Views from a disappointed foreigner

I WILL be leaving Malaysia next week, where I have lived for three months. I have lived in, worked in, and visited a number of countries in Southeast Asia for nearly six years now. Most of my time has been working and living in Thailand. It is with sadness that I must say of all the places I've been, this place has been my worst experience. The root of all my dissatisfaction here can be found in the rudeness and disdain that the people show one another. Let me share some examples:

► The lack of courtesy.

I ride the LRT daily and I am appalled at the rudeness shown. For instance, a woman was seated with a shopping bag on each side while a very pregnant woman boarded and no one offered her a seat. Routinely, I see elderly people board and so many teens just look at them and don't care that they can barely stand.

The class and ethnic divisions. I am bombarded daily with 1-Malaysia posters, billboards, and TV spots telling us we are rich in diversity and all one. Look around the city, in the food courts, on the trains and buses, etc. Each congregates with its own race.

Where is the promoted co-mingling of backgrounds? Just because this country comprises many backgrounds doesn't mean it is united.

► Lack of general niceness.

Let passengers off the train before you try to board. You can't get in anyway until they have exited. Why is this basic concept so difficult to understand? And why do you insist on standing right in front of the doors? No one can get out. Stand aside for a moment – you'll get on.

Also, can you cover your mouths when you sneeze or cough? I was exiting the LRT once, and a man (standing in front of the doors right in my way of course) coughed all over my face the moment the doors opened, spraying me with saliva and mucus.

► Dangerous drivers.

I am 47 years old and have been driving since I was 16. I was a professional truck driver in the US for eight years. And I drove regularly for four years in Thailand. In all that time, I have never seen the level of dangerous manoeuvres committed by the drivers here.

I cross the street on foot ever day at the corner of Hang Tuah and Pudu. I can't begin to describe the severity of infractions I see there countless times. When the light is red, that doesn't mean eight more cars can turn left into pedestrians trying to cross the street. When the light is red, that doesn't mean you can dart across the intersection just because you think it's clear. I think it's only by the grace of God that people aren't killed at a higher rate on Malaysia's roads.

► Lousy customer service and bad attitudes.

I have never been to a place where store personnel care less than they do here. Every time I ask for assistance in the stores, I get a half-hearted response, and rarely get help. And when I try to point out errors in the stores, I can never find a manager, and can never find anyone who cares that a customer is trying to help them fix a problem. The apathy toward customers here is atrocious. This country could take a big lesson from Thailand where they bend over backwards to help the customer.

This country has much to improve upon.
Kuala Lumpur

source-The sun daily

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