Did you know, why there are no 4’s <br> on the Elevator Buttons in Malaysia?

CURIOUS QUESTIONS

Why are there no number 4
on the Elevator Buttons in Malaysia?

 I mean why can’t they be 4, 14 and 24? Isn’t it hard to not indicate them as it is?”   

Because of the significant population of Chinese and influence of Chinese culture in Southeast Asia, 4 is also considered to be unlucky.

The number “4” itself has a similar tone to the Chinese character of “death” (Wikipedia, 2015).

To elaborate further, when spoken in Mandarin, the number 4, si, sounds similar to the word “death”. They are also similar for other Chinese dialects such as Hokkien and Cantonese. Furthermore,

 In local Chinese culture, the unlucky number is 14, because in Cantonese it sounds like “must/will die.”

Malaysia citizens are 24.6% Chinese where the majority consists of the ethnic group 67.4% Bumiputera followed by 7.3% Indians and 0.7 Others. Moreover, when you look at any part of Malaysia, whether on tourist spots, workplaces or the usual streets, you can always spot the Malaysian-Chinese people. Thus, we can establish the fact that Chinese has an impact on the Malaysian culture which includes the Chinese New Year holidays, Yee-Sang celebrations  and their mysterious superstitions.

Superstitions are results of blind faith promoted by the very culture we grew in. While we often skepticize these doubtful convictions that we embrace as we grew up, we learned to just accept it and go with the flow. Although modern Chinese millenials are now aware of these unfounded fear of numbers, they learned to embrace and just accept that “we’ll not die if we bought a room in 3A or in 13A, are we?” or “we’ll not get to accident if our plate stickers have 4 in it, are we?”

Leave a Reply

Close Menu