How should we judge a government?

In Malaysia, if you don't watch television or read newspapers, you are uninformed; but if you do, you are misinformed!

"If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing." - Malcolm X

Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience - Mark Twain

Why we should be against censorship in a court of law: Publicity is the very soul of justice … it keeps the judge himself, while trying, under trial. - Jeremy Bentham

"Our government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no
responsibility at the other. " - Ronald Reagan

Government fed by the people

Government fed by the people

Career options

Career options
I suggest government... because nobody has ever been caught.

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?
Corruption is so prevalent it affects English language?

When there's too much dirt...

When there's too much dirt...
We need better tools... to cover up mega corruptions.

Prevent bullying now!

Prevent bullying now!
If you're not going to speak up, how is the world supposed to know you exist? “Orang boleh pandai setinggi langit, tapi selama ia tidak menulis, ia akan hilang di dalam masyarakat dan dari sejarah.” - Ananta Prameodya Toer (Your intellect may soar to the sky but if you do not write, you will be lost from society and to history.)

Saturday, March 02, 2013

A better understanding of our Kiasuism

'Kiasu' is actually a Hokien term which means literally, 'afraid to lose'. The fact that some Chinese would go to great lengths to try and achieve or get what they want has contributed to the countless jokes on 'Kiasuism' and with general consensus, mainly on Singaporean Chinese. This has made television series like Phua Chu Kang famous. The latest examples can be seen in a film on Singaporeans while on national service. I can think of two specific dialogues shown in the film trailer: the mother of one of the young men on service suggested 'Why not assign one maid to one boy?'; another instance, when the instructor suggested a Presidential suite for each person, the mother was so taken in that she asked, with a 'ooh ah?' or 'have ah?' as if there is such a provision!

Generally, 'kiasuism' is based on selfishness. After all, if we want the best for ourselves, it tends to be at the expense of others. If everyone wants to be the top student, there is no sharing of information to get there. For example, I have come across a mother who said to her child, 'Don't share your knowledge with your friends, or they will get better grades than you.' Little did she know, the sharing of information helps the sharer more in terms of reinforcing his knowledge, or even helps to correct what he thinks to be the right answer.

The wish for own children's success can be seen in the mushrooming of expensive play schools, nurseries and pre-school kindergartens. Young parents are willing to pay top money in the hope that their children will get good grades so that they will be successful in future. This has created problems of children not having the chance to live their normal childhood and because they do not have enough sleep, had problems paying attention.

Anyway, my intention is to highlight the following article which helps to explain why we are so 'kiasu':

WHY ARE JEWS SO SMART? By Dr. Stephen Carr Leon

Since I spent about 3 year in Israel for internship in few hospital there, it came to my mind about doing thesis/research of "Why the Jews are Intelligent?" 

It goes without denial that Jews are ahead in all aspect of life such as engineering, music, science and most obvious in business where nearly 70% of world trade/business are held by the Jews such as cosmetic, fashion, food, arms, hotels and film industries (Hollywood and others). 

During the 2nd year, in December 1980, and I was about to go back to California, this idea came to me and I was wandering why God gave this gift/ability to them? Is this a coincidence or is it man-made that could be produced like the goods from a factory. My thesis took about 8 years to gather all the information as accurately as possible, like the food intake, culture, religion, initial preparation of pregnancy and etc and I would compare them with other races. 

Let’s start with initial preparation of pregnancy. In Israel, the first thing I noticed is that the pregnant mother would always sing and play piano and would always try to solve mathematical problems together with the husband, and I was very surprised to see the mother always carry math books and sometimes I would help her to solve some problems, I would asked, "Is this for your child in the womb?" she would answer "Yes to train the child still in the womb so that it would be a genius later on". She would solve the problem without let-up until the child is born. ...

Why are Jews so smart? By Dr. Stephen Carr Leon



Anonymous said...

I think it is "cannot afford to lose" rather. In Singapore you have to make it or be replaced by foreign talent. You have to do national service not because you are fit but there is no choice. In Israel, you have to be much better than your neighbors or perish. Jews were so stigmatised in the past that they can only live a better life if they are better. There is no two way about it. Their life is not given on a platter but rather a struggle over overwhelming odds. So being kiasu is like being in a race you cannot afford to lose.

KoSong Cafe said...

I agree with you on the examples mentioned. I think 'kiasu' as a joke (as is generally referred to) is definitely not about those, but the overzealous examples of selfishness: like grabbing anything given for free or at huge discounts; learning without sharing just to get better grades than others (defeats the purpose of education!); piling up food items just because it is a buffet based on per person charge; and so on. So it is more on not wanting to lose out in anything that can be had for free or entitlements must all be taken and not left to be enjoyed by others.