Not only Malaysians from other states wish to visit Kuala Lumpur, after all, it is the national capital….and the fact is the Twin Towers of Kuala Lumpur have put Kuala Lumpur on the list of international cities.
Recently, while I was riding along the road to KLCC, where its 452m Twin Towers which is more magnificent than the 509m Taipei 101 Tower; and I was with a few friends from Taiwan in my car, it struck me that someone from the vehicle in front of us threw out an empty McDonald’s food box (as though to blame MD that he did not educate his consumers)…. This shocked my friends from Taiwan as they did not know what had taken place…? I had to let them know the truth; it is the lack of cultural training within an attractive package! There are still other drivers who simply throw tissue paper, cigarette boxes and bottles ….forgetting that they have children on board, but of course these children won’t be thrown out!
Living habits of the people reflects the overall image of the nation and a good National Brand is the most practical symbol in bringing about tourism. We are so used to all these but to tourists, these become their “experiences”; Taxi service within the city has remained unchanged from the cleanliness and etiquette point of view despite having raised prices by 50% (from RM2 to RM3), the foul odor in Jalan Alor has been neglected, the Penang delicacy store in shopping centre employs all foreign workers in its kitchen and the appetizer offered by the famous Chinese restaurant in a 5star PJ area Hotel is Muruku, an Indian delicacy! Wouldn’t that be odd?
Lee-san opinion is that many tourists, especially those traveling free & easy, have come across problems with food hygiene in KL area. They have seen the diversity of Malaysian cuisine in hawker centre, food stalls at coffee shops and Mamak stalls. What they cannot understand is that most hawkers at these stalls used their bare hands to pick up noodles while using the same hand to touch other things. They use the same hand to hold their cigarettes, visit the toilet, then use this very hand to pick up fish balls and vegetables, prepare Roti Canai, etc. They don’t even wear an apron but they simply rub their hands on their clothing…..and this sequence of handling food is common in Malaysia while one tastes the local delicacies. This is very neglecting of these stall operators. Never mind, these tourists never return for a second feast.
Those in the food industry, especially the unscrupulous hawkers, do not care about hygiene, and perhaps they themselves are unhealthy. The night hawker centre in Yulek Garden is famous. You can sometimes see local celebrities eating “Zhu Chang Fen” there. But if you care to take a look at the drains, you will vomit immediately. Drains around this “gourmet” centre have been clogged by the garbage they dump in over the years. Shouldn’t these hawkers take the initiative to carry out regular cleanup? Nah! Let the city council take care of the problem! Happy waiting then!
Then there are the 3 coffee shops opposite Low Yat Plaza in Kuala Lumpur. The coffee and other drinks they make may be good, but may be you have come to know of their hygiene. The dishes they offer at the mixed rice stall have sometimes turned bad, and when you take a look inside these shops, you will discover rat droppings, overflowed toilets with foul stench….and when you inspect the back lane; Lee-san warns you may simply nauseate! It is difficult to understand how these people can withstand such nonsense. Apart from caring about profits, shouldn’t they be responsible in serving hygienic food?
Is it true that people work for food? But more often than not, the food we consume is but garbage! All of us are afraid of contracting Influenza A, but are we ever afraid of the garbage they serve us? We, as consumers, have become a ridiculous group!
If international branding is built upon sales, then we would find ourselves sinking deeper and deeper as time goes by!