make rough song demos and in a pinch, accompany me singing with virtual instruments.

And I was glad to have the iPad when the book I’ve been waiting for, George R R Martin’s A Dance with Dragons, launched worldwide. The Kobo app allowed me to download it in a pinch and read it in bed, with the lights off. I also love being able to subscribe to Esquire and Wired, and I honestly prefer the digital editions of the mags more, thanks to the multimedia extras.

It is an amazing machine and worth the price I paid for it, methinks. Sure, a netbook is cheaper but it isn’t quite as portable. Where games are concerned, I can now play Monopoly and Scrabble using my iPad as a virtual board. Countless games of Monopoly kept me entertained while waiting to board my flight.

For work, play and portability the iPad really is a versatile little machine. For heavy duty editing, writing, gaming and such, desktops or a very high-end laptop still rule. But the iPad handles everything else and has been a wonderful traveling companion.

One niggle: the iPad can’t really multitask when it comes to instant messaging. You can’t run an IM program in the background, which is a tad annoying but a great way to minimise distractions.

Otherwise, my fears of it being a mere toy or expensive paperweight were clearly unfounded.

My essential extras for the iPad:
Good protective yet lightweight case
A stylus (Griffin makes a good one)
Camera connector kit for my iPhone
Extra-long USB wire (MacAlley makes one as long as 6ft)
My Essential Apps: Writing Kit, Soundnote, GarageBand, DropBox, NotesPlus, GoodReeder, Blogsy, Kobo.

Our love affair with lies

“What is truth?” Pontius Pilate asked that of Jesus.

“What is wrong with telling the truth?” That is my question.

I laughed over nasi lemak last night when friends of mine playacted the “It’s not you, it’s me” charade oft-played during breakups. Yet the humour underlined that human dilemma, that hang-up we have about sparing people’s feelings.

That’s bullshit.

A lie is still a lie, no matter how you sugarcoat it.

My relationship with my oldest friend is defined by our commitment to always, always be frank with the other. I am who I am partly because she loved me enough to tell me what I needed to hear. Always.

A guy I dated last year was a textbook case of ‘sayingwhatyoudon’tmean-itis’. It got to the point I could never trust him anymore – whatever few memories we had were tainted by all the truths he covered up, all the white lies and things he never meant. The saddest part? Dishonesty pretty much became his default state.

Friendship to me is a covenant. Truth is its foundation. I might hurt a friend’s feelings today by being blunt but I will lose the friend’s trust forever if I should ever be caught out in a lie.

If I call you friend, I will not lie to you. I won’t even tell you a dress looks good on you if it doesn’t. Or I like your haircut if I don’t.

Because I want you to know, with absolute certainty, that I mean it when I say:

– I care for you.
– I want the best for you.
– I am happy for you.
– I believe in you.
– I’m here for you.
– I love you.
Say what you mean.
Mean what you say.
Is that too much to ask of people today? I suppose it is.