People all over the World, whether they belong to primitive tribes in Africa or they are
modern urbanites living in Singapore and Japan embrace religion in one form or another
and they generally believe in magic in its many forms and manifestations.
Whether they are members of modern Societies like those in some European Countries
or whether they are members of relatively less advanced Societies like in some South East Asian
Countries, magic and taboo are resorted to when through the normal use of science or rational
techniques, man is unable to control unpredictable and uncontrollable events that are important
Where there is difficulty in predicting the outcome of behaviour, where the results of actions are not
harmonious with efforts, where there are great limitations on man's knowledge of vital issues
and where circumstances of life are uncertain, uncontrolled and unknown, magical techniques are
employed. Magic and animism, to the practitioners, are systems of thought which give not only the
explanation of a single phenomenon, but make it possible for practitioners to comprehend the
totality of the World from one point, as a continuity.
Malaysia is a multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-religious Society with the three main races, Malay,
Chinese and Indian constituting more that 80% of the National Population,. The minority
Eurasian and the Indigenous people of Sabah and Sarawak form the balance of the
approximately 28 Million population of Malaysia.
All the races and communities in Malaysia have their own sets of taboos and beliefs and their
respective systems of thought which give not only the explanation of a single phenomenon,
but make it possible for each one of the races to comprehend the totality of their world
from one point, as a continuity.
The Malay Community, for example have the following taboos:
· Do not point finger towards the rainbow, with the consequences your finger
will be crippled
· do not sit on the pillow, lest infected boils around the anus
· do not open an umbrella in the house, lest the snake will enter the house
· girls who are not married can not sing in the kitchen, for fear marriage would be delayed
The Chinese too have their own taboos, and they run like this:
· Odd numbers are thought to be unfortunate: so wedding and birthday gifts
for the aged are always sent in pairs
· though ‘four’ is an even number, it sounds like death in Chinese thus
it is avoided (four is pronounced similar in sound to the word for death)
· during the 15 days of the Chinese New Year celebration period you should
not use negative words and phrases as this is the time for happiness and
looking forward to prosperity
· during the 15 days of the Chinese New Year celebration period do not throw
anything away for throwing away things during this time is akin to throwing
away good luck
· Try to avoid white and black colours, both of them symbolize death in
· Red and gold are the colours of luck and prosperity
The Indian Community has some interesting taboos that were passed down
through the generations that involve Indian girls like:
· one common taboo is that unmarried couples should not hold hands in public
... if you are married it is okay .... but if you are just dating, holding hands
in public, whether or not you are with your own Indian Community or
amongst other communities, it is deemed inappropriate
· since holding hands in public is deemed inappropriate, then kissing and
hugging in public is totally of the out of the question
· Indian girls in Malaysia are not encouraged to wear short skirts or short pants in public
Social Taboos You Cannot Ignore
Many people from the different Communities in Malaysia, before they decide to buy a property, whether it is a house, condominium, apartment or shop will consider many factors that may be considered to be “non-scientific” or even “superstitious”
Within Malaysian property context, “non-scientific” or even “superstitious” factors like the property’s “Feng Tsui”, its location at “T” Junction, its location below the road level, and the number (address) of the property are important factors that a property buyer cannot ignore
These “non-scientific” factors are very real and you ignore them at your own peril when you want to sell the property later. You either will not be able to sell it or you will be forced to sell the property at a very much reduced price.
How Social Taboos Affect Property Prices
Let us go on a journey to find out how Social Taboos affect property prices particularly in Malaysia.
The Chinese Taboo on No 4
To many Chinese people, the number “4” is tabooed. It sounds like death in Mandarin and in many other Chinese dialects. Be careful to avoid buying a property with No. 4 as part of its address, especially when the property is located in an area where the majority residents are Chinese. When the time comes for you to sell your property you may encounter difficulties finding a buyer or if a buyer is found he may want to discount the price on account of the tabooed No. 4.
The International Taboo on No 13
If you were to enter some Office Buildings in Kuala Lumpur you will likely find “Level 13” and “13th Floor” missing in the lift buttons and on the Tenants Directory. In place of “13” you will find either “11A” or “12A”. It looks like the number “13” is tabooed in some places. As with No. 4, avoid buying a property with No. 13 as part of its address. The taboo against number “13” is not as strong as the taboo against No. 4. All the same when it comes time to sell your property you may have difficulties finding a buyer or if a buyer is found he may want to discount the price because of the tabooed No. 13.
Property Facing “T” Junction
All the 3 major Communities in Malaysia, the Malay, Chinese and Indian have a dislike for properties facing a “T” Junction. They each have their own taboos and aversions for properties facing a “T” Junction. The Chinese believe that with your house facing a “T” Junction and with ghosts and spirits roaming the streets at night, especially at the time of the hungry ghost festival, when the gates of hell are opened and spirits enter the earthly realm. They flood the streets and with your house facing the "T" junction, you and your family are at risk of being invaded and inundated by these "Hungry Ghosts". You ignore this taboo at your own peril when it comes time for you to sell your property.
Property below Road Level
All the 3 major Communities in Malaysia, the Malay, Chinese and Indian have a dislike for properties located below road level. They each have their own taboos and aversions for properties located below road level. The Chinese believe that with your house located below road level, all the bad luck of residents in the entire neighbourhood that flow from their houses onto the road will eventually flow into your house. To the Chinese to have such bad luck flowing into their house is unacceptable and they will at all cost avoid buying a property located below road level. You ignore this taboo at your own peril when it comes time for you to sell your property.
Property with Steep Slope
The Chinese do not like to have a house built on land with a steep slope with the access road slopping towards the frontage road. The Malay and Indian Communities also dislike houses built on land with a steep slope towards the frontage road. They have their own taboos and aversions. The Chinese believe that with his house built on land with a steep slope with the access road slopping towards the frontage road, all his wealth, prosperity and luck will flow away down the slopping road to his neighbours below him. You ignore this taboo at your own peril when it comes time for you to sell your property.
When you are looking to buy a property and you are looking for taboos, the above listed taboos are easy to identify because they have physical features you can look out for. When it comes to making sure that the property is not haunted, it is much harder. How do you know if a house is haunted? You will have to extensively investigate into the background and history of that property for the answer.
The Seller will not tell you. The Real Estate Agent will not tell you. What then should you do? My advice is "if you are in doubt about whether the property is haunted, just give it a pass and move to other similar properties that are clean and not haunted". However if you "fell in love with that property" and will not easily give it up, there are some steps to follow to get the information you need to help you decide:-
· Check how frequent the tenants/occupants move in and
move out of this property
· At the time when you were introduced to this property by the Agent,
was it vacant and unoccupied?
· If it was vacant, find out how long the last tenant/occupant stayed
before they move out
· Visit the property at night and observe from the outside if you can hear "funny noises" or observe unusual activities inside or outside the property
If after all these investigations you still have doubts, give it a miss and move
on to consider other properties.
However, if you are a fervent believer in the Power of your God to help you get rid of
the "ghosts and spirits" there and your God can help you cleanse the property
of these evil spirits, then by all means go ahead and negotiate for a "give-away"
price as you may be the ONLY BUYER the Seller has who is willing to
buy his property.
Properties beside High Tension Electric Power Lines
Properties that are built beside High Tension Electric Power Lines are also shunned by all the Communities in Malaysia including Malay, Chinese, Indian and Eurasian Communities and the Indigenous people of Sabah and Sarawak. They shun such properties for health reasons and not due to cultural taboos. Studies by Scientists have shown that High Tension Electric Power Lines emit radioactive rays like gamma rays. It has also been shown by Scientists that prolonged exposure to radioactive rays like gamma rays can increase the risk of cancer to those who live in houses that are near and beside High Tension Electric Power Lines.
When you buy a property from the secondary market do be careful to make sure the property you are looking at is at least 500 meters from the nearest High Tension Electric Power Lines to be absolutely sure that you are safe from exposure to gamma rays radiation.
If you are buying a property “off-plan” from a developer, visit the development site and at best you can ascertain the location of the nearest High Tension Electric Power Lines. If you are unable to find anything and you are still uneasy, engage the services of an Electrical Engineer to investigate. The Electrical Engineer knows how and from where to get the information. It is worth the Professional Fess you pay the Electrical Engineer. If the Electrical Engineer reports that there is a possibility that High Tension Electric Power Lines may be built near the property you intend to purchase, however remote that may be, give it a miss, move on to other Development Projects. Your family's health and safety should be above all other considerations.
On-Line Property Price Search Websites in Malaysia
Before you purchase your next property, you may want visit http://www.ipropertydata.com and check out for yourself latest prices of the types of properties you intend to purchase.