Proud and flexible Bangkok

Posted On 01/12/2005

Filed under Food for thoughts

Comments Dropped 6 responses

Only if any of our Municipal council really interested in learning, than going to some boring country to watch belly dance.

If anyone suprised how fast the Thailand recover in economy, or even the recent Tsuznami strike, you will learned something about real Thai flexibility, proundness and grace in Bangkok.

Here is a few things that I observed during a working trip to Bangkok.

1. Street Hawkers.
If you ever went to KL-city center (or any city in Malaysia), you will notice the hawkers is the worst rubbish creator and pollutor. They will splash water in surrounding(if they happens to be selling drinks), oil (fried food hawkers) and plastic bags. Well this kind of “create job for municipal councils” or “bagi kerja untuk Bandaray” rarely happens in Bangkok.
If you happens to wake up early (as a tourist in Bangkok), walk around the busy street, you will see hawkers pop-up from nowhere and selling pre-cooked to cook food. (If you have time, you can even take some decent saloon photo of them. ) Try stay on the street for sometime, you will notice there is hardly a trace of rubbish on the floor of the hawker surrounding. Nope, they don’t have our (in)famous bandaraya to keep an eye of them. From the people of Bangkok, I learn that most of this hawker don’t possess any “lesen” (hawker permits) from their municipal councils.
This is a suprise , the hawker will NOT occupied the spot for long. After 1-2 hours, they pack everything, clean up the surrounding and hardly leave a trace of it. Yes, you can hardly see a trace where a hawker is there before. And you don’t see Bangkok city councils wasting resources to harass the hawker. As there is a hidden rules that every hawker follow :
i. Not blocking the street
ii. Not dirty up the place
iii. Close their store before the busy hour in order not to hog the road.
bangkok hawker
Only leaves, no rubbish. Damn, easy job for Bangkok city cleaner.
See mom, no stains.
2. I rarely tripped by dangerous road pavement. It is yet another suprised. You rarely has chance to walk into a hole (you don’t need to work hard to find one in KL ). So I always think KL city councils must be very poor compare to Bangkok, as the drainage cover are keep stolen until KL city council unable to replace it.
3. How do you fit in more car if the parking is full? For those never been in Bangkok or heard about the parking method , I bet nobody can figure th is out. Take 3 guess and go for the answer.
They double park AND release the handbrake. Suprise, right? This is a real suprise. You will see nice car double park and block the parking lots. There is 5 times more people (compare to KL) taking care your car, as those car park guard are helping poeple to push the car around to give way. Nobody complaint it. Again, mutual understanding (also about not armed the annoying alarms system when you double park) , good management (hired people that help to move cars around) and guarding (prevent non-owner move the car away) .

I will end here. Since I don’t want to talk about Bangkok railway transit system and subway, otherwise our city planner will start talking stupidly (nope, they refused to resign). 😉

As a reminder, don’t insult Thais when talking about their city next time. To them, our city is dirty and runs by uncivilised oxymoron.


6 Responses to “Proud and flexible Bangkok”

  1. oversee


    First of all, are we (the non-malays, that is) really to believe that the government will abolish or tone down the New Economic Policy in the near future? We must be realistic, if you have the right to buy a property at a discount and have scholarships for your children, would you let go of these rights?

    With Chinese population dwindling in Malaysia, what needs to be done depends on the Chinese themselves.

    There is nothing wrong with the brain drain. In fact, we should encourage our children to move to Singapore, Taiwan, China etc. if we disagree with Malaysian government policies that are based on race and religion.

    When it comes to the matter of the dwindling number of Chinese Malaysians, we should talk about quality, not quantity.

    We should resolve why the Chinese-Malaysian population is reducing. Official figures have more than one million Chinese Malaysians emigrating over the past 25 years. Why did they emigrate? I am sure the government knows.

    Straight A students can’t get scholarships or university places. Nothing new, it is been that way for the past 35 years. Nowadays, even enlightened malay Malaysians are speaking up on this injustice. The MCA and Gerakan? Busy making money from private colleges.

    What is so great about having TAR College or Utar which took more than 35 years of begging? Why should it be so difficult to set up an independent university when we have scores of public ones?

    While we push young talented people away, other countries notably Singapore, the US and Australia welcome them with open arms.

    Is it logical that we drive away our young talented ones and then invite retired Mat Sallehs to live here and exploit our low-cost of living?

    Singapore’s success in particular owes much to these ex-Malaysians or their descendants including Hon Sui Sen, Goh Keng Swee, Goh Chok Tong, just to name a few.

    About 30 percent of top management in both Singapore’s government and corporate sector are ex-Malaysians. We export them so that Singapore can compete with, and then whack us.

    Korea and Taiwan, both way behind us in the 70s and 80s are now way ahead. Thailand is breathing down our necks.

    Sadly, there is just no integrity in the nation’s leadership.


  2. coolooc

    I applaud on what had said. They are presenting the real problems in Malaysia. I think any of you who say Malaysia could not be that bad is either in delusions, you are in denial or you are just got benefits from the government.

    The non-malay students with excellent marks cannot even enter local universities. The standard of English is on the decline, is what the newspaper says, but it only of those who study in the local universities and they are predominantly malays as well.

    It is not only shocking but also disgusting to see taxpayer’s money being wasted on malay students who don’t even deserve to go overseas.

    The malays who are spending on your tax money on scholarships are not as deserving as they think they are. Why should they be deserved to be given that much when they don’t deserve it.

    The percentage of malays getting the scholarships are very high. These are the so-called future generation of Malaysia who thrived in mediocrity and racism and being rewarded for it.

    One mentioned that don’t see malays staying oversea. You are right. So far I don’t see any too. Most of them would want to go back. Because like they realised they cannot be useful enough to stay.

    They know they have to be unfair to win. They know they need the government to be behind them all the time to ensure their survival. So that is why most of these incompetence people choose to go back Malaysia.

    But the situation is going to be even worse because in 10 years time down the road. The local universities churning out substandard people and the unemployment rate is going to go higher and higher.

    Private sectors and investors from outside would not want people like them. They would just take in enough to fill the spot of their so-called quotas that the government put them in.

    That is why you see the IT industry so popular but ironically employers prefer Indians from India or people from oversea. They would even go for expats because they know those are the competent people that can work.

    So in years to come, the economy is going down because people in Umno and Umno Youth reward mediocrity and based on race. The scary thing is, they are proud of it too and think they are doing it right and can help Malaysia. Man – that is scary!

    Also about the political sentiment they use, if you are patriotic, give more to your country. My response is, the country hasn’t given me anything, why should I give to you Malaysia!

    My friends once told me, I would rather to be treated as second-class citizen in other country like the US or UK than to be treated as second-class citizen in Malaysia. At the very least, your voice is heard than in Malaysia – where every good reason falls on death ear.

    So if any of malay politician ask me to get out, provide me with the PR of USA and I am on my way.

    So if the current PM want to make things right, he must not be afraid to put someone on the chopping block. He should think with integrity not rewarding people because they are cronies. By doing this, you are sending messages that you encourage things to be done this way.

    So no wonder corruptions prevail and ton of incompetent people get to sit in the thrones of power. So there is literally no common sense involved except for the sake of covering their own ass. So it is really sickening to hear them praising about progressive society while the foundations of real civilization aren’t there.

    The malay scholarship holders are taking things for granted. They are paid insanely a lot all around the world as scholars. But look at it this way, that is the end of their career.

    Well, not career, job, where you wake up day and night forcing yourself to the job you hate.

    So don’t get discouraged when you see them living the life. Envious are good, that makes you strive for excellence even more and more trying to beat them.

    Since even the lowest pay in Australia, will overtake the pay in Malaysia, easily. If you don’t believe me, ask an Australia graduate student how much they are paid a month with their fees waived.

    I am sure that is a new goal you should set yourself to work on. So carry on, don’t despair, and don’t give up.

    It is easy for one malay to say – I am not discriminating – but try living in the country as a non-malay.

    Pork is banned everywhere but beef is served without any care whatsoever about others sensitivities. You cannot start a program with a Hindu, Christian, Buddhist prayer but Muslim prayer is a must.

    For all the stale bulls who believe Malaysia still has hope……….best of luck, as far as I am concerned I am going to be out of this country that practices apartheid.

    I believe my children deserve to have equal opportunity in this world.

  3. yoy

    My parents moved us to Australia because of the reasons discussed in post. They knew that if they had the resources to provide us with a fairer and better education – in a society that respects equality – they should do it for our future.

    But you are right, everywhere in the world there is a minority of a population that receives rights and benefits, that may seem unfair or someone skewed on the equality parts of things, and unfortunately it is a matter of ‘put up or shut up’.

    When I asking my parents about Malaysia and hearing the sad betrayal they felt as a Chinese Malaysian, it saddened my heart. However, my parents still return to Malaysia to get more work and money because it is not easy for my parents to support 4 children studying in Australia, all reaching the higher end of the education.

    My mother told me once when I asked why do we put up with this shit, and she said to me……….’You should never compare your woes and problems with luxury and benefits that are empty dreams, but be grateful that you are able to contribute something to society no matter how big or small.’

    The minority of a certain population who receives benefits are sometimes ‘beggars’ and do not appreciate what they have. However, life in this world is all about making what you will be proud of. That is why parents work hard, never complaining to provide for their children. Because they believe that it is serving a greater good. Lazy people have no sense of purpose in their lives – thus their lives are wasted.

    We should not hope for the same treatment. Because working hard and cherishing your hard earned success achievements and what you have is much better than having everything handed to you on a silver platter, and never acquiring experience, knowledge and wisdom that will enrich your life much more than government tax luxuries.

  4. honyang

    I am a dental student in the US from Malaysia. Have been living in the US for about 7 years now and I would like to share some insights that may help view things from another perspective.

    Lets consider few other interesting facts:

    A comment was made where even the western countries are going through a phase of “brain drain”. Let me tell you that it is not true.

    This is why. Countries like the US are continuously reaching out in welcoming more and more foreign citizens in all important fields such as engineering, IT and medical. They will never go through “brain drain”.

    1. If you recently graduated from a dental or medical school in the US, regardless of where you are from, you are eligible to apply for an expedited green card. In fact, they will approve your green card almost immediately so that you can start working.

    2. All professors are encouraged to do research and studies in the summer and publish them. The more publication you have, the more likely you will receive a raise.

    3. US was worried from a report published few months ago that foreign enrollment for masters were dropping due to tighter visa restrictions. They admitted that less foreign enrollment would greatly affect the R&D of the country. Why? Most R&D is done by foreigners and they are greatly recognized for it.

    4. I know a South Korean guy who graduated from my school and went on becoming a dentist. Two years after graduating from dental school, he returned to my university to give a presentation. His English was fair, not that great but guess what, his two dental practices in the State of Utah, made US$3 million a year profit (not revenue).

    5. In Malaysia, the pay for a medical lab assistant with a bachelor is RM800 – RM1000. In the US, the pay for the same position is US$1800 – US$2400. And they do look at color actually. If you are a foreigner (with a permit of course), silently preference will be given to you……….because they are loyal and hardworking.

    To make it fair, even without converting the currency, we can see which country values its citizen and strives to improve their R&D. (Keep in mind, things are cheaper in the US than Malaysia……….without converting the currency……….You are lucky if you can buy a decent car……….)

    With all this said, if a person is qualified and have a family to support, why would they want to go through the trouble of “not getting promotion because of color”, “not getting admitted to university because of race quota filled”, and lastly after spending more than RM400000 on medical school, you are to spend 5 years slave laboring for the government, not knowing how you are going to pay off the debt and support your family although you hold the prestige “Dr”.

    These are all things that distract from progressing for an individual and for the country. Our country is losing a lot of time and talent but subjecting all these on qualified individuals. So what you do, not let this effect your progression.

    We have to take care of ourselves first and after that worry about patriotism. Patriotism is not going to put food on the table or grow money tree outside my house.

    I am not planning on returning back to Malaysia (to settle) unless things change in Malaysia. But with the money I will earn, I can visit Malaysia every year and contribute to the tourism industry. When I reach the age of 60 and retire, then I will return to Malaysia.

  5. vovo

    Malaysia export electronic goods, furniture, oil, palm oil, rubber, textile, tin……….and multi-lingual human talents.

    There is nothing wrong with those who choose to stay overseas. As highlighted in my view, even my best mate and the best man for my wedding has sown roots in Singapore – I definitely don’t “begrudge” him for that.

    To me, do not begrudge them who are justly reaping the fruit of their hard labour and paying back a debt to the hand which fed them. It is very difficult to continue to love your motherland which does not love you in return.

    And what facilities (hardware and software) do we have to offer? Besides, what financial package could local varsities offer? Last but not least, the factor of critical mass. Can some one find the like-minded colleague to pursue what he is researching right now?

    There is nothing wrong with having different philosophies in life and taking the route that best fit those philosophies.

    To some up the things, the affirmative policies should go. However it won’t take place very soon or even be forever.

    I have heard those “Malaysia Truly Asia” commercials on CNN over and over. I always felt the slogan was rather fishy. But you have supplied important details about matters that I only had a vague awareness of.

    Why don’t you do something to challenge the slogan? After all, Malaysia is discriminating against people of the two main nations in Asia, China and India. How dare the Malaysia government claim to represent the true Asia?

    There is a theory say that Malaysia may suffer in 50 years time because all the best brains will leave the country once and for all because of the affirmative policies. Brain drain still takes place even today and tomorrow, and forever as long as the government protect particular race and particular industry.

    If the theory is correct (time will tell), then the so-called world class universities will stay as dream forever. To be world class, there should be 100% open policy with fair play field.

    Bolehland is still in denial syndrome.

  6. over cool

    I wish to point out that the Orang Asli, not the malays, are the original inhabitants of Malaysia. Most of the malay Malaysians came from Sumatra and other parts of Indonesia. They only migrated here much earlier than the Chinese and Indian Malaysians. It does not mean they deserve privileges or rights just because they were the pioneer immigrants.

    It is true that there have been abuses under the name of malay special rights and it is the duty of the malays in particular, and all Malaysians in general, to stop it so that the rightful malays get their rights, and the non-malays get their rights as citizens of this country.

    It is a sad thing to say, but I do believe the main thing that is holding back malays is not the Chinese or the Indians, but the malays themselves. That is why Mahathir and Pak Lah have been quoted as telling to throw away crutches and work hard to face the challenges of globalisation.

    The malay and others of the same mind should learn to stand on their own feet rather than claim for special privileges and rights. The world is becoming globalised and if they don’t change their attitude, they will only become beggars in their own country.

    As for the malays who insist on hiding behind the veil of malay special rights – you have lost the respect of non-malays a long time ago.

    We also suspect that the current situation will, unfortunately, get worse if no action is taken now. Why? Because our kids in school hardly mix with each other. They will grow up with little understanding of their fellow Malaysians, and with the suspicions that exist, it will be worse.

    The truth of the matter is that polarisation in Malaysia is caused by the discriminatory practises of the government – especially after the NEP – rather than vernacular education.

    The NEP is upheld for the rich and not the poor in Malaysia.

    Whether we admit it or not, the problem is that the special rights and privileges given have now resulted in only a selected few bumis getting richer and richer. The bulk of the bumis, especially in the rural areas are not benefiting from the system.

    Poor people are poor people, rich people are rich people – no matter which race they come from.

    The poor in Malaysia must be served but I am sure all taxpayers feel that this should be done in a manner which is blind to age, ethnicity, gender and religion.

    What is wrong with extending help to all deserving citizens based on needs and merits regardless of race?

    The Malaysia problem is that rich do become richer. And because of the political system, the players are the same.

    Out of control – this is all I can say about any type of enforcement and the level of corruption in Malaysia. No idea what Pak Lah has done in his first year in office but judging from the ground, I guess nothing much.

    If you have ever heard of the simple saying, “Give a man a fish, he eats for a day, teach him how to fish and he eats for a lifetime,” you will realise that many non-bumis have learned how to fish but the government is still handing out fishes to the bumis. One day the fish will run out.

    If you want to say discrimination is here in the US, yes, of course it is. Can you name a country where it doesn’t happen? But let me tell you one thing – if you go looking for it, you will find it. But in Malaysia, you don’t have to go look for it because it seeks you out, slaps you in your face every which way you turn, and is sanctioned by law!

    Official figures have more than one million Chinese Malaysians emigrating over the past 25 years. Why did they emigrate? I am sure the government knows.

    For most professionals, living abroad has its own ups and downs. But, you get dignity, fair treatment, and respect for your ability. You get a voice, too. And ears to hear you.

    Brain drain by the tank-loads is what we get. Every single year, Malaysia loses people who could potentially contribute to the country immensely.

    So the malay, you may keep your rights and perpetuate them. Such things are archaic. Who loses in the end? Your country, which should have been a first world one by today.

    I sympathize with those that have benefited from the NEP, but the bad news is that the price he pays for his progress is much higher than what he pays for his benefit.

    These special privileges and rights were once a necessity for them to move forward. Today, after many decades, they find themselves still standing in the same place.

    It is a shame that our history has been constantly twisted so that our younger generation has no understanding of Malaysia’s foundation and its true aspirations.

    It is arguable that if not for the contributions of the Chinese and Indian Malaysians who helped in the development of this country tremendously, Malaysia would probably be in same category like Indonesia or the Philippines, if not worst.

    To improve the malays lot, more have to be made to work in private companies where competition is real and what counts is your ability. If special rights only help malays to become government servants, then all the more reason not to invoke special rights.

    But of course, the present ruling elite drunken with wealth, will continue to fight this dream to ensure that Malaysia is kept divided so that BN can continue to rule.

    Alternatively, Malaysians may begin to realise the dream of a new Malaysia.

    The bitter truth is that the majority of this nation don’t see the need to change things yet and until then, we can do little about it.

    The bottom line with present day globalisation is this: compete on a level-playing field or you will lose. Plain and simple.