Friday, 24 April 2009


Since our friend put it in FB first, I'm going to race her to announce this in blogspot.

Teoh Seet Heng is the only Teoh in the entire Fleishman-Hillard network of more than 2,000 employees worldwide.

YES! Done. A moment of I'm proud to be a Malaysian Chinese.


Since we are on the topic, my surname 张 is pronounced as Zhang in Mandarin. It is a very common surname among Chinese, and is the 24th surname on 百家姓 (Book of Family Names), after 何 (He) 吕(Lv) 施 (Shi), and is followed by 孔 (Kong), 曹 (Cao), 严 (Yan), 华 (Hua).

If you must know, the number one surname on the list is 赵(Zhao), that is because the book was compiled during the Song Dynasty and the emperor then was 赵匡胤 (Zhao Kuang Yin), so obviously he got the first place. Politics... Zzzz.

So anyway, forget about the Zhao guy, my surname is pronounced differently in different parts of China, by different ethnics, using different dialects. The southeners such as TeoChew and Hokkien Chinese pronounce it as Teo, like Deo with a T. And they call my dad Lao Teo (Old Teoh), until I succeed it. One day, hopefully not so soon :P

When my ancestors came to Malaysia, they speak nothing except TeoChew or Hokkien, not even Mandarin. So the foreign ID officers back then will just have to guesstimate the spelling.

And that is how variations such as Teoh, Teo, Teow come about. It also became a way for Malaysian Chinese to identify which part of China he or she comes from. Like since I'm a Teoh, that makes me a TeoChew from TeoChew Province, east of GuangDong Region. Famous Teohs in Malaysia includes Adrianna Teoh, Lina Teoh and Seet Teoh.

So if you ask how many Zhang is in FH network, the answer is seven. One in Malaysia (me), two in Singapore and four in Beijing. Having said that, I wouldn't know if they are the same Zhang as me (张),or they could be 章 which is an entirely different word, but pronounced similarly.

But there is only one Teoh, and that is me!

Wow I certainly went a big circle to tell you that. LOL.

Edited: Just found out that the two 张 in Singapore are 'Teo', my 'Teoh" remains unique! Ha ha。 ha.


  1. abit kiasu rite.........mangkuk
    n thanks for writing out the story of y ur name is teoh, not zhang. i have to always tell it to people. they just think it's a weird malaysian name...

    n omg u so perasan.

    n there are two zhangs in my team. both oso same as u.

  2. Yay! Let the Zhangs unite! Our granddaddy is Zhang Fei, fear us! Ha ha.

  3. Zhang Fei? Fear? nonono... honestlty i feel fear when c "Zhang Lang", hehe...