Home TA Online ‘Keling’ offensive when uttered – but not so when displayed?

‘Keling’ offensive when uttered – but not so when displayed?

Photograph: akubukanblog.blogspot.my

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P Ramakrishnan points to the lack of consistency of the ‘champions of the Indians’ who have taken umbrage with Mahathir’s use of the word.

There has been so much hullabaloo regarding the usage of the word keling.

Dr Mahathir Mohamad was taken to task for saying, “I want to use a ‘keling’ word. The ‘keling’ say podah (get lost).” He had clarified that it wasn’t used in a derogatory manner.

MIC treasurer general S Vell Paari was vocal in his criticism. Vell Paari said everyone knows that the word used was derogatory for the Indian community. “Why I am not surprised with Mahathir using this word? Being a black-hearted racist is the innate nature of Mahathir.

“Over and over during and after his premiership he has always demonstrated that he has no respect for the Indian community in this country,” said Vell Paari in a statement.

Not to be outdone Makkal Sakti president RS Thanenthiran got into the act as well. He took objection to the use of the word keling by Mahathir. His party lodged four police reports in Butterworth against Mahathir for uttering the derogatory term.

Mahathir uttered the word once a few days ago, and these guys are up in arms against him. But they seem dumbstruck when the word stares at them every day for so many years in Penang. How come they seem to have accepted this word quite calmly and have tolerated this word staring at them daily without a whimper, without a protest!

I am referring to the name of the road which formerly used to be named Pitt Street. Captain Francis Light was reported to have given the name to this street.

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That road was renamed in the early 1990s as Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling.

How come no one seems to be upset? Isn’t the word keling prominently displayed on the road sign? It is a permanent feature in Penang. Yet why didn’t Vell Paari and Thanenthiran get upset? Why were no police reports made?

Even the famous mosque along this road was named Masjid Kapitan Keling.

Would these visibly upset champions of the Indians now campaign for the removable of these names for the road and the mosque?

Let them prove their sincerity and consistency. Are they genuinely aggrieved or are they trying to gain some political mileage?

Over to you, Vell Paari and Thanenthiran!

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