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Saving Yesterday For Tomorrow

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Here’s something for our local football fans. This article is from Mingguan Malaysia, dated 9 April 1972. Perak and Selangor were set to meet at the Merdeka Stadium. Did anyone of you catch the game? Did you have a chance to meet your favourite footballers?

  1. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Dear felicia

    Despite knowing very little about Malaysian soccer as it might have been played in the ’70s, I do still “recognize,” albeit extremely faintly, a few names among the players listed (more among the Selangor team than the Perak team, oddly enough).

    About the language used in the article: again, I’m hardly an authority on the subject but it does seem to me that the spelling and punctuation is a mixture of old and new. I suppose this is true always, and of all living languages, but still, a definite change in official Malay was decreed around the time of the article, and so it’s interesting to see the mixture in print. If I remember correctly, people were sensibly given some time to get used to the changes, and it seems this publication’s style manual, or the writer’s practice, reflected the ambiguity.

    I do notice that “Datuk Harun” is mentioned in the article. I will not say much about him here … but I will say that for all the good he may have done for football teams, he committed other acts as well. Young people who don’t recognize his name perhaps ought to look him up (search for Selangor Mentri Besar Harun Idris).

    Just for the record: I notice that in the column of previous championship results given on the lower right, the caption at the top of the list actually promises less than the list delivers.

  2. felicia says:

    Hi Ipoh Remembered,
    Yes..the mix of old and new is rather interesting. During my schooling days, we were already using the new (?) official Malay. Thing is, with every update that DBP made to the Malay dictionaries, the new words added seem like English words with a different spelling :)

    • Ipoh Remembered says:

      Thing is, with every update that DBP made to the Malay dictionaries, the new words added seem like English words with a different spelling :)

      Well, one does sympathize. In a world where a few languages dominate, it’s not easy for any other language to defend itself or even maintain its self-respect.

      Plus, in English, too, there are words borrowed from Malay. Sometimes the spelling is altered because the borrowers misheard or did not try to properly pronounce the original. An example I’ve always found amusing: the expression running amuck (though I must say the phenomenon itself is slightly less amusing).

  3. Ipoh Remembered says:

    Dear felicia

    Thing is, with every update that DBP made to the Malay dictionaries, the new words added seem like English words with a different spelling :)

    Here’s a true story. You may not want to add it to the database.

    Some time in the early ’60s the following headline appeared in a newspaper:

    HARGA SEMEN NAIK

    I have no idea where my copy of the article is, but I do remember the writer informing his readers that perniagaan semen was sangat ranchak and that factories terpaksa akan menambahkan keluaran-nya.

    With a booming economy and a hyperactive construction industry in those years, there was a flurry of such articles and headlines.

    Now you might think that someone at Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, having blundered, would have addressed the problem and cleaned things up, but no one did. Soon enough, the “translated” word made its way back into English, with predictable results.

    I’m sure you’ve seen those giant advertising bill-boards erected along the highway. The climax came when the following slogan appeared on one of them:

    You Can Depend on Malaysian Semen

    Not that anyone ever said otherwise, of course.

    • ika says:

      Thanks for making me laugh Ipoh Remembere. We will not be publishing this on the database as the gigantic sign was on the Klang highway where it greeted arrivals to Malaysia by sea and rather out of our area, more’s the pity!

    • felicia says:

      “I’m sure you’ve seen those giant advertising bill-boards erected along the highway. The climax came when the following slogan appeared on one of them:

      You Can Depend on Malaysian Semen”

      your puns (intended or otherwise) made my morning, Ipoh Remembered!

  4. Ipoh Remembered says:

    I wrote, somewhat vaguely:

    Some time in the early ’60s the following headline appeared in a newspaper [but] I have no idea where my copy of the article is

    It turns out I will not have that copy at hand until much later, so instead I made a quick telephone call: the article appeared in Berita Harian on September 8, 1962.

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