Kiasu and the Paper Rush

Last Friday there was news about parents’ anxiety over the PSLE and that was the reason MOE decided to have actual past PSLE Exam Papers (four subjects) printed to  give the anxious parents an idea of the PSLE standard. It also said the Papers would go on sale the next day (Saturday).

I mentally made a note to buy them on Tues (today). However, on Saturday, all the Papers sold out, island-wide! Why so kiasu, I thought. The PSLE is in October –no need to start practising the Papers so early.

This morning  I went to a big bookshop to ask about the Papers. They were out of stock! I asked about new stocks and the sales person said tomorrow coming. I quickly told him I wanted to reserve the 4 sets of Papers and to pre-pay for them. I was afraid they might all be snapped up before I arrived.  He said cannot reserve but can leave contact number so the staff could inform me when the new batch of the Papers arrived. I wrote my contact on a piece of paper and saw him pin it among numerous pieces on the board. Wah, so many people also wanted to be informed!

I went home,  planning how I could be ready to dash out to the bookshop the moment I got the alert.   Then I realized I had been acting kiasu myself. Lol!

kiasuThe Paper Rush…

Author: Jassmine Teo

I came to know about the SHC from eNN (Seng Kang). My interests are varied. I write on the forum regularly to improve my writing. In my autumn years, my priority is voluntary service. Hope to meet like-minded people and help initiate a programme/project for the disabled like the hearing impaired.

8 thoughts on “Kiasu and the Paper Rush”

  1. Hi Jassmine,
    Thank for your more thorough knowledge on this matter.
    CD- ROM is the work of some innovative entrepreneur to re-package this to sell at a higher price.

    If Government mandate all elderly to retake our PSLE, I will make duplicate copies
    and sell it on SHC i@shop for $3.00 with modern answer to the question provided.

  2. Hi Leon
    The Q0010 price of $7.90 is already marked up. The price per booklet of the past PSLE exam paper is printed on the back page. The price is $4 (without GST).
    The version with the CD-Rom is not the series from MOE.

  3. Out of curiousity, I check into Q0010 and see if such past exam paper are still on sale. I have seen at least 10 posting to sell with price as low as $7.90 to CD ROM set at $20.
    No rental to pay and one set needed to duplicate multicopies, it will beat those selling at bookshops on cost anytime.
    The demand is always there as new age group of kid come on stream like a conveyor belt every year. As to whether to buy from bookshop or online, my answer is being kiasi, kiasu and kiam siap, if some parent can get a set and photocopy for free in his work office, some would.

    Business opportunities is about “window” and first mover advantage and low cost sourcing.
    The ten sellers on Qoo10 wont be there if it does not sell. No need to employ sales assistant or say come back tomorrow morning, we are closed for today.

  4. Hi Kenneth
    Appreciate the humour in your last paragraph. I think all of us have a little kiasu spirit hiding within us. When anxiety sets in, the kiasu spirit comes to the rescue. It motivates us to take action earlier than later ….I find myself more active and more productive when I feel kiasu. Lol! I see this kiasu spirit as a positive force. :)

    At the other end of the kiasu continuum is the inconsiderate , self-serving kiasu behavior that has given S’poreans a bad reputation. May we see black sheep turning white in the year of the Goat!

    Btw, there’s some confusion in the English speaking world about whether it should be the year of the goat or the sheep. This is because the sheep and the goat have the same Chinese character. Some people prefer the sheep because they are more fluffy than the goat! Lol!


  5. Heehee, Jasmine

    I do not have a 12 year-old to be concerned about exam papers…and, old exam papers at that! These bookshops must make a killing over these papers!

    The “kiasu” attitude of Singaporeans go further than just the mad rush for exam papers; it has contributed to the uglier side… where the “me-first, to heck with you” behavior permeates every aspect of our lives:
    Rush for seats on the MRT, rush in and out of lifts, push and grab at sales or buffets, reckless driving habits just to be in front, endless littering and dirty toilet habits, etc.

    I just mourn the loss of respect and common courtesy in our society…and don’t put the blame on foreigners! I cannot help but compare with our neighbors like Indonesia and Thailand where politeness and gentleness are culturally defined, expected and accepted. The young in Thailand give a “wai” greeting to their seniors, a beaming smile to strangers, helpfulness at every turn even with the language barrier. We, in Singapore, have lost all these in our mad rush to be successful…and, have become unfeeling, self-serving, mindless robots!

    But, hey! My grandson will be in PSLE next year… now where can I get those papers, cheaper and maybe two sets of everything?

  6. Hi Leon
    There is no business opportunity in these past Exam papers. The demand for them is adequately met by the supply.

    The advertiser in Q0010 is trying to strike while the iron is hot but he will be disappointed. The past Exam Papers are available in bookshops and their price is low. Buyers won’t be looking for a lower price online.

    The buying rush was triggered by the kiasu spirit.

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