OK, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that I’m no expert in Bahasa Melayu (Malaysia?). But I think I have sense enough to know that the word “PERMASALAHAN” should not even exist. It does, though – as can be seen by the number of people using the word nowadays. It is increasing at a rate that is almost as fast as the the increase in the population of illegal Indonesian immigrants in Malaysia.
Just think about it (and take the ‘I-must-use-big-words-to-impress-people’ hat off for a minute). What job does ‘PERMASALAHAN’ do that the good old ‘MASALAH’ cannot? I thought so! You can easily replace ‘PERMASALAHAN’ with ‘MASALAH’ and your meaning will not change in manner whatsoever. This goes to show that just because TV3 uses a word repeatedly doesn’t mean that it it should be mindlessly adopted.
Now, let’s try to find an approximate to ‘PERMASALAHAN’ in English. The closest contender I can think of is the very inelegant (if not grotesque) ‘PROBLEMATION’. Yeah, anybody who even utters this word (‘PROBLEMATION’) in the English-speaking world will probably get shot (maybe even twice!). By extension, I believe users of the word ‘PERMASALAHAN’ deserve the same fate.
OK, I concede that it has the dubious quality of sounding better than ‘MASALAH’. But apart from that, how does it add to good old, time-honoured ‘MASALAH’? Maybe we should just hand over the people who use ‘PERMASALAHAN’ to the sharpened bamboo stake wielding members of BENDERA and be done with it.