Translated from our sister site BM Soscili; Click on here to see the original article in BM.
BM teachers across Malaysia took up arms after reading a media statement from the Perak wing of MUDA, released on March 30, 2022, which was rejected for lack of formality and various clerical errors:
But truth be told, it’s not like it’s the first time we’ve seen grammatical errors in press releases; some of the ones we’ve seen in the past would be enough for Cilibos to send a warning letter if one of us did.
Some of these can be a little picky, but keep in mind that media statements should be written in a formal tone, and not like one of those short stories you used to do in school. Here are the press releases we found that contained errors (whether related to grammar, sentence structure, or misinformation):
1) The statement to the media by Syed Saddiq who obtained only 29 points out of 100
Here is a throwback to 2018, when Syed Saddiq was still Minister of Youth and Sports. Netizens trolled Saddiq after he released a statement to the media titled “Regarding the issue of allowing the U-23 national football team to participate in the 2018 Asian Games”. The reason? His statement to the media contained grammatical errors, “unnecessary” sentences and “combative” language.
True to form, the Malaysian meme page Tentera Troll Kebangsaan Malaysia (TTKM) made him the butt of their Facebook jokes, giving him a 39/100 for grammar and sentence structure. They added that the whole statement could have been shortened by 7 paragraphs to only 3.
Adding salt to the wound was Harimau Malaya (Malaysian national team) themselves, who made themselves heard through their Facebook page, deduct same more points and tell Syed Saddiq to replace the media officer responsible for the “messy” writing:
“You even got the facts wrong. Minus 10 points. Sum: 29/100. » – Harimau Malaya Facebook Page
LOL. Rajin betul cikgu BM ini. pic.twitter.com/yJ16cyGshK
— TuanMasbro Babahmu Turoi Bongkersz (@bonqkersz) July 23, 2018
2. Azmin Ali’s Statement to the Media: Getting Kedah’s Name Wrong…Twice
On May 28, 2020, when Azmin Ali served as Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI), he scheduled a working trip with the new Chief Minister of Kedah, Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor. He thus issued a Press release to make it known.
Although grammatically correct, Azmin’s statement contained multiple errors in The official honorary titles of Kedah State and the title of Chief Minister. Which, you know, isn’t exactly a good look when you’re trying to impress the head of said state. 3 errors have been spotted by Internet users:
Yes, as it turns out, ‘Kedah Darul Aman’ was misnamed as ‘Kedah Darul Makmur’ (Honorary State of Pahang), while their State Seat ‘Wisma Darul Aman’ was misspelled as ‘Kedah Darul Iman’ (Honorary State of Terengganu). So, both times they got the wrong state name.
In addition to this, the title of ‘kedah Prime Minister’ was written as ‘Kedah Minister’. Which is admittedly a little finicky, but remember this is a formal write-up, not a conversation with your local mamak.
But after being set on fire on social media, Azmin Ali went back on his statement to the media. And I hope his public relations manager does too.
3. Dong Zong & Jiao Zong’s Media Statement: Several Conjunction Errors
Another throwback to the pre-pandemic days, this time to 2019, when a media statement from the Malaysia United Chinese School Committee Association (Dong Zong) and the Malaysia United Chinese School Teachers Association (Jiao Zong) went viral for having several conjunction errors and repeated words in the same paragraph.
Bottom text translation: “Such an embarrassment; 60 years of life in Malaysia but failure in the national language!”
After gaining traction on Twitter, a pattern began to emerge that Dong Zong was being criticized for his poor BM, such as with the following:
Malaysia dah merdeka selama 62 tahun tetapi Bahasa Melayu Dong Zong terbalik lintang pukang.. Dari korang sibuk bantah jawi, baik korang fikir camne nak perkasakan Bahasa Melayu korang. pic.twitter.com/8Yr6Tuks9U
—Hazwan Zulkifli (@HazwanZulkifli9) December 28, 2019
Translation of the message: “Malaysia has been independent for 62 years, but the Bahasa Melayu of Dong Zong is everywhere. Instead of protesting against the Jawi script (in reference to Dong Zong’s protest against the use of Jawi script in Chinese and Tamil language schools), you better find out how to improve your Bahasa Melayu.
BONUS: We check some media statements from politicians
The ones already mentioned have been covered by netizens, so we thought we’d flex our BM skills and try our hand at proofreading politicians’ media statements, because why not?
First, let’s look at a statement to the media from ARMADA Nasional chief Wan Ahmad Fayshal titled “The country needs a political sense, reject selfish politics”. Earlier, we noticed that some netizens actually got past the errors in this statement, but we couldn’t find the source, so we decided to do it ourselves.
Here are our fixes:
Mistake #1: “Seperti yang” (“as before”) used twice at the beginning of the paragraph.
Mistake #2: ‘Bersama-sama Presiden’ should only be ‘bersama Presiden’ (‘with the President’)
Error #3: ‘Muhyiddin Yassin’ should be ‘Mahiaddin Yassin’. No nicknames allowed.
Mistake #4: ‘Mengembleng’ should be spelled ‘menggembleng’ (to mobilize).
We also reviewed a statement to the media from Tanah Rata MP Chiong Yoke Kong:
Mistake #1: ‘ahli parliment pembangkang’ must be capitalized.
Mistake #2: “di antara” (between the two) is only used to designate the concept of physical space; ‘antara’ is the correct term for ‘between’ two entities.
That’s all we have for now, but stay tuned for updates.
Small clerical errors can give readers the wrong impression
In the political context, one would at least expect such important statements to be reread beforehand to avoid amateur errors. Example: the misspelling and misnaming of Kedah state honorifics. ‘Cause how would you feel if someone got their name wrong not once, but thrice?
Now, we don’t claim to be experts in written language, but in our experience, grammar, spelling and factual accuracy are the the bare minimum if someone wants to avoid getting flamed on social media. I mean, remember once your well-planned and articulate argument was interrupted by a grammar nazi who pinched your spelling? Yeah, there is Nope coming back from this, no matter how good you are.
But hey, discreetly, if there are political parties that need proofreaders, we would be more than happy to undertake the task for a little money.
But don’t tell Cilibos. #ihatecilisos