Friday, November 23, 2007


It was extraordinary that two words became the center-point at the recently concluded UMNO General Assembly held at Kuala Lumpur. They are colloquial and I have yet to leaf through the dictionary to see if they appear in it. Not many in the assembly would appreciate their intrinsic meaning.

Dato Najib Abdul Razak in his opening remark chose one word to describe the presiding Acting Chairman of the august assembly. Aptly or otherwise he chose the term ‘kelolo’ descriptive of a person’s character. It drew a raucous applause from the floor albeit I would like to believe that only a small majority realized its meaning and implication.

Then it was the turn of the President to deliver his speech. Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi also the Prime Minister of Malaysia chose to add another word best describing the character of the Acting Chairman who in the past assemblies had been the spokesman of Kedah and whose witty, humorous innuendoes and speeches always added spice and yet kept the assembly awake. The President adding another dimension to what his deputy had said earlier remarked that
“….. our Acting Chairman is not only ‘kelolo’ but also ‘loglaq’ ”,
a more deafening agreement from the floor orchestrated. Both the President and his deputy had highlighted their opening remarks though briefly on the Presiding Chairman who since the first day of the Assembly had added humor or sarcasm as one would choose to apprehend, yet drawing applause and laughter.

I would like to consider heavily on the terminologies used and define their appropriateness especially at such an assembly and whether decorum and righteousness go alongside the earlier speeches and sideline remarks, especially when feminism, sex and human anatomy came to the fore.

Not that there should be a hue and cry over it all but it puts us on the alert at being appropriate or humorous where necessary and appreciative of other people’s feelings and backgrounds when we presides, be it a meeting of any size. It would be a catastrophe if such a leveling earmarked a Yang Di Pertua or the Speaker of Parliament.

How do you define the two words? It would be interesting to know your insight. The Malaysian newspapers took both words to mean ‘buffoon’. I would take the first to mean ‘mischievous’ or ‘playful’ and the latter to mean ‘ crude’, ’ill-mannered’ or ‘uncouth’. Again it falls back on the background and nature of your upbringing where such terms are in vogue. I remember and expect a grandmother in Kedah or even Penang to reprimand her grandson for being ‘kelolo’ or ‘loglaq’ for showing an impish and imperfect mannerism. Such reference would perhaps extend only to the juvenile stage surely not much later. I may be wrong to say that the two words are known and familiar to the northern states. With much interchange and relocation many more would have understood what they meant.

1 comment:

Azizi Ahmad Termizi: said...

Pak Non

From my 7-year stay in Alor Setar, I know (more or less)what 'loqlaq' means. But 'kelolo' I wouldn't know. In fact there are many Malay words which I have only recently come to know such as merudum, madani, and teruja to mention a few...