Malaysia may not be the most advanced and modern country in the world, but you bet that it has almost all the facilities and services that any first world country tourist would need while visiting.
However, just be prepared that the facilities and services might be provided at a third world class. Living together with different races and beliefs takes a lot of effort. The hardest part would be to tolerate the most irritable things pertaining to one’s custom or religion. This, includes the things that are as petty as the stinking smoke of Chinese and Indian incense sticks, or the Muslim’s calling for prayer (azan) in the morning, to the ugly sight of little prayer house built by Indians at every most convenient trees or space possible around the country.
There are also parades on Thaipusam and Prophet Muhammad’s birthday to tolerate with and oh yes, there is also the noisy Chinese funerals. No one could deny that Malaysians are the most tolerant people on earth.
However, like every good thing, there is always the bad side of it: Behind all the beautiful smiles of tolerance, lies only the ugliest hypocrisy.
Malaysians have been living a lie all their lives in order to maintain harmony. The hypocritical level that Malaysians are have reached the point of no return, whereby the truth is simply ‘not-approved’.
You can’t tell the Chinese neighbour to not blow his nose so grossly hard that the whole neighbourhood could hear it because that might create an unwanted tension. You just have to bear with the Malay next door who gives you a look like you just emerged from hell when you came back late after a happy hour in the club. Still you greet your Chinese neighbours cheerfully and received the same cheerful greetings from the Malays next door, each and every morning.
All prejudice and disapprovals are suppressed in order to create this harmonious country. Everybody lives according to what is expected from them. From small, Malaysians are taught to say only things that others want to hear and not what is the truth.
‘Pretend’ is the way of life.
As a result, it is just natural for young Malaysians to not be able to describe the person that they are because they just don’t know who they are. In fact, they have never thought about it.
The hypocrisy, (not tolerance), has obviously helped create a comfortable place to live in, but it doesn’t help create great people. It only creates small people with small hearts and tiny brains.
After years of having lived here, I conclude that Malaysia is a very beautiful country, with very messed-up people. Nevertheless, it is my beautiful messy home.