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!