Friday, July 08, 2005

Malaysian Oxymoron Part 2

Malaysian service: The Malaysian Tourism Promotion Board tries to sell the idea that one can get excellent service in Malaysia. Tourists will be greeted at their hotels by staff with a palm on their chest. Strangely enough, that greeting isn't used anywhere else except in the hotels. The Thai people greet each other with their palms together, so it is only natural that the same greeting is used with visitors as well.

Last month, my family and I went to Genting Highlands on a weekend. Since PT and I do not work regular office hours, we forgot that it was the Agung's Birthday weekend. We left for GH on a Friday, having made a room booking at the 1st World Hotel for Friday night. We arrived at about 3pm and waited 1 1/2 hours before we could check in to our rooms. We finally checked in. The kids were raring to go explore the theme parks but the adults were exhausted! Our room was TINY and we had the deluxe room! There was about 1ft of space on either side of the king size bed. There was a corner shelf for a 14" TV. Next to the bed, against the wall was a small plank as a writing desk and next to that, above the shelf for the bags is a short rod with hangers to hang up clothes. We had a good view of another room. Fortunatley, we had two rooms, so with the adjoining doors opened, the room didn't feel so claustrophobic.

Each room had two towels. We had our children, a friend with her son and our maid with us, so naturally, we need more than two towels per room. I saw the housekeeping cart outside, so popped out to ask the housekeeping staff for two more towels. He told me to call the housekeeping line. What does that mean? I call the housekeeping line to ask for two towels, then the housekeeping staff near my room will hand me the towels? Just to find out what would happen, I call the housekeeping line.

Me: "Hello, housekeeping? May I have two additional towels please for Room XXX"

Housekeeping: "No, cannot."

Me: "Pardon? Your housekeeping cart is outside. I can just go and get it myself."
Thinking that maybe they are so busy, they can't spare the staff.

Housekeeping: "No, cannot! Each room only get 2 towels. Cannot ask for more" Puts down the phone.

Huh??? For a minute, I thought we'd checked into the a detention camp by mistake!

Another incident about Malaysian service. Recently, I applied for broadband service for my office. When I was putting in my application, I asked about broadband service in Bukit Antarabangsa. I was told by the counter staff there is already wireless service in BA. I got really excited, then I remember that PT had already written in to request for a notification when BA gets broadband service. I asked her why hadn't TM contacted us when there is already broadband service in BA.

TM staff: "You asked for broadband or for wireless?"

Me: "Broadband."

TM staff: "Oh.... you didn't ask for wireless, you ask for broadband. Broadband don't have yet."

Me: "Broadband or wireless, doesn't matter lah. As long as it's high speed internet connection"
At this point, thinking, how am I suppose to know to ask for a service I didn't know was available.

TM staff: "If you ask to be notified for broadband, when available we will contact you. Wireless is different".

Me: "How to know about the wireless service? I didn't read in the newspaper or anything like that. So what do I do to apply now?"

TM staff: "The wireless service in Bukit Antarabangsa full already."

WHAT??? Then why bother telling me about it???

Maintenance in Malaysia: Look around you. Look at the playgrounds, public parks, public toilets, beaches, hotels... In fact, any public area. How well is the maintenance? How many Intrakota buses have you spotted broken down on the road? How many inter-state buses have you passed which emit thick black smoke? How many taxis have you been in which emit a horrible smell and the aircon doesn't work? I could go on...

Malaysian traffic police: There's been so many times when I have been stuck in traffic and don't see any sign of traffic police out policing the traffic. Or even to ensure that motorists abide by the law. Lately, I noticed that not a day pass when I do not see a motorcyclist riding against traffic flow or running red light. In fact, I saw a police car run two red lights yesterday. The same police patrol car ran the red light at a pedestrian crossing and at a busy intersection. Understandable if the police car had its siren on and was off to stop a traffic offender or criminal. It was not. Who are the police policing? I see lots of traffic police around whenever there are any international conferences. One gets stuck in bad traffic because of road closure for the conference at major roads during peak hours, then you hear police siren clearing the traffic for some VIPs who really should experience traffic jam once in a while.

OK, enough about oxymoron in Malaysia!


Blogger Twinsmom said...

tsk, tsk, tsk...speechless...

3:45 pm  

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