Thursday, September 15, 2011

Big words and small ideas in rojak sauce

I heard the PM's speech just now. He addressed the Rakyat today, on the eve of Malaysia Day that will also be celebrated with Independence Day.

It certainly wasn't the first time I heard him deliver a speech, but just now was the first time I really paid attention. I really wanted to know what his message would be as the country adds another year to it's age and as targets for Vision 2020 are still not in our vision.

I heard him use these words and phrases:-
Sisir sejarah
Kuasa Massa
Shariah Maslahah
Sekam kebencian
Ambang pedati
Akhir Kalam

Such rich display of language, rich vocabulary, rarely used words and poetry of hikayat inderaputra kind..

On other podium, I would perhaps be very impressed. But considering that he was addressing the whole country, I was rather amused.

The Malays don't exactly speak Malay. Most Malay words would already be lost on them, but high literature ones, like the ones he used?

The non-Malays?

Will the simple kampung folks understand the speech? Or maybe he was just addressing the educated ones? And by 'educated', I really was referring to graduates in Malay literature.

I was certainly captivated, I tried hard to get to his message but I found the words he used as a distraction. The message was lost on me. I did get that ISA would be abolished, and so would 'buang daerah', the Rakyat would be allowed to rally so long as they don't demo.

You see, I have had the privilege of sitting in lectures delivered by Nobel Laurettes. One had a poster saying that he would be talking on femtology. I thought it was spelled wrongly. Phantology perhaps? A study of phantoms? Hard to fathom, right? And the decorated professor then explained what femto is in such a way that the foreign and difficult subject was made easy.

I believe that it takes a genius to make a difficult subject easy. On the other hand, it is always easier to make an easy subject, difficult.

Communication is about delivering a message from one end to the other. There is the transmitter of the message, and then there is the intended recipient. For communication to be effective, message must be delivered as intended and received as intended. It matters who the recipient would be. The transmission must work for the audience. They need to have the right antenna for the kind of signal you are sending.

In the rojak that Malaysia is, will your choice of words be well understood by them?

Don't politicians understand this very basic rule of communication?

Or, are there different rules of communication in the world of politics? You don't exactly have a point, so impress the audience with big words so they think you are cleverer than you really are.

He made a good job at that.

Have a great Malaysia Day tomorrow, fellow Malaysians!


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1:39 AM  

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