Would you like to buy a vowel? Perak water ad gimmick turning heads online

John Bunyan
The Perak Water Board has been criticised for ‘misspelt’ words on its banners that encourage water conservation. — Picture by Farhan Najib

IPOH, March 22 — Several banners put up by the Perak Water Board (LAP) here exhorting consumers to be prudent in its use have been the talk of the city and even spread online.

The public service announcements in Malay stating “Pnguna Bjak Sntiasa Brjmat” — which translates in English to “The Smart Consumer Always Saves” have got its readers asking about the missing vowels.

Many on Facebook have been critical about the omitted vowels. Some called the banners ridiculous and slammed the authorities for being wasteful.

The banners also bear the signature of Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu were found hung near the State Secretariat Building.

LAP general manager Datuk Mohd Yusof Mohd Isa today clarified that there were no spelling mistakes in the banners, saying the choice of words was a deliberate gimmick to catch the public’s attention to make them think more about water conservation.

“The words in the banner was not misspelt. This is the kind of language currently popular among internet users.

“We just want to try it out first to attract the public towards the campaign. We will check it again with the campaign secretariat,” he told reporters at the state level World Water Day celebration at the State Secretariat Building here. 

One Facebook user Faizal Salleh sarcastically suggested the state government’s thrift had not expanded to its economy with words in public service announcements.

“The Perak government is very thrifty. Using only what is necessary. #Jimathuruf,” he posted in Malay.

Another Facebook user Azzan Tahir questioned the government’s choice of messaging app language in official publication.

“Was it a typo or wrongly printed? Is it possible that the state spells like schoolchildren for official publication? How can this happen?” he asked, and claimed such spelling in the banner was disrespectful of the national language.

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