Speak English Movement Communicating Wrong Message?

This is my new grammar teacher? Eeks!

This is my new grammar teacher? Eeks!

The Speak Good English Movement has enlisted drag queen comedian Kumar to give Singaporeans grammar lessons, as part of a long-running drive to encourage the correct use of English.

I for one believe that English should be spoken the way English ought to be spoken – and I don’t mean with a phony accent like those posers reading news on local TV or those awful DJs we have on local radio.

My view is that “Singlish” – the popular local patois – though colorful and so uniquely Singapore, should only be used judiciously.

That’s because Singlish is simply not English. It’s as English as “Taglish” (Tagalog-English, the “English” spoken by Filipinos); it’s as English as “Tok Pisin” – a “language” originally developed as trade pidgin and widely used in everyday conversations in Papua New Guinea today.

So, yes, do speak good English please! I strongly encourage it. I wholeheartedly support the Speak Good English Movement.

My issue is with the use of Kumar. To me, Kumar is a person who has made a living out of dressing in drag and telling vulgar jokes. (What is sadder is that people actually pay good money to go and watch him make an absolute fool of himself. But that’s another blog post for another time.)

Kumar is hardly a role model, in my opinion. All that mascara, that over-the-top makeup, that lipstick, that limp wrist, that overly-exaggerated supposedly “feminine” body language, plus the Singlish he often uses, is in fact, totally revolting. And he’s going to teach us grammar?

By using this tragically comical and utterly pathetic character, though he’s popular – he even has his own TV series now – negates the efforts of the Speak Good English Movement. Moreover, by using Kumar, what message is the Movement sending to the young and the impressionable, especially those still in school? Indeed, why use Kumar? Has the Movement lost steam? If so, whoever’s in charge must grasp the nettle and generate some creative strategies to give it renewed vigor. Perhaps it’s high time to appoint a better person, a more qualified person, to helm the Movement?

There has never been a need for any country to use transvestites for educational purposes, other than to illustrate what aberrations of nature they really are and what gender confusion can do to some – usually very mentally disturbed – people.

If comedians must be used, surely there is no shortage of comedians in this country of ours. Just look around you. The clown who accused the prime minister of misappropriating our Central Provident Funds is trying to be a Nominated Member of Parliament – there you go, that’s one ready comedian we can turn to, right?

It’s a warped world we live in when we appoint an obnoxious cross-dresser notorious for telling obscene jokes to help us speak good English and when a bearded tranny wins the Eurovision Song Contest 2014.

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