Made a short trip across the causeway to Johor Bahru (most Singaporeans just refer to it as JB) in Malaysia and was impressed at the vast improvements in the roads that have been repaved. No more potholes! The nearest mall, City Square also looks spiffier with some renovation done.
But what impressed me most? The people. Once you enter Malaysia and you talk to the people at the stores you realize how much nicer they are. I am a Singaporean, but I have to admit that across the causeway cheerfulness, patience and politeness goes up several notches. Fellow Singaporean, please don’t be mad because you know it’s true. Even as a child I noticed the difference whenever my dad drove us to Malaysia during the holidays.
It’s just that these days I don’t feel as safe. I wonder whether it’s just my skewed perception or whether all those reports and stories about robberies and murders are a true reflection of what’s happening. Anyway that’s why we stayed in the mall and didn’t venture out where all the really cheap, but fantastic Malaysian food is. I think that’s a pity. But I was impressed by the old style Chinese New Year decorations at the mall with a throw-back to the 60′s.
I didn’t buy anything as I thought we were not allowed to bring any amount of eggs or bak kwa into Singapore. Perhaps some amounts for personal consumption is ok I guess? I think this is probably to protect the Singapore businesses, as the prices in Malaysia are so much lower. Where do you think most businesses get their products from, besides China? Here’s the report at The Straits Times.