croc attacks are very very rare n will make front headlines on the news should it occur. but it doesnt mean it cant happen.
There are crocodiles in the some rivers. But the crocodiles wont get too close to places where there are many people.
crocs usually go for us humans if they're injured, too old to hunt, depleted source of food or us too close to their nest.
swim with considerable number of people around.
swim in daylight, in clear water.
ask the locals if there are crocs in which river. they would know. n would naturally warn outsiders.
waterfalls have no crocs, so do enjoy the waterfalls.
swim in shallow waters
swim near an unexplored shady area
swim near dark and quiet area
murky deep wide river with muddy banks are an absolute no no as it is perfect for crocs.
if in doubt, ask around. you'll do fine. have fun.
hope this helps
im open for more suggestions on the dos n donts
If you are on foot, Keep in mind that Malaysian drivers will very seldom let pedestrians cross the road, even at pedestrian crossings - you should consider them non-existent. So, either wait for traffic lights to turn red or rush across the street - don't expect cars to slow down for you.
It can be difficult to work out sometimes. If you're in a populated and modern city like KL, or in Penang or Langkawi, usually you can get someone to explain what's in the food that you want to order, but sometimes people don't speak English.
So as a guide, here are some translations of common ingredients and other words:
Mee - Noodles, the yellow kind, thicker than instant noodles
Kway Teow - flat rice noodles
Meehoon - rice noodles
Nasi - Rice
Goreng - Fried
Ayam - Chicken
Asam - something with kind of a tamarind base, kind of sour.
Most likely, every time you order any type of noodles, there will be either chicken or fish balls in it, even if its not called 'Ayam' something. Vegetarians can ask it not to be added, or visit some vegetarian restaurants. Usually indian restaurants have vegetarian options within their menus.
You should get your Hepatitis A vaccine (if you're not already immune to HAP), a month in advance at least. I think its very important. Then I think generally you're pretty safe to eat at most places. I didn't have any stomach aches from eating at night markets, and they had good food.
For those at MidValley area, do check out the restrooms at The Gardens. They are pleasant with nice ambiance and a modern fresh look (check out the pink walls!) Besides nice wash basins, they also have those modern automated hand dryers that you get in Tokyo restrooms, but unfortunately, I found that most people here don't seem to know how to use them.
For those around Ikano / Ikea & The Curve area, I found the Curve toilets amongst the cleanest-especially on the higher floors.
The Malaysian public toilets are generally not the best. If you are a tourist, you may take a while for you to get used to it.
The better toilets will be at 5 star hotels and certain upmarket shopping complexes, such as Lot 10, Starfill and KLCC. KLCC has a pay toilet and one more than is free. The ones where you have to pay are far cleaner.
The toilets at rest stops on the highways have improved tremendously, however, the standard of cleanliness is rather uneven. It really depends on your luck.
updated: December 2007
It was on the news that new self-cleaning toilets had been instaled around the touristy area of Jalan Bukit Bintang, around Lot 10 area. I've driven past it & have also seen photos of the interior, but have not actually used the toilets. Well, all the best! Hopefully, this is a change for the better. Read more about these toilets in the next tip.
Recommended toilets: Major hotels such as Novotel, Crown Plaza, Equatorial, Ritz Carlton (next to Starhill Gallery), Marriott & Westin, KL Hilton Sentral (the toilets are scented with aromatheraphy lamps...nice!)
Major shopping malls such as Starhill Gallery (the toilet is clean & modern), Pavillion (a spanking new mall in KL).
For those who are in KLCC & find the toilets too crowded, you may wish to take a short stroll to nearby Mandarin Oriental. The toilets are located on the ground floor next to the meeting/function rooms. Isetan department store at KLCC also has its own restrooms.
If you are on the lower ground floor of KLCC, another choice would be to take a pleasant 5 minute stroll along the pedestrian tunnel following the "Aquaria" signs. The tunnel is clean & well lit followed by a 1 minute walk across a little car park which leads you to Aquaria, a food court & the KL Convention Center. The toilets here are much cleaner. :)
Thumbs up for automatic toilets
Saturday December 23, 2006
By CHOW HOW BAN
FINALLY, Kuala Lumpur has automatic toilets like those in other major cities in the world.
Since the opening of two of the 12 units on Wednesday, many users have given their thumbs up to the new facilities. However, many voiced their fears that the top-notch facility would be vandalised like other public amenities in the city.
Mohd Fadlee Yusuff, 39, who works as a chef in Bukit Bintang, was among the first to use the comfortable and fully-automated toilet located in front of a McDonald’s outlet in Jalan Bukit Bintang.
“It has class,” he announced. “Finding it air-conditioned was a nice surprise. The toilet also flushes for you when you’re done while the taps turns on automatically when put your hands under it.
“I think such a sophisticated toilet will be able to educate city folk to be more disciplined about hygiene and cleanliness,” he said.
Mohd Fadlee said that although the cost of the toilets was high, the facility would benefit in the long run.
Angeline Chen, 30, who works in Sungei Wang Plaza, described the toilet as convenient.
“I don’t understand why these toilets are built in this area as public toilets can be found in the surrounding shopping malls. But without doubt, it is comfortable to use,” she said.
Here is a forum posting taken partly from thorntree.lonelyplanet.com
* note: "Zouk" is a nightclub in Kuala Lumpur
Posted: 26 Aug 2007
Alert - Hate Crimes Against Foreign Women in Malaysia
Recently, two expatriate women (US and Canada) were attacked in the middle of the dancefloor at Zouk nightclub in Kuala Lumpur. They described their attacker as an older Malay male (with bodyguards!) who claimed they were dancing "too close to the VIP area". The women, both teachers at International Schools in KL, were celebrating the end of the school year and saying good bye as the American teacher was transferring to a school in Buenos Aires.
Sensing that this man may have been problematic, they moved away from the VIP area and continued to dance. What happened next brought tears to my eyes. Our Canadian friend said that the Malay man returned to the dancefloor and began shouting at them to "Go back to where you came from" and called them a variety of choice names. He then grabbed the AMerican woman by the ears and head-butted her in the teeth. Stunned, the American started after the Malay man as he stomped off toward the VIP area. The Canadian woman followed her, and was cold-cocked to the side of her head by...the bodyguard!!
Meanwhile, Zouk's bouncers as well as the club- goers did nothing. It gets worse.
The Canadian woman clears the stars out of her head to see the American woman being held - an arm by each bodyguard, while the Malay man kicked her repeatedly and savagely in the stomach - so hard, that she defecated on the floor. All the while, the Malay man uttered racial and sexist epithets against the women.
Zouk's bouncers did nothing....... (Please read more in detail here)
The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism said that it sent a note to the government last week to protest several recent court decisions that effectively compelled Malaysians born as Muslims to stay Muslims.
"Our judges have divided the nation into two—Muslims and non-Muslims, that's the impression we get," council Deputy President A Vaithilingam said. "We were so happy during the earlier days, but now we feel there is some threat over us."
The council urged the government "to make urgent legislative reforms" to safeguard the religious freedom guaranteed under the constitution.
Malaysia follows a dual justice system. The Shariah courts administer the personal affairs of Muslims—who make up 60 percent of the country's 26 million people—while civil courts govern the minorities made up mostly of ethnic Indians and Chinese.
"With Islamization, the government is trying to make everything Shariah compliant," said Leonard Teoh, a legal adviser of the council.
It also cited cases of Revathi Masoosai, an ethnic Indian living as a Hindu but born to Muslim parents. She was detained earlier this year when she went to the Shariah court, seeking to change her religion from Islam to Hinduism.
She was sent for religious counseling in a rehabilitation center, where she remains. Religious authorities have also seized her 15-month-old daughter from her Hindu husband, Suresh Veerappan, in March and handed the child to Revathi's Muslim mother.
The council planned a candle vigil to show solidarity with Revathi at the Independence Square in Kuala Lumpur late Tuesday.
Recently, a court ruled that a Hindu woman, R Subashini, must seek redress in a Shariah court in her appeal against her husband's efforts to convert their children to Islam. The couple was married as Hindus but the husband converted to Islam last year.
Malaysia's leader promised on Thursday to do everything possible to fight human trafficking, after the US blacklisted the country for allegedly not doing enough about the problem.
"Certainly human trafficking is a crime, and that has to be stopped. We will do whatever we can" to halt it, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi told report
Abdullah said the bill contains provisions "including punishments, which are very severe." He said authorities hope it will reduce any human trafficking in Malaysia
In its annual "Trafficking in Persons Report," the US State Department on Tuesday downgraded Malaysia from a watch list to a blacklist "for its failure to show satisfactory progress in combating trafficking in persons."
The report cited the Malaysian government's failure to prosecute and punish traffickers, to provide adequate shelters and services to victims, and to protect migrant workers from involuntary servitude.
Malaysia is among 16 countries on the US list, which subjects them to possible sanctions for not doing enough to stop the yearly flow of about 800,000 people across international borders for the sex trade and other forms of forced and indentured labor.
About 80 percent of the victims are female and up to half of them children, and most are seeking to escape poverty.
Besides pushing for the new legislation, the ministry expects to open two shelters for trafficked women and children by the end of the month, the statement said.
The ministry, together with the US Embassy in Malaysia, has also run a workshop to train law enforcement officers how to deal with victims of trafficking, it said.
Tenaganita, a local nonprofit organization, agreed that Malaysia did not adequately protect foreign migrants and domestic workers, upon which the country relies heavily for menial work.
"In reality, we really haven't done very much. We still have a very far way to go," said Aegile Fernandez, coordinator of Tenaganita's program to combat human trafficking.
Moving on to crimes against women and domestic violence must have been a natural step in your activism?
Yes. I was the chairperson of the campaign against domestic violence. It ultimately resulted in the "Domestic Violence Act".
Is migration of workers merely the poor seeking a livelihood in a more prosperous shore?
I don't think it is that simple. Workers have become a commodity in the liberalised global scenario. See, they are being referred to as "human capital". The World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) are encouraging migration to augment foreign exchange accumulation of the third world countries. Their foreign debts are now being repaid by the sweat and blood of the poor.
What specific issue regarding the migrant labourers led to your prison sentence?
In 1995, I published a report on the abuse of migrant workers in detention camps. The government admitted that 46 persons had died of various medical causes, but I was arrested and charged with "maliciously publishing false news". The trial dragged on till 2003, when I was sentenced to one year's imprisonment. I have appealed in the higher court and am on bail now.
Has the Rights Livelihood Award made any change in your position vis-a-vis the government?
Yes, to a certain extent. International recognition does help
31 December 2006 - IRENE FERNANDEZ, winner of the 2005 Right Livelihood Award (the Alternate Nobel Prize) was in Kochi recently. Daughter of pre-World War II migrant Malayalee parents, she is a campaigner for migrant worker, plantation workers and women's rights. Irene is also a trade union organiser, environmentalist and the central committee member of the National Justice Party of Malaysia.
Were women then active and visible in Malaysian public life?
Of course, there were organisations like YWCA but few movements in which women were involved. There was another organisation, the Young Christian Workers, which was also male dominated. I got involved with them and, through their international conventions, came into contact with resistance movements in Latin America. I set about organising textile workers. The units in the free trade zones, where the conditions were very exploitative, did not allow outsiders to organise the workers.
You were also involved in organising the electronic workers?
Yes, but here the hazards were more and different. We could organise individual unions in individual companies, but never at the national level. The government does not permit it. Even today there is no national union for the electronic workers. So the bargaining capacity is limited.
Malaysia is the largest producer of palm oil and you have been talking about "sustainable palm oil". Please elaborate.
Rain forests are being denuded for palm oil plantations. Chemical fertilizers and pesticides are being used on a large scale. Workers in the plantations are exploited. The European Union countries have stipulated stringent conditions regarding environmental impacts, labour practices and transparency. And there are proposals for using palm oil as a bio-fuel. Whether a food item should be used as a fuel while millions go hungry, whether the limited land available is to be used for producing fuel are questions to be answered.
As usual, you are dumb if you go in the dark alley (There's a lot of them in Malaysia) Avoid flashing your valuables out in the public, this will cause mouth watering scene to the unemployed rats. Do not take taxi, cab, teksi or kereta sewa if you are not familiar. Be sure to bargain for the price before use (insist on using meter) For kereta sewa, bargain first then take your ride. From hotels they do tell you how mch is the ride fare.
In the town area it is usually safe in the day. Night spots are cool.
Don't leave your luggage or backpack unattended, some of the locals are magicians.
Big hotels offers inhouse safebox. Carry Malaysia ringgit always, do not use USD easier for them to count unless you're in a infamous hotels or KLCC (most of this joints in KLCC accept USD, exchange rate MYR$3.70 to a dollar. Easier for you to change at money changer.
At an international assembly of Moslems in Kuala Lumpur in 2002, the former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammed (who is half Indian, studied in Calicut medical college, I was told) betrayed his own susceptibility to Arab influences by holding Jews responsible for malaysias currency troubles and by standing on the sidelines as Sharia laws spread in his country.
The good news is Malaysia is not mahathir!
excerpted from an excellent read by the Canadian Journalist Irshad Manji ( who is a Moslem )
The Trouble with Islam Today
As I have visited malaysia quite a few times in the past few years, one thing I hear from ordinary Moslems is the propaganda from the Malay Moslem Hierarchy, including a prominent politician who publicly stated that Jews are blood drinking savages! This is in 21st century.
When I am travelling in malaysia, when asked which country I am from, I say as a test, I am from Israel.. they are shocked as Malaysia along with Brunei under the influence of many arab countries has banned israelis from entering the country. Why? At least I can influence some of the ordinary malay folks by personal example (eventhough I am not an Israeli) that Jews are people like themselves.
How did the govt let you in, they usually ask, to which i say, somewhat ironically, it is your government that invited me!
In most public restrooms in shopping complex or coffee shops, there is no toilet paper. There could be water pipe as water is preferred by some locals.
You will find that most public restrooms charged 20 sen for admission. And sell tissue paper at 30 sen. So buy the tissue paper at the entrance if you need toilet paper.
Alternatively, use the restrooms of hotels, they come complete with toilet rolls.
You may wonder why there are no toilet paper in most public restrooms. I suspect the reason is the economic situation is such that some will still "steal" the complete toilet roll and it becomes costly to continually replace.
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