catallaxy files

catallaxy in technical exile

Holiday hiatus in the land of religious and royal holidays

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Postings from me may be light for the next three weeks though I’m sure that readers will continue to be well-served by my co-bloggers. On December 22nd I will be flying to Malaysia for a holiday and to visit relatives (flying Austrian Airlines, funnily enough as that was what I ended up booking that was convenient). I will be staying with a succession of relatives while there and will also spend almost a week in Singapore where I have yet more relatives and a friend to visit. I haven’t been back in that part of the world for a very long time so it will be an interesting experience.

I will of course be flying into Malaysia just in time for Christmas, which some people may be surprised to learn, is a national public holiday in this predominantly Muslim country, as is New Year’s Day, Hari Raya Haji (which marks the end of the Haj pilgrimage), Chinese New Year, Awal Muharam (the start of the Muslim calendar), the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, Wesak (the Buddha’s birthday), Malaysian National Day, Deepavali (Hindu Festival of Lights), and last but not least, Ramadan. Since Christmas, New Year’s Day, Hari Raya Haji, Chinese New Year and Awal Muharam all occur in late December to late January, this makes for a very conveniently long stretch of public holidays and festivities. Under these circumstances, only a killjoy fanatic would complain about other religions getting their special days recognised. (In addition, each Malaysian State has its own King as well as there being a King of Malaysia who is basically whichever State’s King currently has his turn at the National crown, so there’s also a State holiday for each of their birthdays and a national holiday for the current National King’s birthday)

Anyway, I may post from an Internet cafe if I feel inspired once I’m there and it’s a few days more before I leave (though I’m already in holiday mood), but in advance I’ll wish all readers a great Christmas and New Year’s.

Below I reproduce a brilliant short humour piece about Malaysians vs Singaporeans which I found here which is rather spot-on. The first joke may seem obscure to those unfamiliar with the Southeast Asian obsession with food but the others should be self-explanatory:

Malaysians Vs Singaporeans
A tongue-in-cheek comparison by blogger Eddie G.
It’s not as if you hadn’t noticed, but Malaysians and Singaporeans do have quite a bit in common. However, if you do pay attention, you might notice some distinguishing traits that might spell the difference between a true blue Malaysian and a die-hard Singaporean. These are guidelines. No one has to follow them, but generally they do.
Malaysian: Eats until he throws up
Singaporean: Eats until he throws up, and then eats some more
Malaysian: Knows his laws, disobeys them and that’s fine
Singaporean: Knows his laws, disobeys them and gets fined
Malaysian: Trade Union owned by rich, pretentious bast–ds who don’t know sh-t about the struggles of the working class
Singaporean: Trade Union owned by the government
Malaysian: Cuts a queue, feels guilty, tries to pretend nothing happened
Singaporean: Cuts a queue, feels guilty, tries to justify his motive (“Actually hor, you know ah, I’ve been here already for very long, one!”)
Malaysian: Attempts to smuggle drugs and tobacco into Singapore
Singaporean: Attempts to smuggle chewing gum into Singapore
Malaysian: Former Prime Minister retires and goes off to enjoy life while calling the shots from behind the scene
Singaporean: Former Prime Minister retires… oh wait, no he doesn’t.
Malaysian: Builds Twin Towers to symbolise what Malaysia is all about
Singaporean: Builds Twin Metal-Spiked Balls for the same purpose
Singaporean: Culprit begs policeman for leniency
Malaysian: Policeman begs culprit for bribes
Malaysian: Believes in a one-phantom-one-vote policy
Singaporean: Lee Kuan Yew votes on behalf of the country
Singaporean: Allows adult films to be screened so long as patrons are of age and film possesses a certain aesthetic value
Malaysian: Buy the VCD lah!
Malaysian: Sings Malaysian National Anthem in Bahasa Malaysia
Singaporean: Sings Singaporean National Anthem in Bahasa Malaysia (


Written by Admin

December 18, 2005 at 10:13 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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