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Posted: 2/7/2006 10:20:09 AM EDT
My company is talking about sending one of our guys to malaysia, probably for 1-2 weeks. Anyone actually been there, or know someone that has? After checking the State Department's website and the CDC's website, I'm not so sure I want to go...
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 10:25:24 AM EDT
My parents lived in Malaysia for years, and I lived there briefly. A large segment of the population is muslim, and generally has the political power in the country - as opposed to the chinese population that has most of the financial power.

It's a pretty nice civilized place, actually, and we never had any trouble at all while we lived there - but that was almost 20 years ago, so I suppose things might have changed. But, we were some of the only white people living in an area. Of the local town with a population of about 60000, there were less than 10 white folks, and we never felt any hostility or danger. I trained with a local TaeKwonDo club in town at night, for example, and never worried about anything.

Kuala Lumpur is nice, and you can drive from Johore Baru right over a bridge to Singapore, which is really nice too. If you have time to relax, there are some beautiful resorts, beaches and islands on either coast.

Link Posted: 2/7/2006 10:29:05 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/7/2006 10:31:39 AM EDT by D-duck]
my dad runs a business there but I havent been there in several years. Also Im asian so I blend in if I dress properly and dont talk.

Every time I went there, lots of euro tourists and their (shudder) speedo swim wear. Some hostility towards americans from the younger kids, nothing physical or confrontational. Just a few words under their breath as I walk pass.

Its a mix of modern city and 2nd world culture. You can be in a modern hotel with a nice mall and great beach, then walk a few blocks and youll notice the open sewers and sidewalk vendors selling some mystery meat.

not the most sanitary of places, at times. Have been warned by locals not to eat seafood from certain resturants.

What part of the country are they sending him to?

Oh yeah, home invasion robberies and street muggings have increased in the past few years. All the more affluent familys live behind large glass shard or barbwired walls.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 10:34:53 AM EDT
Lots of muslims: check
A long way from a US military base: check
Vulnerable to natural disasters: check
"Developing" economy: check
'Gubment corruption: check
Drug lords: check
Jealous locals: check

Hey, what there not to like?
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 10:35:23 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/9/2006 6:33:08 AM EDT by GySgtD]
I spent a few days there a couple years ago; both on Borneo and mainland Malaysia. One of the places was Kuantan, I forget the rest. EDIT> Kota-Kinabalu was another place.

Stayed at some very nice hotels along the coast. Very picturesque. From my limited vantage point, it didn't look anything at all like a muslim country, except for the women wearing head scarves at the local McDonalds. The people seemed friendly enough.

Kind of a funny story: we flew in a helicopter from the Philippines to Malaysia; enroute to Thailand. Supposedly, having weapons was verboten, so I collected up all the pistols from my group and tossed them in a helmet bag. I'm walkling down the flightline at a Malaysian Air Force Base, with MiGs lined up alongside, carrying the bag of pistols to a different aircraft (in order to lock them up, and keep the Malays from seeing that we came in armed). Anyway, it was a very long walk (and the bag was heavy), and this Malaysian police car pulls up along side and asks if I need a ride somewhere. I toss the bag in the back and he gives me a ride down the road.

You just had to be there. Surreal.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 10:41:26 AM EDT
oh and if you order a hamburger at the McDonalds thats exactly what you get. It comes with ham, you need to order it with beef.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 10:43:01 AM EDT
I must have missed that part.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 10:46:44 AM EDT
maybe they changed it in the past 6 years since ive been there. Usually if you order a combo or cheese burger its assumed that you want beef.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 11:01:58 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/7/2006 11:03:38 AM EDT by jungp]
I was there twice in 1994 for total of 4 weeks (second time for our honeymoon). I wouldn't worry about radical islamism there. There are lot of Indians and Chinese to counter balance the Malays. They speak Malaysian version of English with a bit of different grammer. It takes while to get used it. But they will understand what you are talking about. Just add 'la' at the end of everything. For example,

It is raining, is it not, la?

Try to cover your skin as much as possible eventhough it is hot there. I saw a lot of Europeans and Australians with almost no clothes on. You are there in their country. Respect their custom.

Food was great. I got to eat Malay, Korean, Chinese, Thai, Indian and American food while there.

By the way, it is illegal to proselytize Malays with Christianity. When I went to bible study there, all of them were either Chinese or Indian decent.

Also, death penalty for drug possesion and weapons possession (similar to Singapore)

Have fun.

Edit to Add: take your own toilet paper. Public bathrooms don't have any.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 11:07:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/7/2006 11:08:27 AM EDT by SST7Alumni]

Originally Posted By D-duck:
oh and if you order a hamburger at the McDonalds thats exactly what you get. It comes with ham, you need to order it with beef.





As embarrassing as it is to admit it - I have been to McDeath in HK, China, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, etc. I have never seen the "hamburger" come w/ham. To be honest I can't even imagine it in Malaysia. S'pore is not a muslim country and the bacon served at Burgerking is turkey bacon. Don't get me wrong - the Chinese eat pork like there is no tomorrow - but the muslims don't frequent those same restaurants. I can't see a major chain restaurant making that kind of mistake.

FWIW http://www.mcdonalds.com.my/knowinus/menu/halal.asp


McDonald's is very sensitive towards the culture and religion in countries where it does business. In Malaysia, all McDonald's restaurants are Halal following the national religion of the country.


sst7

Link Posted: 2/7/2006 11:34:38 AM EDT
lol this went from, is Malaysia safe for americans to wtf does malaysian McDonalds serve.

Well I remember when I asked for a hamburger my dad would tell me that I need to say beef burger. And the one time I asked for a hamburger the guy at the counter asked if I mean beef burger. The reason I was given is that they will take it literally and give you a burger with ham.

Also the toilets there are often the "squat" kind out side of the tourist areas, and there is TP you just need to pay for it, the locals at times use their hand. Of course there is a hose in the stall you could try to use
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 11:38:27 AM EDT
Just be careful out there.

Max
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 12:14:52 PM EDT
KL seemed like a pretty decent place when I stopped over for a couple of days. The people were friendly, and the outskirts (toward the airport) were gorgeous.

One of the downsides is that they haggle over prices for pretty much anything. It's like Thailand -- the merchant offers the item at 10X a fair price, and you have to argue for an hour to get it at a reasonable price.

A friend who briefly went there on business said that ordering any sort of service -- telephone, DSL, that sort of thing -- took months.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 2:08:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By D-duck:
lol this went from, is Malaysia safe for americans to wtf does malaysian McDonalds serve.

Well I remember when I asked for a hamburger my dad would tell me that I need to say beef burger. And the one time I asked for a hamburger the guy at the counter asked if I mean beef burger. The reason I was given is that they will take it literally and give you a burger with ham.

Also the toilets there are often the "squat" kind out side of the tourist areas, and there is TP you just need to pay for it, the locals at times use their hand. Of course there is a hose in the stall you could try to use



FWIW there is a menu on the Mcdeath website, and you are correct about their small hamburger being called a"beefburger". No mention of ham anywhere in the menu, although there is some sort of sausage (must be beef - maybe similiar to whats popular w/muslims in Indo.) - also see the halal advisory.

Your other post threw me mostly because of the concept of a "ham"burger considering the country.

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