Malaysia in the news

Wednesday, September 6. 2006 LS Malaysia

Heavy TrafficI enjoy reading news from Malaysia in German news. Unluckily only very few news make it to Europe, but within the last days three reports made it to Germany. The first one is not very spectacular if you know the Malay way to handle traffic tickets. You just don’t handle them! Somehow the Malay government has not yet established a sufficient way to claim the money for issued traffic tickets. So people just don’t care too much about them. So all they can do is to animate people to pay for those tickets “voluntary”. But with the high prices for fuel most of the Malay people don’t feel like additionally paying for their traffic rule infringements. Now they try to get at least some money by lowering the fees for the traffic tickets up to seventy percent! This is also a way to prevent corruption – since policemen are not paid to well it is often cheaper to “buy the cop” than to pay for a ticket… I could tell you a few stories about that… One of them tells my blogger-friend Josh here.

The second and third news are about Malaysia’s animal world. Animals in Malaysia can be quite hungry, I’m not talking about hungry mosquitoes, but about bigger animals. First there was a crocodile on Sabah which deported a boy who was taking a bath in a wild river and later a huge python made it to eat up a whole sheep!

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What do you want to know?

Sunday, August 28. 2005 LS Malaysia

In roughly seven weeks I'll be heading home for Germany - so not toooo much time left here in this beautiful country - but i still got some vacations planed, and so i guess there will be a lot of action the next weeks. So probably not toooo much time to blog. So this is your turn - write a comment to this blog, and request a topic i should cover! It does not have to be local stuff - but if you are curious about something this might be an idea. I'll give you one week to write down your suggestions, and then I will try to cover them. I'm looking forward for this interactive Blog-Session, so please don't hesitate!

Reasons why you can’t generalize on Malay drivers

Wednesday, August 24. 2005 LS Malaysia

They are neither fast nor slow
It might happen that a driver blocks the left lane on the freeway going 50km/h, and at the same time another driver blocks the right lane, overtaking going with 60km/h, although the rest of the road is completely empty. On the other side some kid might want to show you that his tuned Proton Wira makes it from 0 to 100 in less than 20 seconds by fully accelerating in a pedestrian zone.

Some know, some don’t
Asking a driver for the way either offer you a detailed description, and if you are a little slow in understanding actually show you the way with his car – or another drive might guide you directly into the wrong direction

Taking care – or not
Overwhelmed by KL traffic, there are actually driver who would let you change the lanes waving, that you are allowed to join into your desired lane, but I think most of the time you might just try to change the lane aside of an elderly Chinese lady, who is too buy eating some rice while driving, or a Malays family with 3 kids bugging around on the front seat, which would not even notice you.


Wednesday, August 3. 2005 LS Malaysia

What is up with the weather today? Where does all this haze come from. Those are the questions that arouse yesterday after about 3pm. Going out of the air conditioned office wasn't any fun at that time. You could really smell smoke in the air. Today I found a explanation for this weather situation at the Newspaper "The Star". Obviously some fires in the rainforests of Sumatra and a peat fire near cyberjaya are the reason for the huge amount of smoke that is in the air right now. For detailed info I saved a copy of the newspaper article here. Let's hope the weather situation chances, that the smog can escape.

Quite interesting, on the weekend i saw some burning forests in Borneo and today I get known to conequences of burning forests in Indonesia. All that comes into my mind right now is pitty for the poor environment. But i can't tell how big the part of burning nature is in the cause of this haze. Could be vulcanic activity as well.. The newspaper only talks about "hot spots"... Anyone here to clarify this? Well, let's see how the situation develops.

Edited 08.08.05: As I talked with a few people, I found out, that haze is very common during the hot season - with burning spots all around and no rain both to clear the fires and the polluted air situations like the current haze are not uncommon. There is even a webpage which deals about that matter.

The walk to work

Monday, July 18. 2005 LS Malaysia

Think that I already wrote about that issue.. But the roads here in Malaysia are just not very friendly for pedestrians. Where in the U.S. the pure distances would keep you from walking somewhere, here in Malaysia it's not distance but the stuffed and not for pedestrians made infrastructure will do for sure. Heading for office without a car (although I can say very thankfully, that Jens is a great help, taking me with him by car whenever it is possible), I have no other chance than walking besides a “very nice” Malays road. I gathered a picture series illustrating my way to work this week. I got the first part in the morning heading for office (a little late, though), and the second part walking home at night (even later..). I didn’t have a tripod for the night pictures, so I already had to take out quite a lot, and some are still not good. I hope you will enjoy to see the walk - I take it almost daily - at least one way!

Freedom of Speech

Wednesday, July 6. 2005 LS Malaysia

My friend Dirk always said compared to Arab countries Malaysia is very liberal, and if you only spend a short time in that country you won’t even notice certain regulations. I don’t know other Arab countries, so I can’t say anything to his first comparison, but I can definitely say, that during a longer stay here you will notice some issues, which are not as liberal as they seem to.
So the Freedom of Press is highly regulated by the government, the economy of the country has performed really well in the last years, but the government is very strong and no democracy at all.. Have a look at the strategic judgment of the Bertelsmann Stiftung .
Last week the parliament decided to ban articles about sex from print media. I think this is a very rude step, since this does not only ban “nasty”-articles, but also content which might be important for educational purposes. Read the thoughts of the Malaysian Blogger Kamigoroshi concerning this topic here and here.
And this issue is of course not the only one that gets restricted… Therefore independent journalists like Jeff Ooi, or the Malaysian News Portal try to give an alternative viewpoint.

Dinner at Italiannies. (Friday - Farewell Party Part 1)

Monday, July 4. 2005 LS Malaysia

Friday and Saturday where quite exciting, so I barely know where to start.. I want to write a travel experience about the trip with the Siemens Sports Club and I got to tell the story of Alberts farewell party, and of course I’ve got to get the pictures of this weekend online…

Dinner at ItalianniesThe weekend started Friday after work, where we headed to Italiannies with our leaving colleague Albert. Italiannies is an Italian-Style restaurant at the 1-Utama mall, which serves real big portions of food. With a few more colleagues from Siemens we had a real exuberant meal. So, we had set a real good base for the rest of the evening. The food at Italiannies actually is the most Italian food I got here yet, but compared to some Italian restaurants in Germany, or of course in Italy .. well let’s just not compare.. The whole picture series of the dinner is available here.

Pictures from the neighborhood (PJ Seksyen 14)

Wednesday, June 22. 2005 LS Malaysia

Since Dirk is leaving today, and I have my stuff already moved from the Menara Jaya Condo to Tiara Damansara Condo, I gathered some of the nicest pictures during my last weeks living in Seksyen 14.

Weather ConditionThe last few pictures were taken when there was a pretty interesting weather condition. The sky had really the colors you can see on those pictures! I’m looking forward to write a little more about some of the pictures. But right now I’m quite busy at work. So that will have to wait a little.