Malaysian Government Ministries’ Websites

January 4, 2011

I have observed that many Malaysian government department websites are poorly designed, maintained and are less frequently updated for the benefit of the online users. Some are downright outdated by months, while others are unsatisfactorily designed as if done by amateurs. Many websites took the design for granted and are usually scattered with misspelt words and wrong usage of the English grammar. Here are some examples I randomly picked from one of the government departments’ websites:

Bad spelling mistake

Malaysia urged to put a stop to bottle "lettering"?

By right the above caption should be “Malaysia urged to put a stop to bottle “littering”. How can you allow such silly mistakes in an official website of the Department of Environment, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Government of Malaysia?

Now about the design. Anybody familiar with photo editing software such as Adobe Photoshop or CorelDraw would certainly know how to maintain the aspect ratio of a photograph when you enlarge or stretch it to fit a fixed size. The example posted below show an amateurish design with blatant disregard of the aspect ratio (i.e. stretching the photo to the maximum without regard to its visual aesthetic value). The end-result is a horrible looking distorted photograph not fit to be displayed in an official government website:

 

Bad, bad aspect ratio!

Apart from the poorly designed graphics, mistakes in the usage of the English grammar are rampant. The most common one is usually the signage displaying the official operating hours. “Open: 8:00 am; Close 4:00 pm”. The image below is another common mistake:

 

Another common grammar mistake

Department of Environment's Portal Can Be Surf Via Mobile Phone?

The caption above could be correctly rewritten as “Department of Environment’s Portal Can Be Surfed Via Mobile Phones“. I am not an expert linguist but I can spot an English grammar mistake quite easily. The standard of English in Malaysia has seen an imposing deterioration in the past decade or so. The Ministry of Education has a massive responsibility to rectify this problem before our English officially becomes Manglish (Malaysian-English) i.e. another listed form of pidgin English (ref: List of English-based pidgins).