Saturday, October 30, 2010.
"Language proficiency or linguistic proficiency is the ability of an individual to speak or perform in an acquired language
....Additionally, fluency and language competence are generally recognized as being related, but separate controversial subjects...Thus, a high number of native speakers of a language can be fluent without being considered proficient."Source: Wikipedia
To be naturalised in my country of birth, I am required to pass a language proficiency test. Based on my understanding, I must be able to speak and write in Bahasa Melayu. The speaking is easy, having been told endless times that I speak really good BM, specifically the local malay... The writing however doesn't impress them it seems. Let me give you an example.
Topic: Hutan memainkan peranan penting dalam kehidupan kita. Bincangkan kepentingan memelihara dan memulihara hutan (students' exam question :) )Dengan kemajuan infrastruktur dan teknologi pada zaman ini, sumber-sumber alam di seluruh dunia makin mengurang. Hutan merupakan satu daripada sumber-sumber ini yang sangat penting dan berharga tetapi sedang menghadapi ancaman penghapusan.Hutan adalah sumber kehidupan. Hutan berperanan sebagai "carbon sink" (cekung karbon?) melalui proses fotosintesis yang mengeluarkan oksigen. Oksigen ini digunakan oleh organisma lain untuk bernafas. Lagipun, semua sumber makanan berasas bahan tanaman hijau. Jikalau sumber ini lenyap, ia akan membawa penghapusan semua spesies binatang di dunia ini, termasuk manusia.
Its not complete, I wrote this in about ten minutes...an English version and then translated it myself to this BM version. No dictionary, no google translate, no nothing... it's not fantastic, but honestly, I think it's pretty good for one who hasn't written a Karangan since high school days.
Tell me now, why does a LANGUAGE proficiency test assess you on your knowledge of:
i)names and FULL titles of cabinet ministers?
ii)traditions and customs in a Malay wedding etc etc etc?
iii)pantun (malay poems)?
If this is the case, why not call it an MIB test? I'm not tested on my ability to understand and write Malay, I'm tested on my ability to MEMORISE. FACTS. NAMES. POEMS?! If they had given a pantun, and asked us to ANALYSE the meaning, I could do it, NO PROBLEM...I was asked to fill in the FIRST OR LAST TWO STANZAS... Can anyone give me an everyday Bruneian who can spout a variety of malay poetry, verse by verse? Ada kah??
Does this make me more "Bruneian", mun ku menjawab semua pantun/soalan atu? Adakah patut, membagi soalan-soalan yang ku dapat jamin orang IC kuning pun inda dapat menjawab?
This is a rant that's one year overdue but if you must know...
i)O level BM ku dapat B3
ii)Pelajaran Sivik di MD kana bagi A (walaupun inda keluar arah result slip)
iii)MIB di UBD ku dapat B (mana ramai ah mahasiswa/i CINA yg dapat B atau A)
Bukan plang kan kambang. Sasak ku saja mendangar aku ani inda layak jadi orang Brunei padahal
i) mama ku org Brunei (walaupun meninggal 28 tahun udah, tetapi masa ia beranak atu, ia org Brunei, masa ia meninggal atu pun ia tetap org Brunei... atu hak kelahiran ku sebagai org Brunei!)
ii) Keturunan ku Dusun (Cina jua laaah)- My father's family in Tutong are obviously all yellow IC...satu di antara puak org Brunei kan?
iii) I was born here, I studied here ALL MY LIFE (kindy to uni), I work here, and I NEVER intend to leave, therefore I will die here (unless the End of the World comes before that:))
iv) I love my country, I love my King (who doesn't? :))
Despite all this, to hear an immigration officer tell me that I need to sit for a test to attain citizenship,to be a "real Bruneian"... that I cannot claim citizenship under my mother although she was Bruneian in life, and died a Brunei citizen...I have cried tears of rejection and frustration countless times.
I'm tired of being treated like a "second-class" citizen..."stateless"... enduring a THIRTEEN hour hold-up at Dubai International Airport in 2006 because they didn't recognize my "PASSPORT" (although the Brunei Embassy in Abu Dhabi saved me.. Thank you again Pg Japar!! He's amazing... someone pls promote him!)
You may ask, why bother? Why keep trying to be Bruneian? You know what? I don't really know, except for the fact that in my heart, I feel this is my HOME, this is my Brunei, good or bad...
In the end, none of this frustrates me more than this simple fact:
My own country has REJECTED me.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010.
SEVEN YEARS AGO...
I started this blog, to allow self-expression and as an outlet for whatever I had stewing away in my mind.
Seven years ago, I was a second year UBD student. How I miss those times!
1) I suffered periodic wrist pains on my right wrist
- and I still do!
2) I was actually quite smart!
-I forget this quite often...I usually feel stupid :P One blog post stuck out, a 100% for my Physical Chem test, which I remember being my hardest subject at the time!
3)I used to wait for my dad to pick me up, sometimes til late evening because I did not have my car yet
- I drive now, thanks!
4) I went out quite a bit!
- Really? I always thought I was usually at home :P
5) I swotted a lot!
- Wow, since when am I this hardworking? Not now, for sure ;)
6) I had many friends
- And now I just have a few...that's called growing up.
7) I dissected loads of animals for Bio Lab
- Now it's just rats, just to educationally gross my students out :)
8) I was 21
- Now I'm 22 (for the sixth time in 2010) :)
In 7 years, I have grown, by God's grace, and with my family and friends helping me along the way. I'm still me, but better... And it's only going to get even better! :)
2010 is almost over...2011, bring it on!