Monday, November 28, 2005

There and back again.
The Truth about Pasar Malams

Here; there; every-bloody-where... It seems I can't escape the evil clutches of writing. So here I am. Not happy about it, but here I am.

Let's start with a simple topic shall we? Given the harshness of recent events, the last thing we need is another veto on some third-world country that wants to take over the world and make it as poor and pathetic as they are with the use of WMDs that have only been proven to be destructive to their own reminisce of an economy.

I'm sure their people will soon be able to survive solely on uranium intake through the skin.

But sure, blame them for their under-financed and mal-developed replicas of your own nuclear programs and shut them down so their people can no longer develop dependency on radioactive particles for food. They're sure to make you president this way.

No, let's not get into lengthy discussions about other people's problems (despite it being a distinct and unique Singaporean culture). Let's wax lyrical on something closer to home - the fabled "Pasar Malam".

That's right. The insurgent and ever-present night market. One which has chosen to set camp right below my block of flats.

No, it's not the noise that the illegal-but-doesn't-look-the-part CD vendors' melee with badly reproduced albums make. It's not the family of Ramlee Burger franchises that sprouted like Hello Kitties in McDonalds' Restaurants. It's not even the persistence of the night market entity (two weeks and still no signs of leaving).

Ladies and germs, the Pasar Malam is home to a new breed of evil. Amidst the smokey tents and rusty scaffoldings of lights inhabits the 2005 Spring/Summer Collection of lously-dressed teenagers, more commonly known as Ah Bengs and Ah Lians.

Such is the truth about night markets.

I now turn your attention to an article I found on Wikipedia (

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Ah beng
is a term commonly given to a certain group of young Chinese men in Southeast Asia, particularly Singapore and Malaysia. These chinese men, whose age ranging from their early teens to late 20s, usually centralize in the busier and more developed cities in the region. Ah bengs typically speak local slang, which is Hokkien or Cantonese mixed with English and Malay.

Ah bengs are commonly seen sporting red or bleached hair, be it highlights or completely dyed. Occassionally, they might be seen going round with highlights in blue, purple, or lime green. They are usually more fashion conscious than the average joe in which they might walk around with leather-lookalike plastic trousers with dragon printed silky button down shirts. Ah bengs like branded clothes, favouring brands like Valentino, DKNY, Versace and anything where labels are displayed prominently and can be read by all to show of their wealth clothes (or lack of it, by buying fakes). Gold gold jewelry, like a necklace is also a must.

Most Ah Bengs grow the nails of their last finger, and this is used for digging their noses, which is a favourite past time of an Ah Beng. Ah Bengs are also always seen squating in public places as this is their favourite fashionable posture.

Cars are also a very important element in the development of the typical Ah Beng. These cars are always heavily modified, sporting fancy coloured lights, tinted windows, crazy sound systems, huge exhaust pipes and spoilers and stickers on the car. These cars are also used to take part in street races. It is believed that the Initial D (a Hong Kong movie based on the comic books and characters created by Shuichi Shigeno. Characters played by Jay Chou, Edison Chen, Anthony Wong, Kenny Bee and etc ) franchise is an Ah Beng favourite.

Ah Bengs love techno, dance, trance and music that don't make any sense. They can be seen on the streets shaking their fists to the beat of the thumping bass from the big boom box which takes up space in their car boots.

Ah Bengs are constantly labelled to speak broken English such as Singlish. This is rather inaccurate as some Ah Bengs have been seen speaking in completely flawless English. The Ah Beng can be commonly heard starting their conversations with the offensive words "Tiu nia ma chao hai", meaning "Screw your mother's smelly p****" or "Nia ma chao hai", meaning "Your mother's smelly p****". Language is key to achieving the rank of an Ah Beng as the Ah Beng mentions more swear words than one can count.

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Ah lian is a term commonly given to a certain group of young Chinese girls in Southeast Asia, namely Singapore and Malaysia. These chinese girls, whose age ranging from their early teens to late 20s, usually centralize in the busier and more developed cities in the region.

The Ah Lian would be the female version of an Ah Beng. She's something like the Asian version of a Bimbo. Baby G watches, in pink, again lots of branded stuff like Ferragamo headbands or belts, Versace, Gucci, LV etc.. Mostly fake but the label must still be prominently displayed along with the latest mobile phone
with pink cover. Huge platform shoes are a requirement and blonde/red/blue streaks in the hair, the aim is to look like one of the gorgeous Hong Kong pop chicks..but it rarely works.

Ah Lians like to dress like clowns. Their fashion can be said to be a mix and match of every bad trend. Short tight denim skirts with paint and labels that don't make sense, paired with small revealing tops that reveal their plastic bra straps and poor quality tattoos.

For shoes, Ah Lians love platform shoes and low boots, which they sometimes wear with lacy socks. Ah Lians usually have long nails that are painted like paintings from an art gallery. Long nails are for catfights when another Ah Lian steals their
Ah Beng

If you enter any cybercafe you will see some Ah Bengs
playing counterstrike, howling like monkeys with the speakers on full blast.. and the Ah Lians will be siting around playing 02Jam and giggling.

They have a "Stand by your Ah Beng" rule, which they obey like the gospel truth. Ah Lians can be almost always seen beside their Ah Beng
boyfriends. She holds his cigarettes for him in her fake designer LV handbag.

Like their Ah Beng
boyfriends, the Ah Lian love techno, dance, trance and music that don't make any sense. They can be seen on the streets shaking their fists to the beat of the thumping bass from the big boom box which takes up space in their car boots.

Most Ah Lians work in the retail line, selling things like clothes to mobile phones. Rarely does an Ah Lian work in a multinational company.

Singlish is a popular slang that they adopt. Fowl language like "Tiu nia ma", meaning "F*** your mother" is commonly heard.

- text courtest of Wikipedia.

They are more rampant in:

  • Pool and billiard outlets throughout Singapore
  • LAN Gaming outlets (especially Park Lane and Bugis Junction)
  • Parco Bugis Junction (we suspect it's because they're afraid of the light that they must stay indoors and out of the sun. Either that or their cheap hair-dye doesn't allow them too much exposure to the sun before their hair starts falling off)
  • Void Decks and outside schools
  • Neighborhood shopping malls

So be warned, they are out to take over the world. And given a chance, they might actually do it. How would you like to see your children and their children's children dressed as scabs and tramps roaming all over Singapore with their fake designer apparel?

Hell no. Oh the horrors. Take a walk down Bugis Junction on a Sunday afternoon and you'll know what I mean - listless, pimple-dotted faces with centre-parting do; shapeless preadolescent girls with miniskirts, tanktops and a mask of superiorly disgusting makeup; baby prams with spikes and neon-glowing pacifiers. They're closer than you think.

And there's no stopping them unless everyone does their part. So the next time you see an Ah Beng or Ah Lian, stomp them out by messing up their hair. It is their only known weakness.

Do your part, stop the madness.


Anonymous said...

Ooooooohhh... nice write up. A good start to something that I forsee will look totally awesome.

Anyway, you should be careful talking about Ah Bengs and Ah Lians... later kena anti-seditious act... or maybe not so serious... kena discrimination act. Ah Bengs and Ah Lians are important members of our Singaporean community... It defines Sigapore as a nation developing its own culture and traditions, albeit reflecting the uglier side of it...

Haris Jumadi

David said...

Something fresh to read.. Hope to read more from you brudder.

Also.. perhaps you might wanna change the blogskin.. It is not helpful in making reading easy...