Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A Little Kamus-ion!

CompassPoint Shopping Mall in Sengkang
Right in front of me, finally the dictionary is here!

Spent the later part of Sunday hunting the elusive Kamus at CompassPoint Shopping Mall.

For Primary 6 students, our son requires a specific Malay dictionary recommended by his school for his mother-tongue lessons.

The Kamus or dictionary in Malay, is published by Dewan dan Pustaka in 2005 with its Edisi Keempat or 4th Edition endorsed by the Malaysian Ministry of Education for National Language, the dictionary is adopted by the Singapore Education Ministry for Malay language.

The Elusive Kamus DewanThe default place to get one would be the book buying at his school during the school holidays, but due to shortage of supply, it was not available then.

The default and most popular bookstore for school books and stationary in the heartlands would be... well, Popular Bookstore.

We could not find it at its Tampines Mall branch, nor was there a trace at World Bookstore at Tampines Street 81. We had to look around for it at several other bookstores, until it became quite an ordeal... a commotion even.

We would need to venture out to Times Bookstore and MPH if all the regular bookshops and stores had the same "out-of-stock" news for us.

Since I was meeting my Sis who leaves in Compassvale in Sengkang, my son and I went to CompassPoint to look for this elusive brick of a book there and do some weekly groceries shopping as well.

We took Service 27 and transferred to the driver-less LRT to CompassPoint where Sis was already waiting for us there.

Sengkang Driverless Light-Rail Transit
Like the many dictionaries and thesaurus books I have bought throughout my student years, I was expecting it to be less than S$20.00. To my surprise, the thick, red, hardcover dictionary was priced at S$47.25! What!

Without the membership card that would have saved us 5% off the tagged price, it was too expensive to me for a book. I have never bought a single book that costs that much before.

Wifey was shocked about it too when I told her over the phone. Since the publisher was Dewan dan Pustaka, Wifey knows where to buy this Kamus directly from it own branch... at Masjid Kassim along Changi Road.

Wifey called me at work yesterday to inform me of a good news. On her way to our shop, she stopped by its branch and found it selling at S$35.oo. Wow! I thought and told her to buy it immediately before it was sold out. She called me again to inform of a further discount given and paid only S$32.00.

CompassPoint Chinese Lion Dance on Stilts
A S$15 difference! I can exclaim "Wow!" twice and actually mean it.

Phew! Never can do without my favourite Superwoman!

That led me to think how the lower income families cope with such expensive school materials for their child. More so, when they have more than one school-going children.

The hand-me-downs of used school text books and uniforms will somewhat lift the financial burden off the parents, but still a tough stretch.

Fortunately there are numerous assistance schemes given out by schools, grassroots organizations as well as government grants out there for student, to ease their parents' financial burden.

The Prime Minister has already vowed that no children will be deprived of compulsory education. That is a good promise, for the sake of the children and the country that banks on its people resource.

Now, for a Dwibahasa Kamus - an English-to-Malay and Malay-to-English translation Dictionary. Another hunt goes on...


  1. I'm glad your wife was able to find the book for S$32.00. A lot more than the S$20.00 you were going to pay. I guess it sounded cheap after you recovered from sticker shock from the S$47.25.

    I couldn't find the book on amazon.com

  2. Wow, I am glad you got it cheaper. Even here in the states a GOOD dictionary will run you quite a bit, the ones I use are not that good though. I paid $1.00 for Dictionary and Thesauraus.

  3. Cool-
    I am a dictionary nerd, so I appreciate that (I even have a dictionary link on my blog- the best one out there, in my humble opinion!)

  4. Hey Imran. I was shocked at the sticker price more than double what you paid. Glad to hear you got it cheaper.


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