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10 adorable ways our Malaysian parents quietly sayang us

Two weeks ago, we ran this article for HP, asking ugaiz if you’d feel awkward if your parents suddenly said, “I Love You”. Here’s how the results fared:


Nga-hah! As expected, most of us would feel weirded out. But in our article, we believed that although our parents may not expressively show their love for us, it don’t mean they don’t love us yo. It probably means we’re all just a buncha shy-shy fellers!

hp logo

Now, HP’s new campaign (#MemoriesAreMadeOfThese) is all about creating memories with our loved ones. Like printing your own greeting card using HP’s cool Ink Advantage printer, or creating a cardboard superhero like this mom over here. 🙂

And at CILISOS we believe that even the smallest, littlest gesture would make a memory transcending time. Doesn’t matter if our parents rotan our backside so we won’t be naughty (which hurts them too, by the way), or if they give us their fried chicken skin… These little acts are done with an abundance of love no money can buy.

So we turned to our readers to comb through their own memories with their parents. We wanted to know, just how do Malaysian parents ‘diam-diam’ sayang their kids? Here are the final 10 entries, all of whom have won some goodies from HP! (See.. Our sponsor so nice right?? Faster go say #tenkiuHP on their Facebook page  😛 )


1. They’re our own bodyguard… even when they pandai-pandai cover line.

body guard 2

“My father would sit at the park every day for two hours while I play basketball with my friends. He says that he loves to watch the youngsters play football in the field, although I know he was there to watch over me.” – Joe Lim


2. They let us watch Pokemon… even if it means missing Bulletin Utama.

Unedited image by Flickr user timparkinson (Creative Commons)

Unedited image by Flickr user timparkinson (Creative Commons)

“My father would pretend to sleep while watching the 8pm news at night (it runs for 1 hour), so that my siblings and I would have the chance to switch to the Pokemon show at 8.30pm.

He even tells us, “Don’t change the channel and go study”, but eventually he’d fall asleep and purposely let us watch Pokemon. That happened 15 years ago.” – Rafeeq


3. They give us good night kisses, but only when we’re ‘sleeping’!

Unedited photo from Daily Mail/Shuttershock

Unedited photo from Daily Mail/Shuttershock

My father is a very strict and a very quiet man. Father and son chit-chat was unheard of in my family, inikan pula nak cakap “I love you” straight at my face.

But I know he loves me, because every time he’s back from work (usually late at night), he’d enter my room to tuck my blanket and kiss my forehead while I’m asleep. Sometimes I pretend to sleep because waking up would make it awkward! He gives me strange, random gifts like an antique compass and even a bear’s claw! (No idea where he got those.)

Now my father had mellowed a bit, and we have started to chat about things like weather. He has also started sending me pictures via WhatsApp now that he has a smartphone, such as the glass rack he just built or our cats. It’s very cute and out of character, haha.

Recently I told him that I’d be presenting my research in a conference and he replied “K trying u best”. He has never ever said that to me, and although it is in broken English, I get what he’s saying and his reply really made my day.” – Anas Akmal


4. They make sure our dinners are fresh… even if they can’t afford it.

Unedited image from

Unedited image from Flickr user avlxyz (Creative Commons)

“My parents have always kept the cost of our family dinner below RM20 whether they cook at home or ‘tapau’. With the rising cost of food these days, they would ‘tapau’ food for my two other siblings and I, while they both share the balance of yesterday’s dinner.

When I was younger, I used to complain about what they ‘tapau-ed’ but now when I think back, it brings tears to my eyes that these acts of love went unnoticed by my fooolish teenage years of wanting to “lepak” with friends rather than have a proper meal with them. I now understand that food is the only way they could show their love, because they grew up in hard times when food were scarce.” – Daryl Justin


5. Sometimes, they actually… defend us??! ಠ_ಠ


“When I was 13, I had this super-garang teacher who liked to rotan a lot. (Those days if no rotan = bad teacher lah.) I was really bad at math and always kena rotan for getting wrong answers/tiru homework kawan etc.

At one point, I was really depressed. But you know lah, Malaysian parents, if you mengadu, sure you yang kena marah. They always told me “if you did what you been told, how come they rotan you?”. So with hormones raging + pimples + peer pressure I was close to being suicidal. But I think that my parents kinda guessed I was depressed.

One day, I heard that the teacher was gonna be a bit late cos she has a meeting with the principal. When she finally came in, she was, nicer, less garang. The whole class was surprised. For my case, she was somewhat understanding and less rigid than before. WTH was going on? The situation improved until I graduated.

I never got the answer until last Raya when I bumped into my teacher. She remembered me for a reason, and told me that my parents quietly met with the principal and ask what seemed to be bother me in school. As they also started doing their investigating (ask my friends etc), they concluded that my math teacher was an issue.

So they explained to the teacher that I was (still am) bad at math, and asked the teacher to be less garang and more understanding. Luckily the teacher understood, without any you-ain’t-tellin’-me-how-to-do-my job kinda response. I never imagined my parents would go that far as I thought they always think that I’m the troublemaker. After I found out, I did not ask my parents about what they did, but embrace them a lot more because after all, they do love me.” – Mohd Izuan


6. They sometimes kasi chance and go against their own rules.

Unedited image of the real Ariel from Wikipedia

Unedited image of the real Ariel from Wikipedia

“Believing that TV is evil, my dad rarely let me watch movies, hoping that it would turn me into a bookworm. It kinda worked, and I was happily reading about how Cinderella’s stepsisters had their toes chopped off and how Snow White’s stepmother danced on burning iron plate until she died, completely unaware of Disney’s sanitised fairy tales.

One day I went to my cousin’s house and they were talking about something I was both familiar and unfamiliar with: The Little Mermaid – Disney version. Didn’t the mermaid turn into bubbles? Why are they talking about happily ever after? And – and this beautiful picture of a red-haired mermaid with green tail and seashells. It caught my attention and I kept looking at it throughout the conversation, admiring it, thinking about what an alien I was, and how I longed to be in part of my cousin’s world. (Movie reference intended.)

That night when we reached home, I turned my back against my dad when it was time for bedtime story. We remained silent for a long time. Dad broke the silence with a sigh and I held my breath, waiting for him to tell me that he would buy me a copy of that movie, but all I heard was scratching.

I turned back quietly when the scratching stopped. Dad had left my room, but there was a paper on the stool he had sat on. It was a pencil sketch of the little mermaid.” – Lee Yoong Shin

[Ed’s note: Yes, in case you didn’t know, the original versions of some of Disney’s most femes fairy tales are… umm… not so happily ever after.] 


ICERD - what do overseas Bumiputras think of Bumi rights? We ask them.

7. They have some weird Spidey Sense, always appearing when we need them.

Unedited photo from Flickr user nazzen9009 (Creative Commons)

Unedited photo from Flickr user nazzen9009 (Creative Commons)

“I used to travel to school by bus, and the bus stop was quite a distance from my house. Once when I was in Form 1, it was raining heavily on my way home and it was already dark. The thought of walking home in such conditions made me feel uneasy. 

To my surprise, when I got to the bus stop, my mother was already waiting for me with umbrellas. We never said a word during our walk home, but I felt so warm and thankful inside. What made it even better is the warm dinner waiting for me at home. I will remember that feeling and memory forever!” – Wong Ha Hie


8. They are the BEST. BANKERS. EVERRRR. (Cos they don’t expect returns <3 )

wallet 3

“My dad sneakily checks my wallet and complains how much of a spendthrift I am by comparing yesterdays’ and todays’ remaining cash as loud as possible (so that I’ll malu). But the next time I check my wallet, I’ll be RM++ richer. <3″ – Vikas Jaya Prasad


9. They ALWYAS scold us if we don’t eat.

Unedited screengrab from Kungfu Hustle

Unedited screengrab from Kungfu Hustle

“I found out I was pregnant in end of May this year and my mum was overwhelmed with joy. But the good days didn’t last long as I had a miscarriage in on 13th June. My mom was really worried and wanted me to stay in bed all the time. She was really upset, but she never showed it. She cooked confinement meals for me, even when she was ill. She told my cousin that I was really week and needed to rest for a few months because I’m not fully recovered.

Two days ago, I told her that I got pregnant again. This time, she wasn’t happy. Instead, she scolded me for not waiting for another few months because I haven’t fully covered. She started to scold me from time to time, didn’t allow me to shop, to travel, to climb up and down, sit on the chair for long hours, not having my breakfast once I wake up… She scolded me for every single thing.

But I know that she was actually very worried about me and used her scolding as her way to love me. I understand that and I felt that it was the biggest love she gave to me. Even my own husband doesn’t do that. Thanks for everything, mom… I love you mom!” – Low Ming Huei

10. And they always save our lazy bekside from trouble, even when we don’t deserve it. <3

Courtesy of Sim Wei Wen

Courtesy of Sim Wei Wen

“When I was in Standard 5, I was a super lazy kid with a prodigious talent in the art and science of hardcore procrastination. Once, for Pendidikan Seni, we had to submit a straw-blown painting. Being the genius I was, I diligently procrastinated and the next thing I knew, the due date was tomorrow! And it’s already 11pm!

I didn’t have much time and my eyes were already getting droopy from sleepiness. Once I got started, my world went dark and I was off in dreamland dreaming about Pokemon. The next thing I knew, I woke up in my pajamas in bed. Its morning already, and it was time for school! The first thing I thought about was how I’d magically teleported myself to bed overnight. The second thought was, oh gawd, my unfinished art homework!

But as I ran to the living room, I saw a piece of paper beside my backpack. When I opened it, all I could see were beautiful streaks of colours. My mom had stealthily teleported me to bed after seeing my soulless body slumped in front the piece of unfinished artwork, and with an equal measure of skill, proceeded to complete the homework for me! And it was amazing! It was a 10/10 piece of work!

And I felt sooooooo thankful that I wouldn’t need to be scolded for forgetting to do my homework. Above all, I felt touched and grateful that my mom had spent her time watching over my sorry and lazy butt aka doing my homework for me.

I couldn’t be prouder when the  class started, cos I wanted to show off such a great piece of work! But cikgu forgot about the straw blown homework, and didn’t even ask for it that day. In fact, she TOTALLY forgot about it, and for the remainder of the week, the piece of straw blown painting lay in my bag, patiently waiting to be shown to the world in all its forgotten glory.

But in hindsight, there’s a silver lining to this, cos now I get to keep the painting, and it has been a reminder to me of how great of a mom I have ever since. I still keep the painting till this day in my cupboard, twelve years and counting!” – Sim Wei Wen


If they sayang us, isn’t time for us to do the same?

Kk let’s be honest for a sec. Some of us were like Daryl Justin, a bit rebellious to our parents at one point. So now that we’re older and (hopefully!) a lot wiser, maybe it’s time we did our part to show them our love? Yes, in diam-diam ways cos seriously la, 20-30 years down the line and SUDDENLY wanna say “I Love You” meh?? Geli beh tahan wei….

Image from

Image from

While none of us at CILISOS are parents (*soon, maybe*), we think that we can start by making more time for them or being nicer to our siblings. Or, even printing out family portraits instead of buying another wallet or scarf, cause really la, stuff about memories are priceless… 🙂

It’s one thing to say those three words, but another to actually show it. And honestly? We think the latter is way more meaningful.

Brb, calling our parents to kepoh about their dinner…

(… and tenkiu HP for sponsoring this post! ^__^)

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