Malaysia's High Court has dismissed an appeal from an Indian Muslim association to have the derogatory term keling dropped from its pages. In The Star S.S. Yoga looks at the colourful history of racist slurs in Malaysia and around the world.
Writers Kee Thuan Chye, Dina Zaman and Amir Muhammad are asked for their opinions and agree that the word should not be omitted from the dictionary but should definitely be flagged as offensive.
I agree too. We may not love all the words that are in a dictionary but to pretend that they don't exist is in a sense dishonest. It is important though that dictionary users know whether such words are acceptable or not.
The example of the word nigger in English dictionaries is a good one. My Oxford Concise Dictionary (the one I keep on my desk) has a special usage note which tells me that the word has :
... strong offensive connotations and is today one of the most racially offensive words in the language ...Wouldn't something like this work for the Kamus Dewan?