A lesson from Malaysia

Every weekend, eves of long weekends and holidays in particular, long queues will form at the immigration check points at the Second Link or at the Causeway. Hundreds of thousands of Singaporeans, squeezed into a tiny piece of rock, need the space and fresh air to feel like human beans again. So they jammed the two entry points to Malaysia. Never mind if it is 6 hours or 10 hours at the jams. It is worth the trouble.

Malaysia has been very successful in attracting Singaporeans and the PRs to visit the country in hordes. This is success story, without having to blow the trumpet, is confirmed by the jams. In numbers, aggregated over a year, how many tens of millions of visits must have been chalked up by the visitors?

Singapore may be crowing about its success in attracting tourists to our shores. But the numbers can never match the Singaporeans heading to Malaysia. Look at all the entry points, no crowds, no jams. That shows that the number of tourists visiting the island is too small to cause any jams.

And Singapore has been laying the red carpet to invite the visitors to visit. A thousand smiles will greet the visitors. Singaporeans too were chastised for not treating the visitors well. Some visitors knew how important they are to Singaporeans that it has become a past times by some to beat up Singaporeans when they are here, just for some excitement. Just make sure the injuries are not severe enough and it will become just a personal trespass. The Singaporean victims can only seek redress if they have the money to engage the top class lawyers that are in abundant supply, at top class fees too. If they don’t have the money, never mind, just accept the few bruises as their contributions to welcome visitors to the country.

If they are rude or too harsh to visitors, the visitors will complain or go to some better places, like Malaysia. And we will lose out on the tourist dollars. In Malaysia, it is slightly different. Today’s paper reported about two Singapore women driving past Malaysian checkpoints without having their passports chopped and were arrested when they reported their mistake. They must have thought that Malaysia also welcomed their visitors like Singapore, with open arms and with a big smile. So they drove in happily for the adventure.

In this case they were treated like hardcore criminals, stripped naked, slapped, made to do squats, with hands pulling their own ears, and ended in jail. Quite similar to Guantanamo really. Anyone thinking of a Guantanamo experience need not go too far, and need not have to pay for expensive airfares. It is at our doorstep. What is so exciting about visiting Sentosa and pay like hell when real excitement is free? Their adrenalins must be supercharged. What a high!

But this will likely be forgotten and Singaporeans will continue to jam the causeway to visit Malaysia. Because Malaysia is really a great place to be. Die die they will queue up at the Malaysian immigration check points, under the hot suns for 6 hours or more, to enjoy Malaysia. Yes, Malaysia is not only a great place, it is the place for Singaporeans, and for a wonderful experience and adventure. Better than Disneyland or Sentosa. Malaysia, here we come. Thank you for your hospitality and the fun and excitement.

And Malaysia Tourism Board will say, Selamat Datang. I would suggest they change their campaign slogan to , Malaysia, for an adrenalin charged experience!


Wally Buffet said...

Frankly, for the life of me, I just don't understand why these morons would want to visit that shit hole up North and suffer the consequences of being robbed, mugged and in the case of the two women, modesty outraged and humiliated.

With cheap budget airfares and hotels, there are many many places in much more pleasant countries such as China, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and the Philippines where one can get to experience the free open spaces.

If you want to get raped, mugged, robbed and humiliated, go to Malayxia. You will not be disappointed.


Anonymous said...

Come to think of it, the police were quite kind. They could write numbers on their bodies and hooked them up with a long chain, like cattles for sale, like in Penang.

agongkia said...

The lesson to learn from here is that inefficiency ,negligence or irresponsibility of the Authority can result in innocents being charge and left a bad record with them and ruin their life,depending on the case..The Authority should learn from their mistake and not to mark or penalise those who brought up these cases.This happen everywhere including those so claim 1st world country,not only in our neighbouring country.

Put bullies aside,simply think of the caring ,simple and harmless Ah Muay there.Its worth visiting.My future resting place,possibly.

Anonymous said...

Still Singaporeans flock to Malaysia despite all the negative comments about the crimes up North. Why?

My Malaysian friends from Malaysia themselves have been victims too, so that means criminals there are not just targeting Singaporeans, although that seems to be the commonly held perception, perhaps with an agenda to match.

With so many millions of Singaporeans flocking North on weekends, there are bound to be a few getting mugged, robbed or outraged. It happens everywhere and as Agongkia said, even in some touted first world countries.

The worst case scenario is for a country to descend into a situation where locals are getting the wrong end of the stick from foreigners with the Government doing little.

Then, we will not be the ones having the last laugh.

Anonymous said...

wally Buffet : if up north is a shit hole, my God, there so many singaporeans who love shit holes. Man... doesn't that say something about Singaporeans...

Anonymous said...

every visitor from Singapore to JB brings revenue to the govt over there, adding much needed boost to their tourism dollars
while the Malaysian Toursim Office is doing all the right things to promote tourist arrivals to their country, the fellas at the JB entry points appear to act bizzarely, at least occasionally, in their treatment of visitors.
This latest incident, involving the seemingly most uncouth treatment of the two Singaporean ladies, is really overboard. Singaporeans must not allow ourselves to let them do that to us, we have the choice to go spend our money in other foreign places.

Anonymous said...

'Distant relatives(in kinship and physical distance) are no comparison to neighbours', 'yuan qing bu ru jin lin'. There is much truth in the Saying.
It is good to see that Singaporeans have much liking for the neighbouring countries. Most of the people in our neighbouring countries are friendly and helpful. Other than the people and their cultures, there are much nature to enjoy in their countries.