By Veronica Cordoba
“Let’s call a spade a spade, not a gardening tool” is a popular saying in the English speaking world. But Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad says the English language is funny as it does not really live to these standards.
The phrase above refers to calling something “as it is”. Call it by its right or proper name, without “beating about the bush”.
Dr Mahathir has his cynical views of the Western world and this time he took a jibe at the English language and England.
In a short video clip circulating on Whatsapp in Malaysia, Dr Mahathir is heard saying, “The Chairman in the Parliament is called Mr Speaker, but he is not allowed to speak,” sending the audience in laughter.
“Malaysia is a member of the Commonwealth, but wealth is confined to a few countries only, it is not common at all. During the time under British rule, they used to call the Malay Sultans ‘rulers’ but of course they were not allowed to rule and the rulers had advices who actually ruled,” he says.
He then says in the English language, when they say something it does not really mean what they are saying.
“When they criticise us that we are dictators I don’t think they mean it,” he says with another big laughter from the crowd.
Dr Mahathir made the speech while he was in London last week.