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I don’t claim to have the best tatabahasa (grammar of Bahasa Malaysia). But I’m frequently assault by horrendously phrased announcements in Singapore, leading me to assume that Singapore’s has a variant of Malay that no one other than the employees of public relations firms and public transport operators know.

Example, on the North-East MRT Line, operated by SBS Transit who assumes that there is a broad demography of Mandarin, Tamil and Malay speakers that need to be reminded that there is a platform gap, the announcement is “Berhati-hati ruang di platform” (pronounced, “ber-HAPPY-happy ruang di PLATFORM”). Translated directly, it means, “Careful of the space on the platform”. People frequently die in the ruang di platform after all.

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