Breaking records in Malaysia

April 4, 2006 12:45 PM

Malaysia’s Longest Pizza – Peter Lau

From Wired 14.04: The World Record-Breaking Capital:

From the dangerous (most days spent inside a box with 6,069 scorpions) to the inexplicable (most faces captured on a phonecam) and the outright banal (first independent tire-testing facility), not a week goes by without a record-setting event somewhere in Malaysia. The country might just be the world record holder in holding records.

The efforts are chronicled in the Malaysia Book of Records, a compendium of 2,005 of the country’s bests, firsts, biggests, and longests. Many attempts are so outlandish – most time spent cooped up in a vehicle – that they’re regularly slotted into the “wacky news” segments on newscasts around the world. To Western eyes, the country seems like a nation of attention-hungry circus freaks. But in Malaysia, the desire to build the largest tea bag or gather the most twins at a single location is a form of national pride.

The Malaysia Book of Records was obviously inspired by the Guinness Book of Records. I remembered that when I was a kid, those records were meaningful or at the very least, not trivial. Like: the tallest, shortest, heaviest, smallest of anything etc. I was actually excited when the Penang Bridge was named the 3rd longest bridge in the world and the longest in Asia.

But now? Most clothes-peg on a face? Longest time playing chess under water? Shortest time to type an SMS message? The heaviest object to be pulled by the teeth?

I must say although I find these attempts to be banal and the corresponding TV shows boring, I do admire the zeal that ppl sometimes go to to get that 15-minutes of fame and a chance of immortality being listed in a Book of Records of some sort. Humans eh? Why do they do it? Because they can.

[tags]Malaysia, Malaysian, records[/tags]

8 thoughts on “Breaking records in Malaysia

  1. emiriyoshikawa

    Does it gives you pride when your country do such meanless thing to be on the record?

    Do you go around tell ppl “I came from xxx, you know, the country with the biggest pizza, moon cake and toufu sandwich!”

    I wouldn’t take pride in that… but I have to admit that I do find it fun. For the fun of it, why not?

  2. mooiness Post author

    emiriyo: about being proud of silly things – exactly my point and the article mentions that too.

    Fun? Yes. But imagine if the same zeal and effort went into more “serious” matters like the environment or the government, think of the wonderful things that would be the result.

  3. emiriyoshikawa

    It’s time when you didn’t have anything better to show off that you resort to such silly acts… to divert the attention “stupid” masses from your fault.

    Just like the govt ruling party trying to stir up shit with other country once the election is near… creating this sense of “crisis” to make ppl vote for them? Fuck it, if they’re doing their job well we wouldn’t even be in “danger”.

    PS: Vote for Emiri

  4. Leonard

    btw, the longest pizza looks like the longest poh piah…what’s pizza when its not even round…

    being in the record books is good when u done something good instead of silly!!

  5. mooiness Post author

    emiriyo: very very true – just like sports and religion are the “opiate of the masses”. Vote for you? The system in Sg is too restricted lah – even if you get into government, you still have to watch what you say because at any time you can lose the seat! Woops, should I have registered with the govt. to say that? Oh wait, I’m not Singaporean nor is this blog hosted in Singapore. 😉

    leonard: actually pizzas come in all form and shapes. In Italy they sell them in rectangles and so do the authentic Italian places in Australia.

    As for being in the record books for stupid and pointless things – agree!

  6. mooiness Post author

    sourrain: yeahloh. in a way it is. When I was back there, I notice these little things in the news too. I’m like … “huh?! this also so proud for what?!?”


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