November 11, 2008

#47 Piracy

If you've been on holiday to Malaysia or had the delightful experience of living here, you will have surely come across a facet of it's culture that is illegal yet polarising.

Given Malaysian people's affinity for all things foreign, it's only natural for them to want to propagate such influences and disseminate them to the general public. And how do Malaysian people do this, you ask? Why, it's quite simple. All one needs to adhere to is the old adage, "If you can't make it, fake it."

When you consider the practical and reverent nature of Malaysians, it therefore makes sense to pay tribute to the things you love by acquiring them illegally for a fraction of the actual price. That way, everyone gets to share the same experience affordably and without guilt, because everyone's doing it!

If there's a market for it, there'll be a pirated version out on the streets in no time. The latest Hollywood movies on DVD? Check. Designer clothes and accessories? Available. Copyright infringement and zero compunction? Absolutely.

Having this knowledge however, does not mean you should preach the values of purchasing original goods and services to your Malaysian friends. Any attempt to do so will result in a spiel that will be 30 minutes of your life you will never get back. First, they will tell you that this illegal and early acquisition of the material will enable them to form an informed opinion, thereby justifying their recommendations to others. This increases the exposure and awareness of the material in question. So in actuality, their illegal activities are spurring the industry on.

What you say following this is very important. While it would be natural to point out that they're still depriving the source of royalties as well as acquiring illegal and cheap goods, you must refrain. Instead, ask them what movies or music they would recommend. This will give them a sense of pride that they are your resident pop culture expert. It also allows them to feel vindicated that their inappropriate activities are part of a larger cultural advancement exercise and not just piracy.

This will please them greatly and you should expect an invitation to movie night or a listening session for the bootleg Linkin Park album.


Anonymous said...

Show me an adult Malaysian living an extended time in Malaysia who has never bought anything pirated, then I promise to prove to you that the moon is made of cheese. :)

Aidan said...

HAHA. Klaw's comment is damn funny. I guess we'll never find about the moon.

And why do you have to say Linkin Park and not Simple Plan?! Biased.

Ashleigh said...

I think piracy is something like sex here. We're coy about it but you can find it being sold flagrantly at er... certain places.

Check this out:

Anonymous said...

c'est magnifique !

B.H. said...


It isn't?


I detest both with an equal passion but I can't imagine anyone that eager to listen to Simple Plan.


Therein lies the beauty of our country's Hypocritic Oath.

Thanks for the link.

Anonymous 1:07 am,

Avec plaisir.


Jervynna said...

hmm. have u posted about how malaysians are ALWAYS attracted to sales and discounts. just wondering =)

Von Charlie said...

haha.this is a funny post.we've 'pirated' almost everything there is man.especially those intellectual properties like games,softwares,and cd and dvd and the list goes on.
like the content of the blog.keep it going dude.cheers.

FeiLip said...

I agree with von charlie, i've been to pasar malam before in p.d. and saw underwear being sold with the BodyGlove logo, but the brand turned out to be BodyLove - pirated underwear..lols

B.H. said...


I believe it's been covered under "Free Stuff" and "Shopping", thanks though.

Von Charlie,

Very funny. The concept of the blog is borrowed but not the content.


Thanks for the funny anecdote. Finally, you've commented.


Aidan said...

You should blog about how the life of a Malaysian changes as they are growing up.

What do Malaysian kids like, and then progress to what Malaysian teenagers like, and then to adults.


B.H. said...


I trust I can rely on your expert counsel for the progression (or is it regression) of one's maturity.

It could be called "Girl Meets World."


Obefiend said...

i know where this pic is taken.. UPTOWN