Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Of Coco and Malays and Accents

So everyone is talking about this Coco girl who is faking her accent to claim that she is mix. And everyone is like slamming her for it. Some people are going to the extent of saying that she is forgetting her roots and that she is just some Malay minah.
I would just like to then ask a question—How about the Malays who are being fucking put down for TRYING to speak MALAY, but now feel inferior, cos people keep saying that they have a funny accent?
Bear with me…. I am trying to make my point.
I am MALAY. I am fucking proud to be a MALAY, because I believe that the MELAYUS have a rich culture and tradition. However, I have a problem. I have a speech problem. It was hard for me to admit it back then, but thanks to the people around me, I am slowly gaining the confidence to speak the language.
It all started with my life in primary school. Not to sound pompous, but somehow, I was among the few Malays who got into the A class. I was in primary 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A, 6A. My father was a very strict man (actually he still is). If I were to drop in my grades back then, I would have to answer to the buckle of the belt. So that explains my grades, and my overachieving nature in primary school. Being the few Malays in my class, and a painfully shy one, my close friends are therefore those in the same class as me; all of them are non-Malays. I did try to mix with the Malays from the other classes during the common Malay Language classes. However, the Malays in the other classes weren’t so open to making friends with me, cos they say “I eat ‘babi’ with the students in my class, and therefore I am haram”. So I spoke a lot more English and a bit of Mandarin in primary school. However, I did well in Malay writing classes—I even have a few of my writings published in the newspaper… My mum even had them laminated and stuck onto the fridge till today. But I couldn’t speak Malay fluently.
In secondary school, I had to take Malay O level twice cos the first time I took it, I scored C5 for the first attempt… and having Malay teachers who literally slept in class wasn’t helping the situation. But I finally managed to get A2 in the end. The oral examiners weren’t so impressed with the way I spoke in Malay.
In Madrasah, there is also the equivalent of PSLE. For the oral examination, you had to read a few pages of the Quran, which I did. In my head, I thought I did okay… that is until the Ustazah, who is the teacher, openly asked me if I had mixed parentage. I innocently told her that my father is Malay and my Mother is Javanese. I had no idea why she asked the question in the first place. She then asked her next question—Abeh kenapa awak baca Quran macam ada slang? (translation—Why are you reading the Quran with an accent?).
Many years ago, I was also dropped out of a Malay production because apparently my accent couldn’t be improved within the rehearsal period.
Then I also attended an audition for another Malay stage production. During the audition, I was asked to do a monologue in Malay. I did. At the end of the audition, the director, asked me in a condescending tone, “when you sleep, do you dream in Malay or English?” At this point the other panellists started laughing. I remembered walking out of the audition room feeling humiliated and hopeless. I remembered cursing the production and hoping that it would never fucking make it to stage… this is something that I am not proud of. Anyway, the production never did make it to stage. I also remembered wanting to give up speaking Malay or ever wanting to do any production in Malay.
I persevered. I still kept on speaking the language even though I have to, most of the time, struggle a lot. And I am not afraid to claim out loud that I am Malay. And right now, I am using my company A.D.I Concept as a platform to front productions that explore Malay cultures, tradition and the different superstitious beliefs. I am still trying to improve on my Malay, even though the accent is still stuck there.
The point I want to make out of this long post is… There are MALAYS who are fucking trying to be proud of the language and culture and tradition. WE ARE FUCKING TRYING. SO BEAR THAT IN MIND BEFORE YOU PUT US DOWN JUST COS WE HAVE AN ACCENT. WE ARE FUCKING TRYING.
Terima kasih kerana sudi membaca. Thank you for reading.

Thursday, June 30, 2016


: Before I lose my sanity, I need to write this down and let it off my chest...

Here is a conversation I just had via SMS...

Me: According to the flow that was given to me, there was this thing about Sang Nila Utama that has to be included before he recollection. And since now you're telling me that that the flow can be modified, does that mean that I can remove the Sang Nila Utama part?

She: The flow can be modified but still have to include NDP recollection.

Me: So I'll remove the part on Sang Nila Utama?

She: Can I call you now?

Me: Sure.

She called and the next part of the conversation is a phone conversation.

She: Hi. Adi. This is regarding the National Day performance ah.

Me: Yes. I am asking if we can remove the part on the...

She: You wait. I can't hear you. It is very noisy here.

Me: Oh, in that case we continue our discussion via SMS?

She: Wait wait. Now a bit quiet already.

Me: Ok, so I was saying...

She: Adi, I can't hear you. It is very noisy here.

Me: Ok. So you want me to SMS you instead.

She: ok. You were saying just now....

Me: yeah, i wanted to know if it is okay.

She: I think today we rehearseon the recollection first lah hor


Saturday, May 07, 2016

Mid-Life, anybody?

Sometimes, these days, I would sit in front of the computer and contemplate. For hours if I might add. Just thinking about the future and life, with the most desperate question almost unfailingly presenting itself—Will I have enough to buy a house for me to live in? Will I be earning enough to have a car? Will I be bale to live the tai-tai dreams?  I am after all 34 now, and am turning 35 in a few month. In 2017, I would be 35 and very much be eligible to buy a HDB flat to live on my own. With the price of housing sky-rocketing every year, will I be able to sustain myself and buy a flat that I can call my own?

I suppose as you aged, there are many things that will become a concern. HDB, health insurance… you know the things that most grown-ups think about, minus the idea of having children. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I do want children… just not sure how, if you know what I mean.

I don’t know. This may be what you call mid-life crisis. I call it crisis. Period.

I shall try to sleep these questions off. If they don’t go by tomorrow, I am gonna get myself Panadol.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Happy Lunar New Year!

First of all, Happy Lunar New Year to all my friends who will be celebrating it tomorrow!! In conjunction with this special long weekend, I will be releasing the pilot episode of Season 1 to Idioms With Kundur. What is it about? Well, it is a project done by moi, of course with the help of the ever resourceful and helpful and talented partner in crime-- Mr Superfai, with one objective in mind-- To share with our friends the meaning behind some of the most complicated malay idioms, also known as PERIBAHASA. So keep a lookout for subsequent videos!

Friday, January 01, 2016

Blessed New Year.


It’s the new year, but what changed? Nothing much I suppose. Still the same curry with rice with egg on top.
 I still smell the same type of air, and drinking my usual cup of iced coffee. Everything seems to be the same and almost mundane and then I realised how lucky I am to still be alive and kicking to experience all this once again in a new year. Not everyone is as lucky. Some exhaled their last breath even before stepping into the newyear. Yes. Let’s remind ourselves of how lucky we are to still be able to read and write our blogs on this new year day.