I LOGGED into United Nations Security Council website (www.unga.org) the day (night time in Brunei) His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam delivered a titah.
The live stream (http://webtv.un.org/search/brunei-darussalam-general-debate-69th-session/3806559210001?term=brunei) is a brilliant idea and it also listed the names of heads of state and government that were to address the UN in order.
It was past midnight when His Majesty delivered the titah. I salute His Majesty for delivering a thought-provoking titah that touched on many issues that the world is currently facing.
I have a problem with the UN. An august body that it is, I felt slighted the way a lady welcomed His Majesty to deliver the statement.
Her accent was very American. One can understand if Westerners fail to pronounce the names of the leaders right.
Most of the Western leaders struggle to get the Asian and Middle Eastern names right any way.
But what annoyed me to the core was the way the lady pronounced our country’s name.
First she said “Negairia”, then the second time after His Majesty was seated she somehow came close to calling it right as “Negara”.
But the way she addressed His Majesty and the name of our country, which was so jarring, I thought for a moment the UN didn’t care.
The very essence of what the United Nations stands for is defeated if a person who sits in for the UN President to welcome the heads of state and government to deliver their address struggles to pronounce the name and the country and makes a total mess.
What’s the point of flying the flags of countries that are members of the UN if a UN staff as senior as the one we all saw fails to pronounce the name of the country right?
I am not sure whether a letter in the Opinion page will right the wrong or this will get noticed and chanelled to the right official at the UN.
I request the Brunei government to take it up with the UN so that they put a system in place to rectify this issue.
Let no country’s name be pronounced wrongly at the UN.
I will feel ashamed and humiliated if my country’s name is wrongly pronounced at the world body next time.