MALAYSIA is Paradise on Earth?

The above article was published in The Star on 1 Aug 2012 (Views, Page 36)

First of all, I’m not surprised at all when this American expatriate says that the recent talk about ugly Malaysians has him totally perplexed. The thing about Malaysians is we somehow treat Westerners in a nicer way. Perhaps we think they are superior because their countries are developed. I believe another reason is we are merely reciprocating the Westerners’ being courteous. It’s common to see Westerners smiling to total strangers in the lift.  When I was working part-time as a sales assistant in an upmarket optical shop in Suria KLCC, Western customers often initiated a smile even as they were just walking by. And if they did browse and try on the glasses, many of them say ‘thank you’ every single time they were handed a pair of glasses and another ‘thank you’ when they handed it back to me. So when I served a Westerner I easily heard more than ten ‘thank you’s’ within 5 minutes! And of course I had to be courteous in return by saying ‘you are welcome’ and ‘thank you’.

The writer’s experience would’ve been quite different if he were a fellow Malaysian, an African or a typical middle-class-looking tourist from China…

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