Monday, April 27, 2009

The Name Game (revised)

Can you believe it? Good old Batang Berjuntai has shrunk! I looked and looked but couldn't find the darn 'thing' even if it poked me in the eye (pun intended, naturally!)

Now, now, before you naughty folks start getting ideas, here's the deal. Pak Abu and I spent the weekend yesterday in the best possible way; getting rejuvenated while taking in the sights and sounds of rustic rural Selangor.

I kept a lookout for Batang Berjuntai, that small town famous for its deliciously unconventional name, but couldn't find it on any signboard, until Pak Abu pointed out the small print in brackets below an unfamiliar name.

They have renamed Batang Berjuntai. It is now Bestari Jaya. But why? What is wrong with Batang Berjuntai? I would rather leave it hanging the way it is because the name makes a good conversation opener.

Why can't they just let sleeping dogs lie, or dangling dongs be, for that matter? I don't think Batang Berjuntai is indecent. On the contrary, I think it is a hoot.

Sure as hell the name alone can be a tourist attraction, if Selangor Tourism can get their act together, that is.

There are three more rather rougish place names that I know of, all in East Malaysia - Batang Ai, Mukah and Menggatal. Are they going to rename these too? These are classic names; let them be!

I think the 'Ai' in Batang Ai refers to water; Batang Ai simply means The River and not 'My Precious Peter the Prick'. I'm not sure, though.

Mukah, in standard Malay, is a wee bit mischievous. Bermukah means shagging, so Mukah can be translated as fornication.

Menggatal, as everyone knows, is having an itch, a 'miangness' that begs scratching. I'd translate it as that uniquely Malaysian term - "itchified'.

For unexplained reasons, some years ago a local university established a campus in Menggatal. Why laa, of all places!

Do you know that there is a well-known singer in Thailand of Thai-Australian extraction, quite pretty too, named Prisana Praisang but better known as Pookie?

I don't think she would ever perform in Malaysia, though. Ooooh the horror of hearing the crowd in Genting Arena screaming her name: "Pookie! Pookie! We want Pookie!" Arrrgghhh...!

PS: I now know Batang Ai means Big River (Batang = river, Ai = big. *sigh* There goes the prick)


Zendra said...

My dear, I believe it's Sarawak to where belong Batang Ai and Mukah. Not to forget Bau, as well. So it's Batang Ai, Bau and Mukah, in proper (alphabetical) order.

Mak Cik taking liberties. So un-zen!

Kama said...

Hehehe, tq tq for getting it right for me. I always confuse my Sabah and Sarawak..shame on me!

Anonymous said...


My understanding is that Batang means River and Ai = Besar. So it is actually referring to big river or sungai besar hence the name.
Please correct me if I am wrong...

CT Tanjung Perak

Kama said...

Oooo.. ok. tq for getting it right for me.. LOL.. Batang Besar? sounds even better!

Anonymous said...

The Ai are the initials of an (in)famous politician. They lost recently.


Anonymous said...

Akak Hajjah,
To us Sabahan folks, we never felt there is anything wrong with that name until someone pointed it out... maybe we have been so used to it and whenever the name is mentioned our mind simply revert to 'Menggatal' the place not the 'miangness'..

I studied in SMK Menggatal before, and during any inter-school competitions, when asked which school I represented, I would always say..SMK Menggatal..PROUDLY!
(SMK Menggatal was one of the most prominent school in Sabah during the 80s)

P/S...SMK Menggatal is now known as SMK Bandaraya...I think it has somehow lost its 'itchiness'


Ida Hariati Hashim said...

Kak Hajjah,

I believe if it refers to the places, ok kot. But kalau nama org lagi teruk, such as Kulup, Fakir, Miskin..wonder why parents opted to name their children as such?

pugly said...

Hahahaha ... this post got me laughing so hard!

Another thing, isn't there a place called 'Nonok' in Sarawak? & I think there's a Kampung Pantat Bubu somewhere in Terengganu.

The kind of imagination our forefathers have is rather astounding, wouldn't you agree? :-)

Tommy Yew said...

Hi Puteri,

You are a worry, mem if u don't mind me saying.

What about this town/village in Austria named; Fucking'....hehehe..Tourist like to take photo under the town road sign & the street sign normally get souvenired.

And do u know the first Japanese prostitute is named Ms Ichibawa san.


P/s - Hope u don't categorise me with that low down lustful RTM fella. Hey, I've got more class than that lah! Must have emotional connection first mah as a criteria!

Ariffin said...

:-) Hehehe...u made me smile reading about the dangling dong! Why lah must they shrink it to a name which so forgettable!
At least, when they decided that Pantai Cinta Berahi was to be renamed, they were creative enough to substitute with an equally beautiful name of Pantai Cahaya Bulan...

Gimme me back my 'Batang Berjuntai' anytime....

Kak Teh said...

Puteri, I think you must have heard this gem. This happened during our time in NST. Apparently a disgruntled journalist went with a fussy Minister, who shall remain nameless, on a visit to several places in Sarawak. On his return he wrote: So and so pergi Bau Nonok Kucing. he was careful to leave the commas out. And I bet after the trip, Batang Berjuntai. Mat Bangkai would have been amused.

Anonymous said...

Such classic entry... congratulations!

Going slightly of tangent... I was with a group of Indonesian women talking about how big their butts have become.....refering to pantat aku semakin besar.... aduh nak luruh jantung di buat nye

siakap said...


sila datang ke kedah kalau nak lihat dan rasa sejenis buah yang berwarna hitam dan berbentuk bulat dan panjang. Namanya jika disebut diluar dari Kedah dan Perlis mungkin Samy Vellu dan Hindraf berasa amat bangga. Shhhhhhhhhhh nak tau Tanya Kak Teh.

Kak Teh said...

laaaa siakap, yang tu kak teh pun tak berani nak sebut!

Kama said...

Siakap - tapi Samy Vellu bukan M.. dia

Kak Teh, Jeweller KM Oli Mohamad mesti tersenyum lebar kalau kita sebut buah hat satu ni, sebab sama dengan acronym nama dia!

(Isyy... merepeklah pulak hehehe)