05 November 2010

kiasu in Brunei?

Singaporeans are famed for being kiasu, a Hokkien word meaning 'fear of losing out'. For example, people in Singapore seem to be willing to queue up for hours to get some special offer or free handout.

What about Brunei? What is the equivalent of kiasu in Malay?

One possible answer is that the pace of life in Brunei is somewhat less intense, and as people are a bit more laid-back, they do not exhibit kiasu behaviour so often.

However, the desire to get a special offer or handout seems almost a universal human trait. In Britain, for example, you can see people queuing up for hours and then jostling with each other to get the best bargains in New Year sales. And Brunei is probably no exception in this respect.

Currently, there is a special offer for a free selection of Brunei Halal food worth about $10, using this coupon in the Media Permata local newspaper. (Tawaran Istimewa means 'special offer'.)
On page 1 of Media Permata of 6 November, I read about people queuing up for 30 minutes before the shop opened to get their special offer, and one person is described as:
beliau tidak ketinggalan untuk menukar kupon dengan produk-produk Brunei Halal
which might be translated as:
he did not want to be left behind in exchanging his coupon for Brunei Halal products
So maybe tidak tinggalan ('not left behind') is the Malay equivalent of kiasu.