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Explained: What's A 'Water Fish' And How Does It Relate To A M'sian Guy Who Paid RM460 For A Burger?

Origins, saga and resulting drama explained.


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Explained: What's A 'Water Fish' And How Does It Relate To A M'sian Guy Who Paid RM460 For A Burger?
So, ladies and gentlemen, we're pretty sure you've seen posts popping up about a RM460 burger and 'water fish' chatter on your feed.

Before you assume that some Malaysians have gone bonkers (which is also highly likely seeing all the drama that's hit the country - with a rotan - recently), we've actually got an explanation for it all.

Read on if you're intrigued.

What's a water fish?


First of all, if you don't speak Chinese, you'd probably never put this together. 

Honestly, we were pretty clueless about this term until a Chinese speaking expert (ok, ok, it's just a really good friend of ours who speaks Chinese) shed some light on the matter.

The friend told us that 'water fish' or 水鱼 is slang that is often used to describe a person who can easily be tricked or is gullible.

"Why water fish though? Tak faham," we questioned.

"Well, the term originates from the Cantonese language. Shui yu which literally translates to water fish (shui = water, yu = fish) actually means a Chinese softshell turtle in Cantonese," said Lauren a.k.a. our Chinese expert friend.

She went on to explain that a softshell turtle can easily be chopped and this is probably why it's used to refer to a person who can easily be taken advantage of.


Just 'cause Lauren is awesome, she even gave us some sample sentences where the term is used. 

1. Look at those poor tourists going to that restaurant known to overcharge people, they will sure get treated like 'shui yu'.

2. I confidently went to the car dealership to buy a secondhand car, little did I know, the salesman took me as a 'shui yu' and gave me a bad deal!


Disclaimer: She also said that these were pretty basic examples, but hey, at least we got some context right!

The RM460 burger saga

So now that you understand what 'water fish' means, you'll probably understand why a lot of people have been calling this guy who paid RM460 for a burger a 'water fish'.

It's not only that he paid for the burger though, the whole saga began when this guy (Chia) accepted an invite to a birthday function for a girl (Carmay) whom he just befriended.

The party was hosted by Carmay's friend Liddy at the Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur. 


Long story short, the group ate, drank and had a jolly time, racking up a bill of RM3,679.

They then decided that it would be best just to split even and Chia ended up having to pay RM460 even though he only ordered a burger costing RM88 and a glass of water for himself. 

Damn, that bill!
So Chia was the 'water fish' in this whole saga lah.

An annoyed Chia even claimed that Liddy had chided him for being so calculative and said something along the lines of if he really liked Carmay, money would not be an issue and that he should even pay for her share too.

Chia lost it, told her off and later vented to the online world about the matter.

Latching on to the RM460 burger hype

Seeing how the whole water fish saga just blew up and hoping to bank on the "drama", various brands then started using it to market their products.















If you've been annoyed by all the fishy content, well, good news is that it'll probably blow over soon.

At least now you know exactly what everyone is talking about!

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