(I used to write this spoof column for the NST. One of my favourite characters was the overly censorious Ambi Mohan. These are the three main articles to mention him)
Linguists call for 'Da Vinci Code' ban
4 May 2006
The Malaysian Linguistic Association (MALAS) today echoed calls by other parties to ban the controversial movie "The Da Vinci Code."
The film is an adaptation of a best-selling novel that deals with some aspects of the Christian faith. But the objection by MALAS has nothing to do with Theology because "we don't even know who Theo is," says its president Ambi Mohan.
The Association's chief objection is, instead, linguistic. "For too long we have sat by and allowed language to be polluted but we have decided that enough's enough. "The Da Vinci Code" cannot be shown because we don't want to encourage youngsters to use
the word "da" as a lazy shorthand for "the.""
"We see this often in rap lyrics," he claims. "All this talk about 'hanging out with da hoes.' You should be hanging out with THE hoes. This sort of begs the question of why someone would want to 'hang out' with gardening implements to begin with, but I am not here to question lifestyle choices, merely spelling, grammar and semantics."
He said the Association might reconsider its protests if the filmmakers changed its name to "The The Vinci Code."
"But even this is problematic because having two 'the' in a row like that looks ugly. So the film should be called The Vinci Code."
The film's producers could not be reached for comment.
Linguists seek 'Harry Potter' ban
11 May 2006
Fresh from its controversial call to ban "The Da Vinci Code", the Malaysian Linguistic Association (MALAS) is once more taking aim at a pop-cultural institution beloved of bourgeois readers.
Its president Ambi Mohan wants the final Harry Potter book banned. What's unusual about this is that the book has yet to be published! The seventh and last instalment of British writer JK Rowling's franchise about a boy wizard is due out only in July 2007 and does not even have a confirmed title yet.
"There's nothing wrong with asking for something to be banned before we can fully ascertain its contents," he says while adjusting his trademark bow-tie. "This read- before-you-judge concept is very Eurocentric and not suited to our tropical climate."
The association's objection to Harry Potter is not merely linguistic this time, but in the interest of national security. "As a patriotic Malaysian, it is my duty to speak up," he says.
"My sister Anadil who attended a charity dinner hosted by an anti-drug foundation informed me that `pot' is slang for marijuana. Therefore I suspect that Harry's surname of Potter indicates that he is a drug addict. Potter means he specialises in pot, just as a `fighter' is someone who fights and `forester' someone who deals with forests. You'd need to be a linguist to figure this out."
Ambi confirms that he has no solid evidence to back up this claim "but the data that we have is highly persuasive. Only a drug addict would imagine he is a wizard who can fly and disappear and perform magical tricks. These things cannot happen in reality as they defy the laws of Physics, which I studied at secondary school. Also his initials are HP which can stand for Hemp Promotion."
He has another theory. "The reason why this final Harry Potter book is shrouded in mystery is that the author does not want to reveal its drug content. She knows this will cause the book to be banned in Malaysia (a very important market for the books) so she is keeping quiet. I think the final book will reveal that Harry gets his amazing powers by smoking ganja, tooting on joints and firing up doobies!" he says and starts to giggle uncontrollably.
Rowling and her publisher could not be reached for comment even though we really tried.
Blogger charged for lack of imagination
11 September 2006
In a case that will surely excite the Netizens of Malaysia, a student is being charged for using only one emoticon in all of her blog entries.
Sasparilla Chen, 17, has been keeping a blog for the past year to record thrilling moments in her life such as her exam preparations, her on-off infatuation with a Thai VJ, and surprise birthday parties for her friends. Little did she know that her blog was being monitored by people other than her immediate `posse' – and this is where her troubles started.
Ambi Mohan, head of the popular Malaysian Linguistic Association (MALAS), lodged a police report against Chen for always using only the standard smiley ( :-) ) emoticon in each of her 28 blog entries.
"I can't believe she could be so lazy," says Ambi in his tastefully appointed office in Putrajaya. "Does she not know that keyboards can create many other emoticons such as the wink or the frown?"
"Yes my association is now branching out into the Internet, although we don't yet have a website, " he continues. "My interest in the Internet started when my sister Anadil pointed out to me that Googling my name provided 40 hits! So it is now my duty to monitor linguistic usage on the Web."
On his specific beef against Chen, he says: "Using only one emoticon shows that she lacks an imaginative palette. It's like a painter who only uses one colour. Surely such a painter will be rejected by the art world. but as blogs are not regulated, by the Government such abuses are permitted to occur. Like her entry on a celebrity's wedding, which simply says "She married a rich Datuk" and is followed by the smiley emoticon. Any fool can tell you that the proper emoticon should be a sad one ( :-< ) because any 17-year old girl would surely be unhappy that yet another rich Datuk has been taken off the market!"
Chen could not be reached for comment. It is understood that she has been so traumatized by the accusations against her that she has temporarily taken down her blog.
(As you can tell from here , these articles generated quite a few angry responses).