Saturday, April 11, 2009

Double Different Standard in the (Local) Media: The Case of Batang Ai/Air

This is not an attack to the mass media. It’s just an observation, with some unflattering comments of course. ;) I mean NON-FLATTERING comments, sorry for the misunderstanding. :D

I refer to DeePo’s Kopi Sejuk (a.k.a. cold coffee, which incidentally became famous when her post about the plight of Penan girls was highlighted by international media, and later, by our media) Blogspot post “Batang Ai or Batang Air” and "I Want Batang Ai Not Batang Air", the media seems confused which term should be used. Main stream media like Berita Harian prefers Batang AIR while Bernama maintains Batang AI in all the news post.

First, I would like to relate you what the “creator” (which was the Election Committee) of the “Batang AIR” term said:

In simple words: "The place is still Batang AI but the constituency is Batang AIR.” so said the EC person in so many words (more than the text above), responding to the question of the name “Batang AIR” on something they printed (which was probably misprinted or deliberately printed like that in the first place). (Berita Hairan Harian: Ejaan Berbeza Kelirukan Orang Ramai) [The link is broken, but check the Google cache, the news article was indeed there previously. So, alternatively, you can check ibankiih's post at]

I didn't mean this kind of lashing. ;)[Jest intended] Perhaps he should add, “Yes, we have CREATED a new name, so what? There are a lot of Bujang Senangs (can be translated to crocodiles, the correct one, or mistranslated to perverts, the slightly incorrect one) here because there are beberapa BATANG AIR sungai (many rivers) here!” :D Alternatively, he could say, “Please! Don’t LASH at us (and BTW, we are not masochists), we are just using a PRESCRIBED/SUGGESTED name by (name omitted).” [End of Jest] ;)

“Not that Batang! (You sulphur-colour-minded person, I think she said in her mind!)” said DeePo. :D“Not that Batang! (You sulphur-colour-minded person, I think she said in her mind!)” said DeePo. :D

Berita Harian’s Chief Editor, because out of respect or friendship sake (just random guess, mind you), ;) took the term “Batang AIR” into their heart in their posting of all Batang AI/AIR related news. I have the feeling that their Batang AIR term started at the same time as the news of that printed something above (someone correct me please!) though they do not dare to reprint Batang AI to Batang AIR if their news source is from Bernama. ;)

Bernama on other hand has been a faithful “Batang AI”-an (like Sabah and Sabahan, thus the term “-an”) since eternity, figuratively speaking of course. ;) Even after the EC person announcement, she (I liken Bernama to a very attractive, people friendly, assertive and responsible, not to mention honourable, but sometimes aloof lady) was (is) still a “Batang AI”-an and refused (and is still refusing) to be converted to “Batang AIR”-an.

I would like to ask, “Why this double difference in their standard?” I believe (and I understand a belief can be a delusion, which means false firm belief) there are certain disagreeable personas within the world of media, just like the “real world” (I mean world outside media, the community, the people, schools, families, governments etc.) there are bickering, disagreement, and difference in views.

The things the two “schools of thought” may agree upon are: (1) Batang AI/AIR is located in Sarawak; (2) Batang AI/AIR is a constituency; (3) There was recently an election there won by one of the ruling government party components. ;)

If I am to choose between Batang AI/AIR. I would say I am a pro-BerNama one. ;) Notice the bold letters? :D Yes, I am that one, although a very disappointed type one. :D Just say if I were a foreigner, it doesn’t matter if it is Batang AI or Batang AIR, the sound will be almost the same, right. Please, let me have this one vanity of thinking I have an okay English. ;) Someone (very educated, to my distaste) said there is different phonetic-blahblahblah and I said, “Go to hell!” (in my mind of course.) :D

Since I am not a Sarawakian, someone should shout at me, “Mind your own business, you non-citizen (of Sarawak)!” (very polite, don’t you think?) or “Keep your mouth shut! You pig-eater!” (very unflattering but frankly, I do not eat pig!) or “Ceased to exist! You bastard!” (My birthright is not in doubt and well documented, thank you.) or “Shuddup! You ignorant dog!” (Sigh, people always misunderstand me...). ;)

Secondly (you’ll notice the first part is until before this paragraph, and a very long one that is), ;) no offense is intended to any party especially the Sarawakians (the government, non-governments, “normal” people – I wonder if there are “abnormal” people there), DeePo, Bernama and Berita Hairan Harian. ;) Have a nice day, you all and “cheeria-cheeria selalu. :D Cheers! ;)

P/S: Initially I wanted to use the title “A Tale of 2 Batangs” but discarded it in favour of the above title. ;) “Not that Batang!” (DeePo’s). :D Yes, I know dear. ;)


DeePo said...

The place is still Batang AI but the constituency is Batang AIR

this is quite funny statement....and very confusing.

it's like, the place called Sibau/Maling (Sibu old name and original name) but the constituency is Sibu...haha...but now it has changed to Sibu, permanently..

KY Chua said...

It was their right. ;)

日月神教-任我行 said...
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