Sounds ironic. It was a lady I met in the vicinity of Niagara Falls way back in 1985. She was with her three small children. I was dumfounded then. Only for a short while. She sort of trying very hard to stop herself from talking in English. Yet the words she uttered were English. I realised then history could be forever. The hundred years war between the English and the French is still dragging itself to the present. Canada is a living proof of that war until today. We have been colonised (If I may used the therminology) for too long. The Portugese came and gone. The Dutch came and gone. The British came and gone. The Japanese came and gone. The British came back and gone again. They were gone for good. What is disturbing is that the spirit of the British is still very strong. Dominating almost every facet of our life. There goes our politics. Our culture. Our education. You name it, the British is very much alive in our system. Haunting our past. Haunting our future.
Many upteen times I heard tales of those venturing into continental Europe. The sentiment there are forever different from what we experience here. Our heart is so dear to the British. That kind of feeling never happen in continental Europe. Even in Canada that sentiment exist. The French deeply hated the British. Anything British. I learnt that in North America. The French in Canada are still very vocal about their demand to have an autonomy in Quebec. A state for the French. Just go to France. Try to speak in English. They will simply ignore you. Go to Germany. You will experience the same treatment. In fact in many parts of Europe speaking English is simply non-existance.
Let us wander around the world. Most nations are very proud about their language. The national language. Official functions are conducted in their national language. State functions are conducted using the national language. They know English. They could be proficient in English. Yet in official functions they communicate using their national language. Yes the national language. When two leaders meet they engage interpreter. Talking to and fro as if they cannot speak or understand the English language. In reality, deep inside their heart they love their own language. Very dear to them. They can go to war just because somebody disrespect their language. Remember the hundred years war? It ended centuaries ago. Yet the scar still persists in their mind and heart. The French is still bitter. Forever maybe.
In Asia, China is proud of her Chinese. The Korean are proud of their national language. The Japanese are proud of their national language. So goes the Russian. So what next? They are economic superpowers. Their products are exported all over the world. Look at the labels. Read the text. Not a single English. Who says that English is a must? The Japanese and the Korean are enjoying economic achievement. The others are simply bewildered on how they achieved such greatness. Their technologies dominating all over the world. You name it, their products exist in every aspect of our life. English is reconised as a medium for international communication. To some nations English is not the deciding factor in their success. Not politically. Not educationally. Not technologically. Their national spirit is too formidable. As a nation to be reckoned each of them behold their national pride. Their language is very dear to them. Their self pride.
Look at us. We are still hesitant about bahasa Melayu. More hesitant about English. What is our philosophy? What are our vision by 2020? Yet we are more worried about those years beyond 2020. Where are we going? Are we still clear of our future? Or still muzzy. Still fuzzy. Are we clear on this? Please take stock. Think hard. From the highest leadership to the general layman, all citizens must make a decision. Are we proud of our national heritage. The once lingua franca of the region. Spoken by millions in the nusantara. Why take others to replace our own? Lost our pride? Well, I pass the ball to you. It is you that must do the right thing. Think of those that may be dear to your nation. Remember nation building. You dare make a difference?