5 Common Superstitions in Malaysia


Living in a traditional Malaysian household, my mother never fails to tell me things I shouldn’t do for the fear that something unlucky might befall on us. To top that off, my parents are quite the superstitious people so there were a lot of restrictions to what I could do but never knew why I shouldn’t do it. It was all a mystery to me. Come to think of it, writing this post brings back some nostalgia.

As I grew older I learnt that these superstitions were just some sort of gimmick created by elders to make sure we do not misbehave. A lot of the so-called ‘consequences’ aren’t really real; there is always a more logical explanations to the cause and effect of a certain superstition. So let’s treat this post as a little myth buster.


  1. Don’t cut your finger nails at night

cut nails

Image from http://www.wikihow.com/images/e/eb/Shape-Fingernails-for-Guitar-Playing-Step-4.jpg

Superstition: It is commonly related to shortening your lifespan or possibly being haunted by a ghost.

Logic: This superstition came from the olden days where light and electricity itself weren’t available to all homes. Cutting your nails in the dark is dangerous because you can’t see properly and might injure yourself.


  1. Do not walk under the ladder

Superstition: Walking under the ladder will cause bad luck to befall on you.

Logic: Walking under a ladder doesn’t just ‘magically’ give you bad luck. It actually meant that there are chances where items may fall on you since there might be people working on top or possibly even the ladder itself might lose its stability and harm you.


  1. Don’t open an umbrella inside of the house

Superstition: Bad luck. It brings bad luck.

Logic: Bringing an umbrella inside the house might just create a mess. You’d use an umbrella in the rain so it might be wet so the rainwater would drip in your house and wet the floor. Aside from that, you might just poke someone without even knowing so it’s best to leave it outside.


  1. If you get a red bump at your eye corners, you’ve seen perverted things

macro image of an eye with a stye on the lower eye lid

Image from http://www.onlyeyesknew.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/eye_stye.jpg

Superstition: The red bumps are a ‘punishment’ for seeing things you are not supposed to see. Often this superstition is linked to people who peeked on girls when they shower.

Logic: The red bump is usually just an eye stye. An eye stye happens when the tiny oil glands in your eyelids get clogged by dead skin or dirt, leading to the growth of bacteria thus causing the growth.


  1. Do not step on a book

Superstition: It will make you stupid

Logic: Stepping on a book doesn’t degrade your mentality and intelligence just like that. However, books are seen as a source for knowledge so it would just be plain rude for it to be stomped or sat on.

And that’s all I could think of for now. Do you have any superstitions you know of? Do share it on the comment section below J


Nicky Lee

by Nicky Lee

Your typical neighbourhood ah pek who roams on the internet to satisfy his curiosity. Bold. Loud. Talkative. View all articles by Nicky Lee.


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