What? KL is Not the Centre of the Universe?
I refer to the letter VMY 2007: Immigration dept ruining it. I am an Australian whom is married to a Malaysian national. I would like to share with your readers how a white foreigner does not feel welcome at all when going through customs and immigration checkpoints.
I had previously never been to Malaysia and in fact, my first trip overseas recently was to your country. I was quite excited and after a fairly pleasant five-hour plus flight on MAS from Perth, I was looking forward to the experience.
I was impressed with KLIA, how clean, modern and efficient everything seemed. All was going well until I reached the customs and immigration counters. That was where the penny dropped. I had my big smile on and was excited and eager to get through.
There was a lady behind the counter, looking more like a military personnel rather than a friendly immigration officer. I told her it was my first trip here and expected some tips on places to go or things to see and so on. Even a general welcome would have been nice.
But no. This lady looked at me like I was some alien from another world and not welcome in her country. No smile, just a wave of the hand to beckon me towards the counter and later a finger pointing where to go next.
That was my first impression of Malaysia. I, therefore, completely agree with the writer of the above letter. As I am not a Malaysian, I felt I needed to tell this from the perspective of a foreigner and how we are greeted.
This was not a one-off time. Every time I have since entered and left Malaysia, the ladies behind the customs and immigration counters all seem to behave the same!
Malaysia needs to pay closer attention to her image abroad. Before I met my wife, to be honest, I never even knew what country KL belonged to. But it isn’t the centre of the universe as most Malaysians believe.