It has to be bleep, bleep and bleep!
Writer: Patrick Teoh
Published: Fri, 13 Jul 2012
When I first coined the word “Niamah!” a lot of people asked me what it meant. Well, for those of you who don’t speak Cantonese, when spoken aloud the word means your mom.
Usually, when told the meaning the person asking the question would do one of a few things. One, recall with suitably impressive prudish indignation. Two, break into uncontrollable laughter. Or three, never speak to me again.
Fortunately, there have not been any of the third category. Yet.
Some people have accused me of being crude. The word is a bad word they say. Bad word? How? True, the word was abbreviated from the full version which Cantonese speakers utter when their intentions towards you is something less than maternal. But since I began using it I think Bleep! (Those pruddish flers at Selangor Times insist it’s not a polite word and have bleeped the word) has become a word which merely vocalises our innermost feelings about things important to us. Like family, future, education, money.
And come on, admit it. Of late you have been saying that word a little more often than you thought you ever would.
Right? Okay la, maybe some of you still just mutter it under your breath. Like when you read the newspaper over breakfast. Or when some rempit clown runs a red light and in the act endangers other motorist and pedestrians.
And right before a police patrol car too.
Some others of you may even be vocalizing the word at a discernible volume to your neighbours when you read about another 1Malaysia project being launched to add to the myriad others that are already out there confusing the heck out of ordinary, hardworking Malaysians.
Personally, I am waiting for the day when the prime minister will announce an all encompassing 1Malaysia. A Malaysia for ALL Malaysians. Yes, yes, I know. Thinking of whether that is ever going to be a reality just makes me want to scream BLEEP!!!
We live in a country that is increasingly becoming a place where a lot of bleep things happen. (See how versatile the word is? It can also be used as an adjective.) Ministers whose families benefit from cheap (often times non-repayable) loans and then claim ignorance when family members are accused of mismanagement or breach of trust. Average Bleep.
Only because it is old news and as Malaysians we have resigned ourselves to not expecting anything from the investigations. Submarines, bought at great expense of tax-payers money, that cannot submerge. Quite big Bleep! because the amounts of monies spent even just to pay the commissions boggles our minds.
Elected public representatives who constantly urge citizens to tighten belts and weather the bad economic times who then show off their Armani suits and their spouse’s haute couture spring collection. Accompanied by the latest in handbags of course. This one big BLEEP! because it really pisses us off when politicians “advise” us to tighten our belts and don’t do the same themselves. With their money or the country’s.
And it isn’t all earth-shattering issues that make us say the word either. It could be something simple like not getting what you pay for. In services. Like right now when my broadband service takes five minutes to open a webpage.
Of course, I can’t complain because I signed a contract that made me agree to the providers only providing the speed of service to the best of their ability. “I’ve done my best wor. So sorry lor.” Bleep!!! Or having to pay 50 sen for a glass of water that came out of the mamak’s kitchen faucet. Bleep!
Actually, the number of Bleep moments in any given day in Malaysia is huge. For instance, while typing this I can across a Facebook post that alleged that some councilors in Selangor have raised a new regulation that unmarried Muslim couples in Kuala Selangor now have to sit separately if they want to watch movies in local cinemas. Now, you must admit that when you come across news stories like these a mere DAMN! Or even an angry WTH! Just doesn’t do it. It has to be BLEEP!!! Go on. Say it out loud. There. Feel better, right?
Pssst…actually hor, the biggest bleep at this moment, for me at least, is finding the 200 words to end this month’s column with. So there you can see that bleep is not limited to descriptions of bad things la. It also covers small irritations. Expressions of satisfaction and joy also can. Like after some great maggi mee goreng.
“Bleep! damn good la, mamak.” Of course the mamak probably won’t understand the word and will give you a smile when taking your money. But I wouldn’t recommend using the same expression of customer satisfaction at a bak kut teh stall or anywhere in Petaling Street.