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Monday, July 31, 2006

Gossiping: The Favorite Malaysian Pastime

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From Wikipedia - Image hosting by PhotobucketAt a time when the nation seems divided on various issues (Article 11, IFC, Mahathir, etc.), it's nice to note that there is at least one attribute that almost all Malaysians share in common (apart from horrendous driving habits).

Malaysians love their gossips.

A couple of weeks ago, myAsylum did a post about how Walski's had just about enough of hearing and reading about 'n . Well, early this morning, an anonymous blogger posted a very long comment in response to that post. It's written in perfect SMS-abbrevated Malay - but do give it a read if you're curious.

Walski won't translate it here (got better things to do, really), but the gist of it is that her hubby-to-be dumped his wife in favor of Malaysia's favorite miss thang. And that our little Ms. Siti, in that respect, was no angel either.

The biggest surprise? myAsylum's not the only blog that got that comment. At least one other blog, 5xmom - Humour, Life, Lies, Sex got exactly the same comment. Someone, it seems, is actively searching for blog entries about the celebrity couple and planting these gossips.

Meanwhile, a cursory look at Technorati (at 12:20pm) reveals that there are currently 8,533 and 2,119 posts on the web tagged with Siti and Datuk K, respectively (although many of the posts are probably tagged with both).

And who says there isn't anything that binds Malaysians of all ethnicities, creeds and religions? Sometimes the most unexpected ties are the ones that bind us best... (more in the full post)

One of the probable reasons why people like to gossip so much is because of the low credibility the mainstream mass media has with the general public. Plus the fact that some newspapers are nothing better than gossip mongers themseves (especially the Malay language tabloids). Or is it something in our genetic make-up? You know, that kay-poh gene...

But gossip tends to escalate to rumors, which then get spread in a very viral manner (especially in this day and age), to form public opinion. In certain respects, this can be dangerous - especially with the high gullibility factor that most Malaysian's seem to possess.

People just don't seem to take the trouble to verify what they hear, do they? Oh well, too much of anything is good for nothing, Walski supposes.

And so the rumor and gossip mills continue to turn, keeping Malaysians at large entertained, misinformed and gullible, in true Malaysia Boleh spirit! Walski will continue to keep tabs on these, not because Walski likes to gossip, but purely because of the entertainment value they bring, particularly the hilarious effect of watching fellow Malaysians getting so worked up over these stories, as though they came from reliable news sources...

Which begs Walski to ask: Isn't reliable Malaysian mainstream news an oxymoron? Or is it just because it tastes just like chicken?