Bad Malaysia

Trip Start Jan 08, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Malaysia  ,
Friday, January 5, 2007

Normally I reckon I am reasonably patient and open to other cultures and ways of doing things. But sometimes enough is enough. Admittedly I have a cold and have had it for a while and maybe if I offend someone I can use that as an excuse.

I am writing this from the airport about to leave Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I am in the Low Cost Carrier airport which airlines such as Air Asia use. KL has a fairly new and quite nice International airport and that airport has good rail links into town and good facilities. The low cost version, not surprisingly I suppose, has very bad facilities and poor links into town. If anyone is going to use the low cost airlines that use this airport they need to be aware that an additional cost of at least 40 RM will be incurred due to the need to use taxis from this airport, and also much inconvenience.

Anyway, down to business so as I don't make this too long. During my 2 days in Malaysia I have found it to be expensive and dirty. Service here is terrible. When the Malays want to sell you something they will hassle you and drive you mad, but otherwise they will talk to their friends, on their phones, or do anything they can to ignore a customer and avoid work. Malays smoke a lot. Cough a lot. Spit a lot. Presumably many of them piss on the toilet seat a lot and many of them throw rubbish everywhere (unless it is just one very very busy individual doing all this). They do not smile a lot. Do push in queues a lot. No; an enormous amount.  They lie and do their utmost to rip off foreign travellers. They are rude. They are terrible drivers. They are very self absorbed. They seem to have no idea about anyone else around them and hence the things like pushing in queues. They are loud.

Malaysia in its attempt to be a bizarre mix of a Westernized rich modern nation and a devout Middle Eastern Muslim nation has no time for manners, respect for others or politeness.  I suspect just a short while ago, Malaysia was a relaxed, care-free, happy Asian nation with its own culture, but that was nowhere to be seen in KL on my short 2 day visit.

OK. That's enough. I feel mildly better now. I am sure what I have written is very politically incorrect. But the way many people here have acted has also been very incorrect. I am sure what I have written applies more to the large cities in Malaysia than it does to the smaller towns, and can definitely say it doesn't apply to Sarawak and Sabah anywhere near as much as it does to KL. The people in Sarawak and Sabah I have mainly found to be very nice and I would highly recommend those places are a travel destination, whilst I recommend avoiding KL. Oh, I also do believe that mainly Malays, as individuals are quite nice, but it is their mentality as a group that is disturbing. I have generalised and said they, when really I am just talking about a number of annoying individuals; but I have done so to express what it feels like being a visitor to Malaysia. As much as many Malay individuals may be angry at me for my comments, they should also be angry towards their own countrymen and the poor behaviour that makes Malaysia look so bad. It has come across as a country of self consumed rude individuals, as opposed to a society full of community minded polite people that I am growing very accustomed to just across the border.
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azfar83 on

It isnt dat bad
If your thinkin visiting malaysia esp in Kuala Lumpur,
that is the wrong place to start. Kuala Lumpur is not very nice...its a place where u can find drug addicts,snatch thief,rapist, n whole lot more...
this is bcause many uneducated ppl and illegal imigrant concentrate was supposed that KL could give them a new life, instead ending up as pest.

rahsoft on

experience malaysia
Hi Paul, apa khabar ?? sorry you had a bad experience, but i think that it was down to you. you didn't do your research properly so you ended up in a low cost airport. you state that you can speak Malay, yet you make a common mistake in referring to the people of Malaysia as Malays. Malay is a race,. its Malaysians who are the people of Malaysia. you probably couldn't tell the difference between Indonesian, Chinese, Malays, Indians or any other of the races that make up Malaysia etc. I'm guessing you went to the tourist area, where the locals and foreigners have to put up with rude tourists wanting services and goods for next to nothing, arguing over pocket change. Yes they cough, jump queues, don't smile - no different from Thailand, UK, Australia or anywhere else in the world. As for spitting I have been here two years and have rarely seen anyone spit, you should see London if you really want to compare spitting. By the way Malaysia does not want to be a Middle Eastern Muslim nation, Muslim yes, but middle eastern - no thanks. Maybe the Malaysians are being rude to people like yourself because you write poorly thought out stuff like this. By the way those across the border are no more community minded and polite that there are here. They also have their fair share of problems including westerners who have strange unrealistic perceptions including that of sex tourists. These are issues you are going to find all over the world, so if you don't like it, stay home and don't travel!

paul on

Not fair
Hi, Kabhar Baik.
I have for a while been not happy about what I wrote above. But I don't want to change it, as that is a true representation of how I felt at the time and of things that really do occur in Malaysia. ie. Sorry - it is true that the service people I came in contact with in that touristy area in KL were very un-user friendly.

But I think it is also true that I brought many of the poor feelings with me. As mentioned I was feeling sick, I was only in KL because I had to be (not because I wanted to be), I was spending more money than I could afford at the time and I was basically not where I wanted to be. I think it is interesting to note that feelings occur within your (or my brain) - not outside. So it is true to say, that if I had had a positive attitude in KL, had I wanted to be there, had I been excited about being in a new place - I would probably have had a great time and ignored many of the things that I ended up concentrating on. So, there you go.

I don't apologise. What I wrote was true, but it was written from a negative frame of mind. I hope those reasearching KL will also find someone's notes who was positive and combine the two experiences to get a balanced view.

To the last writer - some things you mention are true - many I think are not. But never mind

paul on

Malaysians not Malays
Oh - and I want to add I should have written Malaysians NOT Malays. I wasn't actually taking any notice of what race the people were who who doing the things mentioned. I just knew they were residents of Malaysia.

Regarding tourists being rude - I don't want to start on that. Many of them are very much so. But I wanted to record my feelings at the time on what I felt being a short term visitor in KL, Malaysia (the touristy part). Incidentally I was a quiet, patient and polite short term visitor - but I choose to express my dissatisfaction via this means.

Anyway, I will come back and visit more of mainland Malaysia at a better time and hopefully very much enjoy it. There are many parts I want to see. I will try to spend less time in KL but I am still interested in suggestions from people on nice places to stay in KL as it is a handy base if you know where to go.

I suppose the message to others is 1. LP is useless for research about KL, Malaysia, and 2. try to get some advice from someone on a nice place to stay and where to go, as sometimes trying to figure everything out yourself is tiring, especially if you are sick, on a limited budget and with limited time.

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