A year after visiting Malaysia

Hard to believe a year has passed since my visit. We visited during the 50th anniversary of Malaysia’s independence from the British.

Despite all the brouhaha then, our visit was low-key. The last time I visited was around 11 years ago. Penang, my birthplace, is so different from what I remember.

Due to the traffic congestion, many of the streets have been made one-way.

We stopped in on the usual tourist hotspots like Penang’s Snake Temple. For different reasons my wife and kids found this to be hair-raising, terrifying yet memorable. Watch my short video clip then tell me if my wife’s terror was justified.

Bear in mind, there is no barricade between the audience and the “King.” The only “safety” are the two handlers. The audience was seated about 3 feet away from this 7 foot long King Cobra.

Like most Malaysians who now live abroad by choice, I felt a tinge of nostalgia for how things were when we were growing up.

Across the board, blatant racial discrimination policies of the then prime minister Mahathir Mohammad continues today.

Under prime minister Badawi, the division and latest election losses signal a major change may be underway.


Except the present government is an equal opportunity shyster. Just as corrupt as the previous one.

I was actually enjoying my visit until I read what Mahathir had to say about the brain drain that his racial discrimination policy caused.

He actually had the chutzpah, cojones, gall and audacity to suggest that developed nations should compensate countries like Malaysia for educating the “brains” which they stole.

But I’ll leave that impotent greedy old man to his idiotic ramblings.

2 thoughts on “A year after visiting Malaysia”

  1. Maura,
    I didn’t mention in my post that the snake handler/charmers worked for tips! Yep, they risk their lives only for tips. Made me feel really bad for them. I dropped a 20 ringgit bill (US $6) in their collection box and they were so appreciative.

    Yes, the old corrupt prime minister of Malaysia Mahathir is smarting these days. The successor he picked, Badawi, has turned on the old master and all of a sudden, Mahathir is leading the charge to ouster his own pick!

  2. How timely it was that I received the email letting me know of this posting. I was just telling someone yesterday how I was able to watch your kids and wife enjoying themselves on your trip last summer. It was really just amazing. The reptiles also were something to see over a year ago, and again now.

    I liked what you said about the “idiotic ramblings”. “Educating the “brains” which they stole”? As an American, I am always stunned (though I shouldn’t be at this point!) that people across the globe think we, along with a few select other countries, should be rushing to the rescue of underdeveloped nations who, by natural disaster, or man-made problems, expect us to bail them out. All the while, they condemn us and our democratically elected government in their press. I realize we aren’t perfect, but we give out more charitable funds to help other countries in need than any other country on the planet. We are damned if we do get involved and damned if we don’t, by their governments. Now I am rambling, so I’ll get back to your wanting an opinion on your wife being horrified….

    That snake kissing? Your wife was truly justified. Animals can turn on a human “friend” or tourist in a heartbeat. It reminds me of the surprise Bora Bora shark feed I was on in 1990. There was no barrier. We were all in the water with them. No cage or anything. It made me fearless for a while there. It made me think that creatures in the wild are all pretty friendly and approachable.

    Older and wiser now, I look back at the footage of myself and my kids in with the mountain lions up at Moonridge in Big Bear a few years back and I have to wonder, “Just how nuts are you Maura???” In fact, my brother asked me that same question when he saw the t.v. segment.

    Those experiences in Malaysia are wonderful memories your kids and wife will carry with them for the rest of their lives, but your kids will also maybe develop a healthy respect for just how dangerous undomesticated creatures can be when they look back at the footage themselves.

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