Wednesday, October 13, 2010


A salesgirl approached us and addressed me as 'Pak Cik" (uncle) and my wife as "Mak Cik" (aunt). What do you all think? Is it appropriate way of addressing a client in a commercial centre?

No, I don't think so. It is not appropriate for a salesgirl or a waitress/waiter to do so. In fact I have known a friend who, when addressed as such, went straight home and never ever came back to the joint.

It is ok if a primary school student to do so. It is very polite.

But it is not so for those who are in the commercial sector. It insults the client to be.

No, I don't mean for them to be addressed as Dato', Dato' Seri or Tan Sri...What I mean is that it is more appropriate for them to address the client as Encik (Sir) for a gent and Puan (Madam) for a lady.

For a lady, even words like 'Adik', 'Kakak' are taboo to some people. Never use the word adik for a married lady. For those who want to look and be young forever, the word kakak is a no no.

I used to say out to many salesgirls and sales executives that I have met who addressed me as Pak Cik not to do so and advised them to address me as Encik instead.

However, there are people who insist that they are addressed with their awarded names such as Dato', Dato' Seri, etc. I have met a man who said: "Dato? What Dato'? Dato' Seri lah"

I am not that type. Address me only as Dato' in official functions please...a strict no no amongst friends.


Martin Lee said...

Haha, nowadays calling "pak cik and "mak cik" becomes "offensive". Partly because nowadays people even at the age of 60 still look young and appear to be 40+! But I do hear a lot of people calling "uncle" and " Aunty" in English. It looks like the English counterpart of addressing somebody is more acceptable once you are married, regardless of age!

azahar said...

but strangely the use of 'Pok' (Terengganu dialect) sounds soothing to my ears..kind of respecting in nature...more and more young people in Terengganu address me as 'Pok' and I don't mind it a bit..ha ha