Thursday, August 18, 2005

Same source, same date but different impact

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When I was in Taiping, I was watching the news and I could not believe what the Acting Menteri Besar Kedah, Datuk Mahdzir Khalid said about the worsening API reading in Kedah. He said something like this “…tangguhkan dulu pembakaran jerami sehingga masalah jerebu berkurang”.

Just to be sure of what I have heard, I picked this up from
Bernama:-

Di ALOR STAR, Pemangku Menteri Besar Datuk Mahdzir Khalid meminta para petani supaya tidak melakukan pembakaran jerami padi buat sementara waktu ini memandangkan situasi jerebu di negeri ini semakin buruk dengan indeks pencemaran udara (API) semakin menghampiri 100, iaitu pada tahap tidak sihat. Beliau berkata arahan itu bagi memastikan asap dari pembakaran jerami padi itu tidak memburukkan keadaan jerebu, dan menurutnya arahan melarang pembakaran terbuka itu juga perlu dipatuhi semua pihak
(source: www.bernama.com/bernama/v3/news.php?id=150108)

But surprisingly Bernama's English version of it on the same date stated this:-

In ALOR STAR, Acting Menteri Besar Datuk Mahdzir Khalid issued a warning that stern action would be taken against those involved in open burning, including padi farmers
(source: www.bernama.com.my/bernama/v3/news_lite.php?id=150074)

I gather that someone must have done a (bad?) translation from Bahasa Malaysia to English and as such, the Bahasa Malaysia version should be the correct one (as I heard the same from the “horse’s mouth” in TV).
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The funny part is that Bernama suppose to be the national news agency whom is the source of Malaysian news to the world. I am sure that most of the foreign news agencies would have picked up Bernama’s English version and may even have applauded Mahdzir Khalid’s “stern” stand. But looking at what he really said leaves a bitter taste on the tongue. It is as if Bernama had swept the “dirt” under the carpet.

If I put my own version of Mahdzir Khalid’s statement in layman’s terms, the statement would sound like this:-

Negara kita sekarang menghadapi masalah jerebu. Oleh itu, para petani diminta tangguhkan dulu pembakaran jerami agar tidak memburukan lagi masalah jerebu. Kalau masalah jerebu telah berkurangan, saya tidak ada masalah kalau para petani nak meneruskan pembakaran jerami kerana bagi saya, asap dari pembakaran hutan di Sumatera dan asap dari pembakaran jerami adalah berbeza sekali. Asap dari jerami tidak memburukan kesihatan rakyat dan tidak menganggu jarak penglihatan. Kalau negeri Kedah dikabungi asap dari pembakaran jerami pula, saya tidak ada masalah dengan itu

Ok, I am putting my own words here and there. I may even have read his statement out of context but am I? Read between the lines and interpret for yourselves.

As I said, it is
depressing to have amateur politicians handling serious situations like haze but being away to Taiping did not help much when we have such “smart” people making “smart” statements in national TV.
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(Picture source: www.kedah.gov.my)


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