. kiasu “怕输”
Afraid of "losing out" to other people.
These parents are so kiasu! School hasn't started yet for their Primary
One children and they're already buying tons of assessment books.
being greedy.. very very greedy...
E.g in a buffet restaurant
wa.. u so kiasu for what? one shot take 5 plates.. can finish or not?
kiah su - somebody who fears losing out (Hokkien)
"Dog in a manger or Keeping up with the Jones"
Caring supremely or unduly for one's self; regarding one's
own comfort, advantage, etc., in disregard, or at the expense,
of those of others.They judge of things according to their
own private appetites and selfish passions. --Cudworth.
Keeping up with the Joneses
the free encyclopedia.
Keeping up with the Joneses
is a popular phrase in the United States referring to the common desire to maintain a favorable image in comparison with one's neighbors or contemporaries. To fail
to "keep up with the Joneses" is to demonstrate one's socioeconomic or cultural inferiority.
According to "The Encyclopedia
of Word and Phrase Origins" by Robert Hendrickson, the origin of the phrase is rooted in the 1913 comic strip of the same name created by cartoonist Arthur R. "Pop" Momand. The strip ran in American newspapers for 28 years, and eventually appeared in books, films, and musical comedies.
Kiasu is a Hokkien term that literally means 'scared
to lose', but almost defies translation in the way it encapsulates a risk-averse, strategising, self-preserving mindset.
|Age Group (yrs)
|5 - 10
||"I know! I know! Like Mama tell me, can have 80 marks for homeworks, but must have 100 marks
for all tests and exams, right?"|
|11 - 16
||"Unfair lah! We are the most cham one lah! We don't pay income tax but now CDs, Nike shoes, 37°
T-shirts all become more expensive liao!" |
|17 - 22
||"Income tax lower... hmm... must ask for higher pay when I start to look for job..."|
|23 - 30
||"Can pay less income tax, that's good. But GST going up, that means things more expensive. Must
tell my boss to give me more overseas trips, then can buy things cheaper..."|
|31 - 40
||"Wah lao! Zen Hu trying to kill me is it? Just ganna retrenched, income tax lower so what? But
now all the things become more expensive, must tiao lao already lah!"|
|41 - 50
||"Lower corporate income tax means now I can employ more worker. Wait a minute... with the same
price, I can get more cheap China workers. Maybe I should fire some of those expensive local workers. So what if they has
been with me for more than 10 years? Hey, I'm a businessman."|
|51 - 60
||"Har? Si mi? Can pay less income tax now ah? Things more expensive ah? Yao shuew loh! If my ginnas
still give me the same pocket money, but everything more expensive, don't know got enough money to eat or not?"|
I personally think that KIASUs generally have one or more
of the following traits:-
iritating and lacked decency ...though at times they may
look cute with their sort of funny behaviour;
lacked the sense of security and had little choice but to embrace
the religion of kiasu ism;
Kiasus are all driven by ego and self preserving attitude; cares
lttle about others; greedy; selfish; political; money minded.
disrespect the the poor and worship the powerful and rich;
"There’s a local term Kiasu that
describes Singaporeans so perfectly. I can’t think of an equivalent term in English… But it’s something
like you’re Kiasu when you refuse to be second best or to lose out on anything":
"...Which leads me to the local term kiasu, used to describe a person who is afraid to miss out on anything--so
afraid, in fact, that he痴 willing to make a fool of himself trying to grab everything he can. "Mr. Kiasu" is a popular
cartoon character who epitomizes the kiasu stereotype. The proverbial village idiot, he piles his plate high at buffets to
get every last penny痴 worth of food, wrestles through crowds at sales to get the bargains, and will go to every extent
to outdo his neighbors and peers. Unfortunately, he represents a real phenomenon among the young people, who are aggressively
competitive and struggle to keep up with anything new. Stop by a bookstore and pick up one of the Mr. Kiasu cartoon books
for a hilarious look at his misadventures and a bit of tongue-in-cheek insight into local culture."
Answer to Letter "Please improve the quality of pirated softwares"
"It is in our best interest to
screw our customer blind protect
our customer's interest and to sell them lousy excellent software at a
rip-off fantastic price. We will whack solve this asshole
problem as soon as possible. We apologized for this temporary lapse in our quality of service (we
got quality 1 meh?) and we would look forward to you giving us your money
your continued support."
-- Pirated Software Vendors Association.
THE BIBLE FOR THE KIASUs...
COMMON TRAITS AND BEHAVIOUR :
"Must win. Everything also must be Number 1." - These are
just some of the typical trademarks of a Kiasu being. And if you find yourself displaying symptoms like such, welcome to the
KIASUism provides KIASUs with
the sense of security and confidence... Be selfish, seek the best . Love your self.
MONEY, HAPPINESS, POPULARITY
AND RESPECT ALL YOURS IN A FEW SIMPLE STEPS
RULE 1. GOOD THINGS
MUST BE CHEAP AND NICE...AND YOU DESERVE IT ALL
CULTIVATE THIS INDISPENSIBLE BELIEVE..THAT YOUR KIASU SELF DESERVE THE BEST OF EVERYTHING...AND
THAT GOOD THINGS MUST COME CHEAP AND NICE...THE WORLD AND ALL LIVING BEINGS OWED IT TO KIASUs;
IT MATTERS NOT HOW LITTLE YOU KNOW, HOW UNSCRUPOLOUS & UNETHICAL YOU ARE... MONEY, POPULARITY HAPPINESS
AND RESPECT WILL ALL BE YOURS.
RULE 2. DOUBLE
STANDARD AND EXCUSES
BE A FIRM BELIEVER OF DOUBLE STANDARDS ...AND THAT THE APPLICABLE STANDARD MUST
ALWAYS BE HIGHER FOR OTHERS...ALWAYS PUT THE HEAVY BURDEN ON THE SHOULDERS OF OTHERS...WHEN SOME ONE
MAKES A MISTAKES DEMAND 1001 REASONS FROM THEM AND TELL THEM THAT THIS AND THAT MUST BE DONE..OFFER ADVISE AND BE THE
DO DEVICE 1001 REASONS AND EXCUSES WHEN THINGS DO NOT FAVOUR YOU...ALWAYS
BE NUETRAL WHEN THE SITUATION DOES NOT FAVOUR YOUR KIASU SELF AND TAKE SIDES WHEN YOU WANT TO ELIMINATE OPPONENTS OR
CAUSE TROUBLE FOR OTHERS. A SURE WIN STRATEGY.
RULE 3. NON ACCEPTANCE OF DEFEAT AND FAILURES
DELETE THIS TERMINOLOGY FROM YOUR DICTIONARY... KIASU ISM WILL BE EXTINCT IF KIASUs ACCEPT DEFEAT
AND FAILURES...BY HOOK OR BY CROOK, WIN AT ALL COST..CARE LITTLE. DECLARE VICTORY EVEN IF
RULE 4. BEST BRAINS AND STRATEGIES
KIASUs ARE NOT LAZY PEOPLE...AT ALL TIMES THEY ANALYSE PETTY THINGS AROUND THEM AND PLAN
THEIR STRATEGY. KIASUs HAVE THE BEST BRAINS AND POLITIC STRATEGIES ...THE INTELLECTUAL ABILITIES,
SKILLS AND ANALYTICAL POWERS OF OTHERS ARE OF AN INFERIOR QULAITY... SEE IT AS SELF
CONFIDENCE RATHER THAN UNDER ESTIMATION;
RULE 5. DOMINATION & CONTROL
KIASUs ARE NATURAL BORN LEADERs AND GOOD POLITICIANS BECAUSE THEY CREATE ISSUES ...THEY ARE ALL
BORN WITH THE TENDENCY TO DOMINATE AND CONTROL AFFAIRS ...MATTERS THAT ARE BEYOND KIASUs' CONTROL
ARE SOME HOW BAD AND UNWORTHY. SELL THIS THEORY. KIASUs ALWAYS HAVE FUN AND ENJOY LIFE AT
THE EXPENSE OF OTHERS ...ALWAYS A STEP AHEAD OF OTHERS. WHAT
AN ADVANTAGE.. CARE LITTLE ABOUT THE FEELINGS AND NEEDS OF OTHERS BECAUSE YOU CANT MAKE EVERY ONE HAPPY..SO MAKE YOUR
SELF HAPPY FIRST. AN ESSENTIAL SURVIVAL SKILL.
RULE 5. FRIENDS ARE TO BE MANUPULATED
MANUPULATE YOUR FRIENDS ALL THE WAY TO ATTAIN YOUR GOALS...AFTER ALL IT IS ACCEPTABLE
IN SOCIETY. IF YOU DONT APPLY THIS SKILL...PEOPLE WILL TRY TO MANUPULATE YOU...SO THE FIRST TO DO IT WILL
GET THE ADVANTAGE.
GET MAXIMUN ADVANTAGE FROM YOUR FRIENDS...KNOW THEIR PERSONAL AFFAIRS AND USE IT AGAINST THEM WHEN
THE NEED ARISES...BEFRIEND THEIR ENEMIES TOO...CONFESS YOUR SINS BEFORE LEAVING THIS WORLD ..IN THIS MANNER, KIASUs WILL NOT
GO TO HELL... SURE WIN STATEGY.
RULE 6. BROADCAST OTHER PEOPLE'S WEAKNESSES TO WEAKEN THEIR INFLUENCE, GLORIFY
YOUR OWN SUCCESSES
SELL THE IDEA THAT PARTIES WHO DISAGREE WITH KIASUs ARE PROBLEM MAKERS, HYPER KIASUs
AND OVERLY SENSITIVE ...AND HAS LITTLE SENSE ....KIASU s SHOULD GO ALL THE WAY TO PROVE THEIR SELF
CENTERED POINT AND MUST DO SO IN COMPLETE DISREGARD OF THE GENERAL VIEW ...BROADCAST THE WEAKNESES OF
THE OPPONENT....INCITE YOUR OPPONENTs'' ANGER AND SAY THAT HE OR SHE IS SENSITIVE IF HE OR
SHE EVER COMPLAINS ABOUT THE SITUATION...AND ANY HOW WHATEVER THE OPPONENT DOES MUST BE CONDEMMED ...REMEMEBER
THAT YOU DESERVED ALL THE ATTENTION ,KIASU. YOU HAVE ALL THE SKILLS AND POPULARITY... USE CHEAP
TACTICS, BE TWO FACED AND DO WHAT EVER YOU CAN KIASU TO UNDERMINE THE OPPONENT ...VICTORY WILL BE YOURS.
7. SHORT CUT TO SUCCESS BOAST YOUR WAY TO THE TOP
INFLUENCE AND POPULARITY WILL BRING INCOME... USE THE EFFECTIVE SHORT CUT... BOAST ABOUT WHAT
YOU KNOW AND WHO YOU KNOW...IT DOESNT MATTER HOW GOOD YOU ARE...PEOPLE WILL ANYWAYS BE IMPRESSED. YOU ARE
ALWAYS THE PERPETUAL NO.1 IN OUR HEARTS ...GOSH YOU ARE AN IDOL FOR THE REST.
8 .SPEAK WITH A FORKED TOUNGE
SPEAKING WITH A "FORKED" TOUNGE IS THE CULTURE OF THE DAY...NO
ONE HAS THE THE ANALYTICAL ABILITY TO DISCOVER WHAT YOUR HIDDEN AGENDAS ARE. ..APPLE
POLISHING, POLITICS AND GOSSIPING ARE THE BEST WAY TO GATHER SUPPORT AND IS A WELL KNOWN SOCIAL SKILL . KIASUs
HAVE THE IN BORN TENDENCY TO BETRAY ALL LIVING BEINGS TO SERVE YOUR OWN INTERESTS. IF YOU DONT LOVE YOUR
SELF NO BODY WILL..;
9. PETTINESS IS THE BEST FORM OF SURVIVAL SKILL ;
BE PETTY ABOUT SMALL THINGS..THROW A FUSS ... AND MAKE SOMETHING OUT OF NOTHING. THATS the
KIASUs WAY. HAVE AN UNCOMPROMISING ATTITUDE..BE MEAN AND RUTHLESS. YOU WILL GET AWAY ALL THE TIME..PEOPLE NORMALLY DO NOT
ARGUE WITH KIASUs OVER SMALL THINGS. SURE WIN STRATEGY .
THATS THE SURVIVAL SKILLS OF KIASU ism. PAY ATTENTION TO SMALL INSIGNIFICANT THINGS .. AND
ARGUE THAT IT IS PRUDENCE . SELL THE THEORY THAT PEOPLE WHO DISREGARD SMALL INSIGNIFICANT THINGS
WHEN THINGS DO NOT WORK IN YOUR FAVOUR AND THAT YOU ARE GETTING YOUR KIASU SELF INTO TROUBLE...ARGUE
THAT THE SO CALLED "BIG THINGS" ARE INSIGNIFICANT AND THAT PARTIES WHO COMPLAIN ARE
PETTY PEOPLE. SAY THAT GENTLEMAN WILL ALWAYS DISREGARD SMALL THINGS... IAND OFFER HELP TO RESOLVE THE
MATTER AND YOU DO GET AWAY BEING THE POPULAR GUY. SURE WIN STRATEGY
25 December, 2003.
I have a first-hand look at kiasuism at work in Singapore the past weekend. By the way,
kiasuism isn't a totally Singapore syndrome. The English has it a long time ago: they call it "keeping up with the Joneses."
guide into the world of kiasuism is Stan, who is really the least kiasu of all the Singaporeans I've ever come across. And
with bland honestly, Stan acknowledge the kiasu trait that envelops the nation. He also observes that Malaysians who work
in Singapore also develop this kiasu habit, and some become ever worse kiasus than the Singaporeans.
I can see a few
things that we do here in Penang that may appear like a totally alien behavior in Singapore. For one, we have many hill paths
were climbers are treated to FREE tea and snacks provided for by volunteers. This provide-for-others habit doesn't seem to
sit well with a society where one's survival depends on grabbing as much for oneself as possible.
In my short visit,
I saw how commuters refusing to budge an inch to get deeper into the MRT coaches, and as a result, the entranceways are jam-packed.
a coffee shop, a lady diner was genuinely surprised when I helped move a chair for her. I think the norm is for the patrons
of each table to act as though people in the next table don't exist.
I was also told that when Stan refers AsiaExplorers
to some of his Singapore friends, their first reaction is, "what's the catch?" They cannot believe that an organisation could
offer free membership.
I don't entirely blame them for becoming kiasu, as I see that even the government act in a
way that is almost kiasu. I see it in the sale of the MRT pass, which includes a non-refundable and unusable deposit, not
$1, not $2, but $5! So it is just to be that the people, accustomed to having to elbow their way to the front, rub
people from more laid back communities wrongly.
My hope and desire is to find more and more Singapore friends like
Stan, people who will be walking example that they are not kiasu when the majority is.
It is a sad fact that as Penang
becomes more urbanised, the kiasu syndrome will likely increase here. One issue which Singapore wins hands down over Penang
is the courtesy that drivers extend to pedestrians. In Singapore, the cars will almost always slowdown if you were crossing
the road, nevermind if you were jaywalking. In Penang, doing the same is to hope for a deathwish.
Asia is beautiful
- explore it!
Many Singaporeans are just looking for a chance to rip off someone. It's like how when the telecoms companies make mistakes
on their websites, and people get irate because they're told that NO, YOU ASSHOLE, IT WAS A TYPO, YOU CAN'T GET A $800 NOKIA
CELLPHONE FOR $5 WITH FREE SUBSCRIPTION. M1, SingTel, Starhub or whoever it is usually caves and gives the mistake price to
the people who spotted it, but this shouldn't be the case. How the fuck can you DEMAND that you should profit from someone's
mistake? It's gotten to the point that this has ceased to be news and it's general knowledge that you can take advantage of
a telecom provider's mistakes.
Recently when that study found that Singaporeans were, to put it bluntly, the biggest assholes in the world, I just couldn't
believe it when people started to vehemently protest, because I know from personal experience that the study was right. And
I was born here. Let's hope that when aliens contact Earth it's not Singapore they contact first, because they will see what
assholes we are and then they'll see the Phua Chu Kang SARS song (a.k.a. SAR-vivor Rap) and they'll shake their heads while
they vaporise this planet.