Sunday January 20, 2013
Call to ban politically incorrect terms like ‘ah pek’
By R.S.N. MURALI
MALACCA: Terms like ah soh (aunty), ah pek (uncle) and orang asing (foreigner) should be banned in government departments and state agencies, said a Barisan Nasional leader.
Kota Melaka Parliamentary Supporters Club chairman Datuk Mohammad Ahad said he would propose to the Chief Minister to direct civil servants to refrain from using such terms to address the people.
“From what my close friends told me, even bank staff address the non-Malays with such terms,” he said, adding that many people, especially pensioners, felt offended.
His friends, Mohammad said, were professionals who had once served in senior positions in government departments and felt upset that the younger civil servants would sometimes converse with them in colloquial Malay.
The younger civil servants, he added, should realise that these pensioners were from the “baby boomer” generation with good education and experience.
“They are knowledgeable about any issue and don't need to Google' to get information. Therefore, younger civil servants shouldn't look down on these older folk as being ignorant,” he said, blaming the social media for perpetuating such terms to refer to certain ethnic groups.
Mohammad, who is also Sg Putat Umno branch chairman, said he would propose to the Chief Minister that guidelines be drawn up on etiquette and customer service.
“We have to do something to label such terms as dirty words' because, in a way, civil servants who continue to address people this way can derail the noble intention of the Prime Minister's 1Malaysia concept,” he said.
Malacca MIC deputy chairman Datuk M.S. Mahadevan said many grassroots leaders felt that Barisan would be at a disadvantage if civil servants continued to address non-Malays with such terms.
“We have those who are in their late 60s venting their frustrations whenever they are described as orang asing,” he said.