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Why Is Saying ‘I Love You’ So Hard For Malaysian Parents Ahh?

Why Is Saying ‘I Love You’ So Hard For Malaysian Parents Ahh?

Don’t be shy! MR D.I.Y. wants everyone to share the love this CNY and fill your festive season with sweet and fulfilling moments.

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If you grew up in a Malaysian household, then chances are you didn’t hear a lot of ‘I love you-s’ from your parents. Like many Asian families, expressing one’s affection verbally (and non-verbally) is not something we Malaysians do on a regular. Most would even say that it’s weirdly taboo to be all lovey-dovey with your parents and relatives as those types of things are typically reserved for thirsty couples with PDA issues.


However, the lack of hugs, kisses, and words of affirmation does not mean that Asian families are cold, distant and unloving. On the contrary, Malaysian parents tend to show their warmth, closeness and undivided love in more low-key ways by being super strict and bossy, but also very attentive and supportive of their kids.

Your parents aren’t cruel, they’re just cool 😎

Psychologists say that there are four main parenting styles characterized by the level of responsiveness or how much parents support and pay attention to their child’s needs, and demandingness or how much expectation and control parents exert towards their charges.

  • Authoritarian parenting: Low responsiveness and high demandingness
  • Authoritative parenting: High responsiveness and high demandingness
  • Permissive parenting: High responsiveness and low demandingness
  • Uninvolved parenting:  Low responsiveness and low demandingness

Research says that Malaysian parents act the way they do because of our collective culture that places high value on respect, loyalty and obedience. And Malaysians are more likely to be authoritative parents who make their kids follow strict rules and standards, and punish them when they mess up or fail as a way to monitor and guide their child’s progress, as well as empower ‘em to be responsible and successful individuals.


So don’t worry if you’ve never heard your parents say ‘I Love You’. Affection comes in many forms after all, and instead of those three little words, your family might communicate their love with other, more subtle words of affection like, ‘How are things?’, ‘Are you hungry?’ or ‘Don’t be late!’, as well as actions like cooking up your favourite meals or buying you gifts. 

Remember that your parents’ constant lecturing, strict discipline and over-attention may just be their way of showing they love you through simple acts of service and fulfilling their job as parents. They’re not cold or cruel, they’re just cool like dat laa 😎.

Buuttt… Exchanging ‘Wo Ai Ni-s’ from time to time won’t hurt one bit, and it can even make your family closer, happier and a lil’ healthier too! Although, if you still feel awkward about being all mushy with the fam’, you can always learn to show your affection in different ways and with one step at a time, just like how this old-skool grandpa did with his family in an adorable short story brought to you by MR D.I.Y.

MR D.I.Y. leads the way in showing love to the community ❤️

In efforts to encourage everyone to show their love and spread a ‘lil kindness to those in need,  Yayasan MR D.I.Y. launched the ‘Wo Ai Ni’ initiative, delivering love to 17 charity homes and organizations catered towards the elderly and the disabled across the country during the festive Chinese New Year season.

MR D.I.Y.’s team of volunteers brought special ‘Wo Ai Ni’ care packages containing household items, hygiene products, and thoughtful CNY gifts and surprises to over 1,000 residents. Each home also received RM1,000 in MR D.I.Y. cash vouchers to help with their everyday essential needs.

The team also took their time to spruce up the homes and hung out with the residents to show ‘em some love and brighten their mood during the festivities by putting up CNY decorations and even organising ‘Lou Sang’ sessions, tea parties and other fun activities.

MR D.I.Y. Group Head of Marketing, Alex Goh hopes that their small gesture will inspire people to express their love to everyone they hold dear and spread joy during CNY.

Chinese New Year signifies the importance of family bonds and the celebration of rich cultural traditions. Our mission is to make this year’s CNY extra special by injecting a spirit of ‘Ai’ (love) into the festivities through our ‘Wo Ai Ni’ initiative, as well as celebrate and encourage love and compassion among Malaysians, believing that love has the power to make anything possible.

– MR D.I.Y. Group Head of Marketing Alex Goh

Don’t be shy! Share the love this CNY with MR D.I.Y. ❤️

If saying those three little words still makes you blush, then surprise your loved ones by sending ‘em a special love-filled CNY snapshot. Capture your love and sweet moments with MR.DIY ‘Wo Ai Ni’ filter on TikTok and show the light of your life just how much they mean to you!

@yapzenx Spread the love and join the fun with #MRDIYxCNY2024 filter! Let's celebrate together and show love to one another. 💖✨ #WoAiNi #CNY2024 @MR.DIY Malaysia ♬ glue song – ・❥・
@faressazureen this year's mantra is to embrace love anywhere anytimeee!!! @mrdiy.malaysia #MRDIYxCNY2024 #WoAiNi #cny2024 ♬ พี่ชอบหนูที่สุดเลย (I Like You The Most) Feat.VARINZ – Speed Up Version – PONCHET
@aimanrahman88 Korang try filter ni dengan kawan2 korang! I dah try with my uncle, Best and fun! 😂 #MRDIYxCNY2024 #WoAiNi #CNY2024 @MR.DIY Malaysia ♬ original sound – AimanRahman

For the extra shy-shy cats out there, why not show your affection by getting your loved ones gifts instead?! From 1 January to 15 February, MR D.I.Y. is having a special ‘Wo Ai Ni – I Love’ promo featuring a wide range of products including, personal accessories, home decorations and other CNY essentials.

Additionally, customers who spend a minimum of RM40 at MR. D.I.Y, and MR. TOY or RM30 at MR. DOLLAR stores nationwide will receive four complimentary limited-edition CNY ang pau packets for FREE.

This offer is only available at participating stores, so go here to find out more. Don’t forget to check out MR D.I.Y.’s official website to participate in other activities and discover more ways to say ‘Wo Ai Ni’ to your loved ones.

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