Thursday, April 2, 2009

Joke of the Month

I heard a joke several years ago that serves quite well to show one of the many differences between the three main races in Malaysia: Malay, Chinese, and Tamil (Indian). It goes like this:

There were three sailing ships caught in a massive storm at sea: a Malay ship, captained and manned by a group of Malay sailors; likewise a Chinese ship with Chinese crew; and also a Tamil ship and crew. How each captain handled the emergency goes some distance to explaining upon what each race considers of value.

The Chinese captain ordered his crew to load the gold, silver, and other valuables into the life-boats, in order to save the items with monetary value. This is because the Chinese are perceived as only being interested in accruing wealth.

The Tamil captain gave his crew the orders to load the women and children, the handicapped and the helpless into the lifeboats first. This is because (presumably), the Tamil Indians are concerned with social welfare and assisting the underclass.

cartoon archive at funnytimes.comThe Malay captain, however, called for a committee meeting! He wanted to appoint committee members, and sub-committees, and task forces, to study the emergency and then, maybe, come up with a solution. This, of course, reflects the belief that Malays love committees, which have hierarchy, gives them relationship, and establishes Who Is Important (see earlier post regarding this topic). It is highly doubted that the ship's committee would come back with any action points before sinking, and that IS the point. No one wants to be responsible, so the issue will be talked about until either forgotten, or else the event takes places and no one is to be blamed!! Management to Avoid Responsibility (MAR).

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