It’s about time, lah. From an unlinkable Economist newsletter:
Visitors to Singapore are often struck by the fact that such a modern city-state has its own creole. Singlish—short for Singapore English—blends the tongue of British colonisers with Chinese dialects and a smattering of Malay. Among its most common traits is the punctuating of sentences with a forceful “lah”, which carries no meaning, but adds emphasis.
Lee Hsien Loong, Singapore’s Cambridge-educated prime minister, wants this practice to stop. He is among the officials embarking on the Speak Good English campaign, an annual event aimed at sharpening the country’s competitive edge. On May 13th, Mr Lee urged Singaporeans to speak in full sentences and refrain from using “lah”. He also lashed out at text messaging, claiming the truncated spellings used on mobile phones could cause written-language skills to become “too mutated”.
Wah, they should be more relax. Eh, government can make people change way they talk? Can? Cannot!
(Got question on Singlish? Can go here .)
Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.