Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Ultimate Act In Kiasuism?

Listening to: Nothing again...

Kiasu: A Hokkien Chinese phrase (Kia-Su)
that means "afraid to lose". In colloqial Malaysian and especially Singaporean terms, this is a psychological fear of losing out or appearing inferior.

Among the Malaysian and Singaporean Chinese (although this applies to all ethnicities today), a harsh social and economic environment of cutthroat competition has caused many to adopt a kiasu mentality in their life and retations with family, friends and society itself. Singaporeans were, and still are considered by many (including Malaysians) to be ultra-kiasu... however in the 90s, fast paced development and the eventual economic meltdown in 1998 has led Malaysians to levels of kiasuism occasionally rivaling their Singaporean counterparts.

But still, the consensus is Singaporeans hold the No.1 spot for Kiasuism. You can celebrate that fact, Singapore... and perhaps declare a National Kiasu Day for that too...

The kiasu mentality leads to all sorts of amusing stories, as the overly competitive person applies it everywhere to the point where courtesy and civilized behavior is sacrificed for personal "prestige" and selfishness. Examples that you may be kiasu:

  • Getting a new BMW 3-Series just because your neighbor Mr. Woo just bought himself an Audi. (Meanwhile, they're both laughing at my "junk" Oldsmobile 88 from 1961)
  • Overtaking me in my Oldsmobile 88 just after I passed you in your new BMW on the expressway. For some reason, no car is permitted to pass you in your new car, especially one from 1961. And you have to do it with NO INDICATOR and nearly clipping my front bumper in the process.
  • At a restaurant/hotel buffet, you pile an obscene replica Mount Everest of food on your plate... not because you intend to finish it but because you paid $30 for it. After all, its your right to do it, no? Nevermind that half of the food will not be consumed by your greedy gut and left to waste.
  • You always compare your children to Mr. Lim's children, who always gets full A's in their exams. And you have to forcibly enroll them for piano lessons, violin lessons, karate classes, Mandarin classes, ShiFengshou rapid calculation classes*, in addition to the extra classes they area already taking after school.
  • If you're Singaporean, you drive across the Causeway to Malaysia so you can buy cheaper groceries, and save $40 in the process. Nevermind that it takes you at least 4 hours and 1/3 a tank of gas.
  • If you can't have it, nobody can. You'll go all out to discourage or sabotage others trying to achieve something; be it some material item, success, or their lifelong dreams simply because you know you can't, or are too scared to try to achieve it for fear of failing and appearing a "loser" to others. See: dog in a manger

For my brethren from Yankeeland, equivalents of kiasuism include the following; the dog in a manger scenario, "following the Joneses", overcompetition, or consumerist sheep mentality. Example: Malcolm's mum from "Malcolm In The Middle". Actually, that describes most suburban parents in the West nowadays... but that's nothing compared to Singaporeans and Malaysians.

Anyway, this has to be the most disgusting act of kiasuism ever applied. Surprise, surprise... It had to be done by a Singaporean:

Flat dweller hanging condoms out to dry irks neighbours

HANGING laundry out to dry from a flat window may be acceptable, but condoms?

A Singaporean high-rise dweller is said to have resorted to recycling used condoms by “air-drying” them from the window of his flat, according to a report in China Press.

More than 100 used condoms were put out to dry, according to a disgusted neighbour.

The woman, known as Tan, was quoted in the daily as describing the act as “gross and disgusting”.

“This is sickening. You can see from afar that some of the condoms had turned brownish,” she said, adding that the unit belonged to a middle-aged man living with his wife and two children.

Tan, who has been staying there for more than 20 years, said the act should not have been allowed by the authorities as it was unhygienic, especially when it rained.

“Rain water will be dripping from the condoms onto pedestrians walking on the ground below,” she pointed out.

> Nanyang Siang Pau reported that 94 people at a religious camp in Nilai, Negri Sembilan, were believed to have come down with food poisoning on Wednesday after consuming fried mee and rice with other dishes prepared by the organiser.

So far, 85 had been discharged after receiving outpatient treatment while nine others were warded at Hospital Tuanku Jaafar Seremban.

It is learnt that most of the participants started to feel unwell after lunch, with the first patient sent to a nearby clinic at 5pm the same day. By 11pm, the organiser had to hire a bus to send the other participants to the hospital for treatment.

According to the hospital's medical report, 90% of the victims experienced dizziness, frequent vomiting and diarrhoea.

A total of 712 people, aged between 14 and 28, participated in the camp held at a private college in Nilai.


FUCKING GROSS! I hope the council fines his ass off so he'll realize its not just pure revolting to hang out his condoms to dry, but also cheaper to buy new ones instead. Anyway, I doubt he knows that condoms are single-use items only.

* In the mid 90s, there was this craze among folks to send their kids to learn ShiFengshou Rapid Calculation. Developed by Professor Shi Feng Shou (duh!) from China, you could apparently do arithmetic in seconds without a calculator.

My younger sister was among those pressed by parents to learn how to count sums like '43 X 31', '423+23', etc. & etc. by mental power. Well, she left after 2 months and RM200 (U$55) in total fees, including 8 Saturday afternoons lost.
Eventually parents Malaysia-wide realized an RM50 calculator (batteries not included) would, though a little slower by 0.5seconds... accomplish the same thing with much higher accuracy. Plus, it does square root too! And you don't have to pay RM100 a month to learn how to use it.

Suffice to say, the Shi Fengshou branch in Klang is now an empty shoplot.

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