Monday, February 16, 2009

Are Lock Stuck

Alor Star or Alor Setar?
Direct translation is Pomerac Stream. The city was named after a stream (alur) branched out from the Kedah River and surrounded by Pomerac trees.

Pomerac tree is known as pokok (tree) Staq (pronounce: stuck) in Kedah accent Malay.
This State Capital history could be tracked back to almost 300 years and one of the oldest city in the region.

Islam was already the official religion of the Kedah state and almost the entire records and related documents could be found written in Jawi (Malay language writing using Arabic characters). The Romanized (or Rumi) characters become a popular choice after the interaction with the British almost a century ago.

The actual Jawi spelling of the city is alif-lam-wau-rho (alur pronounce as "ARE LOCK" in local Kedah malay dialect) and sim-ta-alif-rho (star or pronounce as - "STUCK").
The Jawi-Rumi conversion was an evolution of its own and have undergo few versions since 1950s.
(Note: the arabic letter wau could be used as consonant W and vowels E or O, see the spelling of ALOR could also be ALUR - the currently official spelling in Kamus Dewan).
To date, since Romanized characters are widely used, hardly the Jawi version is referred to.

If back to Jawi, it is ALUR STAR then, but since it is a very old town with old Romanized Malay spelling, ALOR STAR is much more appropriate (Puchong in Selangor will not be rename as PUCUNG!)

Since the Kedah's (PAS administration) government change the spelling STAR to SETAR, PAS or Pan-Malaysia Islamic Party (Parti Islam SeMalaysia) should also consider changing its name to PIS.
Their argument is base on the Jawi initials PA-ALIF-SIN (PAS), but what the heck? They also not referring to Jawi in the above case!

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