Saturday, March 03, 2007

Fairy Tales and Reality: Similarities and Differences of ALI BABA

This is my writing with regards to an article on page 26 of "Comment" column in Sunday Star.

I have also posted these writings in Malaysia Today previously .


On The Beat by Wong Chun Wai

Title: Let us forge together to develop our tanahair


1) And while there are negative connotations to the Ali-Baba business venture, it is not necessarily bad.

2) Wong Chun Wai can be reached at


Who is the biggest shareholder in The Star by the way?


The Ali Baba Woodcutter

Ali Baba Partnerships and Normal Business Partnerships are entirely different.


1) Ali Baba in the business context is a system exclusively practised in Malaysia.

2) Ali Baba has a system of a Master(the customer), a Middleman(the contractor) and a Beggar-Slave(the sub-contractor). The partnership is between Mister Middleman and Beggar-Slave. Why? Read the story (item 4) below.

3) Normal Business partnerships have only a Master (the customer) and Partner(s) (equal takers/executors/contractor). Sub-contractor is not on begging or compulsion. Big contracts are awarded based on merit. Points 1, 2 and 3 are based on my own opinion and perception. Perhaps, what you can do is to evaluate the similarities and differences by yourself. Why is it that business partnerships in overseas are not termed as "Ali Baba"? Why does it not exist?

4) I believe the name "Ali Baba" originates from the story "Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves" of 1001 Nights (a Persian story). Yes it is the "Open Sesame! Cave Door" story. I am a stupid businessman. Do not believe all of my stories.

A poor woodcutter who becomes a thief by stealing from the 40 thieves who stole from other richer people.

The forty thieves seek revenge but Ali Baba's slave-girl Morgiana is so smart and therefore managed to kill the 40 thieves.

Morgiana married Ali Baba's son and they lived with the Stolen Gold dahulu, kini dan selamanya.


Moral of this story: One can become a thief by stealing from another thief and become successful in life. A slave can become rich by stealing from another thief to give to her master.

5) Forget about the story above, typically "Ali Baba" is "not necessarily bad although there are negative connotations" like some say. I am a stupid businessman. I can only tell and read stories. After all, Ali Baba and her "family" get to live happily ever after. God Bless Malaysia.

Other lessons learnt:
- Stealing is OK, not necessarily bad. If you are a smart slave, you can become rich by helping your master steal from "richer people" who work hard for their money.

- Woodcutter do not have to work so hard and do not have to plan his wood business. Steal from other thieves and become instant millionaires is the right thing to do.

- The "richer people" have been marginalised from the Ali Baba story. Marginalisation is OK as long as woodcutter and slave can go on stealing and live happily ever after.

Yes, everything is OK !

Ohh , I love to read stories. I will tell my children that based on this story, "Ali Baba and the 40 thieves" are all immoral characters. Do not practise what they did. Strange thing some people can consider them as something "why not?"

I will tell them to Study hard and Work Smart (not cheating). If they need money, they will have to work for it.

So, people, what are you going to teach your children?

Feel free to post comments .....


Anonymous said...

Yes Ali Baba is not good, old or new...

suhaimi sulaiman said...

it's all about showing a good example rather than preaching.