Re-analysis of Beng Hock’s alleged suicide note-Pt1

by Eyes Wide Open

Shar101 was good enough to post a summary of Shuzheng’s analysis of TBH’s supposed suicide note some time ago. However, I felt that Shuzheng’s analysis and translation didn’t take into account some of the the key nuances of the note and because of that the note was even wrongly translated by him in some parts.

Of course, since the MSM is not going to analyse the note intelligently (or even question it in any way) for fear of derailing their political masters’ agenda, here is my own analysis and translation of the note.

This time, I will not only taking into account some of the subtler nuances and implied meanings of the Chinese language, but also attempting to translate these nuances into their approximate equivalent in English to try and get its full meaning.

First, let’s look at the original text in Chinese:

欧阳:
他们 在没有复制我的电脑文件下取走了所有电脑。矛头一直指向你。
对不起。[xxxxx]
不懂装懂,结果连累了你。
我说,mendapat lulusan YB。他们硬打成mengikut arahan YB.
我帮不到你,抱歉。
对不起,我很累了,再见。

Next, let’s see the translation done for the court in Malay by Ting Chin Kin

Ou Yang, dalam keadaan tidak menyalin fail dalam computer saya, mereka telah mengambil semua komputer itu. Mereka asyik menyalahkan kamu. Minta maaf. Tidak mengerti tapi pura-pura mengerti, akhirnya menyusahkan kamu. Saya kata ‘mendapat kelulusan YB’. Mereka berdegil menaip jadi mengikut arahan YB. Saya tidak dapat membantu kamu, maaf. Minta maaf, saya sangat penat. Selamat tinggal.

And here is Shuzheng’s translation:

Ouyang. They didn’t duplicate the computer files (but) seized all the computers (instead). Without end, fingers point at you. Sorry. [writing deleted] Feigning not to understand (although) I do, (but) in the end, you are (still) implicated. I said, ‘received approval from YB’. (Yet) they insist on putting down, ‘followed YB’s orders’. I can’t help you (anymore), forgive (me). Sorry, I’m so tired. See (you) again.

Line by line analysis by EWO

Now let’s look at the Chinese text again, this time taking into account the lingual nuances.

他们在没有复制我的电脑文件下取走了所有电脑。
– ta men / zai / mei you / fu zhi / wo de / dian nao wen jian / xia
/ qu zou le / suo you / dian nao
– they / *zai* / don’t have / duplicate / my / computer documents / *xia* / seized / all / computers

The words zai and xia are actually used to provide the “brackets” to frame the context of a situation or conditions that enabled an event. In the 2 lines above, the event being described is the confiscation of “all the computers”.

Another thing to note is the use of the phrase suo you (meaning “all”) instead of quan bu (also meaning “all”). Suo you actually carries a stronger inflection than quan bu. This phrase is usually used to emphasise a sense of finality, that there is absolutely nothing left after “all” has been included in the count. An English equivalent could be  “every last one of them”.  Depending on context, this could indicate a person’s emotions such as resoluteness or despair.

Therefore, the first line literally means (my elaborations in brackets):

“They, within the situation of didn’t (possible inferences “they didn’t bother to” or “I didn’t get the chance to”) make copies of my files in the computer, seized all the computers.”

The next line reads:

矛头/一直/指向/你
mao tou / yi zhi / zhi xiang / ni
– spearhead / always / point direction / you

Mao tou (spearheads) signifies a fierce and focused attack on Ean Yong. In fact, mao tou zhi xiang (spearheads pointing) is a Chinese war metaphor for specifically targetting someone or something for attack, criticism, etc. This line should not have been translated into something as mundane as “pointing fingers” because it strips the phrase of its original forcefulness.

对不起
– dui bu qi
– I’m not worthy to face you

This is the most commonly used apology term in Mandarin. Although the literal meaning is heavily philosophical and poetic, there is usually no reason to think that it means more than a simple “I’m sorry”.

Tomorrow, we will be analysing the most difficult part of the note.

Difficult because those line have generally been translated and interpeted TBH’s admission of guilt, implication of EanYong’s alleged cover ups and despair leading to suicide.

However, after a careful analysis based not only on linguistics, but also taking into consideration the nuances and implied meanings of certain phrases (yang tersirat di belakang yang tersurat), we find that there is another possible interpretation of the note.

While our interpretation cannot conclude whether TBH wrote the note (or if he did, whether he meant it as a suicide note), it does seem to cast some light on the MACC’s intentions when interviewing TBH.

…to be continued.

 

Comments
3 Responses to “Re-analysis of Beng Hock’s alleged suicide note-Pt1”
  1. Casper says:

    I’m wasn’t schooled in Chinese but the phonetical translation certainly helps someone like me – have to process the sound/words into Cantonese – that allows me to somewhat give meaning to the context/words.

    I’m given to understand – in ‘inflection’ – the word “mou toun” describes a “no win” situation whereby a ‘spearhead’ clashes with a ‘shield’ ! Correspondingly, it can also be interpreted to describe a situation that “doesn’t make sense” or an outright “contradiction”. In Malay, “tak masuk akal” sums it best.

    Right this moment, I’ve just lost my train of thought but such is the degree, the severity of Beng Hock’s demise that weighs heavy in my mind, knowing that the people responsible for his death plunge are out walking free.

    I’ve long concluded the only reason there is high handed involvement of the hidden hand in Beng Hock’s death is all down to that one phone call/order, a directive from one particular ranking UMNO member – possibly Minister – and hence the cover up to dispell the notion that the MACC is subservient and taking orders from UMNO.

    Still, it is that one phone call/directive that set the wheels in motion for Beng Hock and the other DAP council member to be hauled in for an ‘interview’ that fateful night. And just to jot down those with failing memory, the only reason for MACC’s witchhunt on DAP back then was for no other reason than to deflect the pressure off one particular ex-MB of Selangor.

    Ushering in a new state government, I had expected present MB to haul in and ship out all corrupt personnel and elements that plagued the previous administration and that said, I feel MB Khalid went soft and never attempted to conduct such a purge but instead faced a rearguard attack from UMNO/MACC that resulted in the witch hunt on DAP.

    In my books, MB Khalid FAILED to protect a fellow member who was working for a pittance. Beng Hock was not a ranking member of the administration but still, his role is one of “nuts and bolts” that holds everything together, no ?

    Also, never forget events earlier in the week preceeding Beng Hock’s death ie Malay Mail with breaking news of DAP’s alledge ties to the mob (I forget when but certainly a Mon or Tues edition) that was followed up by shared banter between Wee Choo Keong and Azmin during a session in the Legislative Assembly (possibly a Tues or Wed).

    All three parties (to include the hidden hand, UMNO and MACC) ie Malay Mail, Wee and Azmin certainly had a bone to pick (or was it the pleasure of hearing their own voices and seen to to be doing work of sort !) but I make no bones that I hold them all directly responsible for the unfortunate turn of events, on the eve of the day when Beng Hock was about to do the honourable, the joyous day he was to announce to all and making an honest woman of his ‘intended’.

    Again I must stress, the sinister foreplay by Rocky Bru, Wee and Azmin made an orphan out of a child – cross my path and you will all get a mouth full from me, I solemnly promise.

    Pardon me hartalmsm for letting loose – I brew my own coffee, a habit done religously to produce a damn good cuppa churned out of a French press that I perhaps loaded one teaspoons too many, resulting in my synapses hard wired to the caffeine rush. Cheers and looking forward to your next line of disclosure.

    • Chee Seng says:

      Casper, I think all fair-minded people share your despair that such a thing could happen due to such callous thing as politikking.

      To clarify: “mou tou” in the note is in Mandarin and not Cantonese. Therefore it does not mean “confused” or “spear clashing with shield”. It literally does means “spear head”. Mou Tou Zhi Xiang literally means “spearhead pointing” and is a normal Mandarin phrase for “intensely targetting someone for attack”.

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  1. […] public opinion such as represented in the amateur and incompetent translators at HartalMSM (Eyes Wide Open) and AirKosong (Guan Sin), elementary with their English, incoherent in their hanzi readings. In […]



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