Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Rapid KL Truly Malaysia

Just when you think I'm gone forever, I'm back in whinging mode again. This time it's our beloved public transport in Klang Valley, namely Rapid KL. Not to be horrible, but everything in Malaysia just seems to be a beat slower than other countries (except for our reckless drivers on the road), even getting on a bus! Apart from most people just love being so "laid back" and moving ever so slowly, this prepaid ticket device called Touch 'n Go also gets in the way.

Touch 'n Go Device
There is only 1 device installed each at the entrance and the exit of the bus (some hidden in a narrow corner), so passengers will have to crowd to one corner to tap their cards on the device. Whilst doing that, they get in the way of those paying with cash, and vicé versa. What's worse is that, despite the card being called Touch 'n Go and the device clearly says "touch", the last thing you can do is touch! Because the device will then tell you off in a very slow tone: "Please touch again", ironically. The trick is to aim the card to the device at the distance of about 1 inch away from the device, and stay there for a few seconds with very stable hand until it beeps. So even if there are only10 people getting on the bus, it could take up to 10 minutes.

And the process repeats when passengers get off the bus. Joy!

Missing emergency hammer
Just this morning I noticed another thing on the bus. All of the emergency hammers on the bus are gone! The first thing I thought was: Oh no, what if there is an accident? How are we going to get out if and when the bus toppled over? But even before I finished thinking about that, a second thought sprung into mind: it's probably due to the vandalising nature of a large number of people here (just look at all the public facilities and tell me if I'm being fair), that it may be safer to take them away.

But hey I could be wrong, what do I know? We live in a bizzarre world. And I'm only a passerby in the Galaxy...

And by the way if you work for Metro buses, don't start giggling, because you are worse!

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Handbags not allowed

This afternoon, I went to Giant Supermarket in Amcorp Mall, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. The security guard at the entrance stopped me and demanded me to leave my handbag in an open cupboard (note: not a safe locker).

Well for those who are not familiar with this, you may want to know that there is a funny rule here in Malaysia where certain supermarkets require customers to leave their shopping bags in the cupboard prepared by the supermarket. If you insist on having them they will lock the bags with cable ties so that you can't steal anything with those bags. They will usually let the ladies bring have their handbags in but God forbids, they somehow think that I may steal the whole shop with my "gigantic" handbag.

So I refused and told them that it is in fact my handbag and I will not leave my handbag with them. He then demanded to know the content of my bag which I refused again because he simply did not have the rights to invade my privacy. Then he decided that he will lock my handbag zipper up with the cable tie, and that's when I told him to take his shop and shove it where the sun doesn't shine, and walked away.

Apart from Giant Supermarket, Carrefour Hypermarket in Malaysia also does the same and I have refused to shop there a couple of times when they wanted to "cable-tie-cuff" my shopping bags. So how is this going to work on a "no plastic bag day" when we're supposed to bring our own shopping bags, and they're going to seal all the bags prior to entry? These cable ties are non-reusable so can you imagine how many do they waste in a day?

I will not go in to another Giant Supermarket ever again. My point is: if they want me to spend my money there, they'll have to stop treating me like a thief!

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Another Ridiculous Incident in Bangsar South

Whilst the hole on the pavement in Bangsar South is still wide open, they've just topped themselves by doing this just less than 50m up from the very hole:

The hole is just by the 4wd which you can see parked further down. This pile of building waste has been here since January and I'm guessing like the hole, it is here to stay. Oh by the way, these cars are parked illegally by the pavement. The car owners/drivers have either gone to the shops on the right or to the road side restaurant on the left in the picture. And right after that 4wd that is where the traffic lights are, so yes they are parked right at the traffic light.

This, can only happen in Malaysia. What's wrong with these people?!

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Malaysia Truly Asia

"Malaysia Truly Asia".

Have no freaking idea what it means, but THAT is the tagline for the Malaysia Tourism Board advertising campaign all over the world, particularly targeted at countries where the sun doesn't scorch your skin, and where there isn't an average daily temperature of 34C all year round.

In it you'll see pretty snapshots of white sand beaches, blue skies, blue sea, clean places and good food. Obviously, they will never show you this --

Signboards (put up as directional boards to weddings, loan shark advertisements, etc) and rubbish on the road side, pavement, and in between plants on one of the major motorways in Kuala Lumpur:

A pay phone booth (without the phone) filled with litter:

OR, their infamous public toilets (although there has been some "improvement" in certain shopping centres only recently), or those people who burn their rubbish openly and frequently.

And they're so proud...

Monday, 22 November 2010

Malaysian Websites Suck


Because (in case you are so lucky you haven't stumbled upon any):

1. They take ages to load due to the heavily use of Flash on the website.
- Malaysians love using Flash (well most Asians do, Singaporeans too). I have dealt with a number of Malaysian clients before, trying to set up websites for them and all they care about is how flashy and fancy their site may look and not how useful it will be. And most of these Flash animations just make you dizzy. So yes I had to tell them to go somewhere else to get their websites done.

2. They have bad navigation design.
- You will have problem trying to look where you're going, what you should click, where you should go, etc.

3. You probably can't find any useful information on it.
- I recently had to plan some travelling so I thought I would check out the KTM's intercity trains. Surprise, surprise; after a long wait for the page to load and a good 10 minutes looking for the link to the [might have been] right page, I thought I could finally do a schedule and fee checking. But when I selected my departure point, the destination drop-down has only these options: Undefined, Undefined, Undefined, and Undefined. Woah that's helpful! Needless to say, they didn't get my business.

4. If you do manage to find some information, they are probably out of date.
- When I went on to look for bus/coach companies, I either get a directory list with phone number no longer in use, or the bus company's website again has again a way to stop me finding information. I finally found First Coach, whose website is surprisingly usable and the phone number is working! BUT, the website did not come up on my Google search on "coach company in Malaysia", meaning its SEO is a big problem. I've only heard of the company name before and I vaguely remember it so I searched for its name specifically. Still not a 100% user-friendly website but my God, for Malaysian standard, it deserves an A!

5. They don't know the function of a website.
- Yes, it's true. All these people setting up websites like all the Joneses around them just so that they can have the URL printed on their business card. And they think by doing so will make them lots of money.

6. Don't use their "Contact Us"
- And if they have an email address, DO NOT write to them. They will never reply! Can't understand why they even bother having one.

And if you think that's bad, try going to an advertising agency's or design firm's, or even a Malaysian digital media company's websites. All "style", no substance!

Can my mothership just take me home please? Take me home, where all bad Malaysian websites (which would be 99%) are banned.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Longest receipt in the world

Receipts. One of the most annoying and pointless yet unavoidable things in life. It is necessary as evidence that you did not steal something from a shop, for making claims when you return the goods, as proof that you've been overcharged, etc. But most of the time you'll find that you have more receipts in your wallet than money.

As if it is not bad enough, we've just got ourselves what's probably the longest receipt in the world, from a book shop in Kuala Lumpur. We only bought 2 books but the total length of the receipt is 37.4cm.

What made it this long is the 2 paragraphs of very meaningless text (some "receipt stories" thingie) printed on the end of the receipt, taking up more than half the length of the paper. Did it serve any purpose? We have no idea. But we're sure that halfway trying to read the 2 paragraphs, we nearly fell asleep.

While some of us are trying to reduce wastage and stuff going to landfill, there are those who try every possible way to create advertising space to make money. What can we do? Probably nothing, unless we have the wealth power.

But in case you want some ideas on using up old receipts, here's a cute one on Fun Eco Home Projects.

Monday, 7 June 2010

More Holes on Bangsar South Pavement!

Just when we thought things couldn't get worse after the scary walkway in Bangsar South, they just did.

This is leading down to the scary walkway in Bangsar South. From where the red-ish tiles end, almost 10m of this pavement has been left untiled since last year. Yes, all they have done was putting some cement on it because it was really rocky and sandy after they were done with widening the road for the ever-increasing number of cars. And even the cement was put on weeks after the road was done.

And as if walking on unfinished pavement isn't bad enough, we have to now deal with this big, deep hole. God knows how and why this happened, but I was glad I managed to notice it just feet before the hole.

I saw this last Monday, and it's still here now - a week later. I'm guessing it is here to stay, since these people around here seem to be pretty happy about it. Maybe, unlike me, they all drive instead of walking down hill to get the public transport. Of course, it's just me whinging endlessly about something so pointless...

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Scary walkway on Kerinchi, Bangsar South

The whole purpose of having a walkway is so that pedestrians have a path to walk on instead of venturing on to the side of the roads where motor vehicles zoom by. This sheltered walkway leads to some expensive highrise condominiums up Kerinchi Hill in Bangsar South (anything named or part-named Bangsar in Kuala Lumpur represents "prestigious living").

By all accounts, it should be a breezy walk on this walkway but it's really not the case. Not only it gets flooded on a stormy day, the locals have been abusing it to an unbelievable state.

Rubbish everywhere

If you are not one of those privilege enough to have a car, but have to walk up the hill every day, you'll know what I mean. You'll find rubbish, broken stools, mud left from the flood, etc, along the walkway as well as inside the wrecked open drain holes. It is disgusting yet hazardous, because you can easily trip and fall into the deep holes especially in the dark (no I have never seen the lights working). I have even seen a dead cat on top of a pile of rubbish over a drain hole once!

Dried mud caused by storms and overflew drain water

Rubbish collected over the drain holes

Fancy taking a walk here?

More mud and open drain hole

Drain hole

Honestly, scattered rubbish in public places is not uncommon in Malaysia, but a walkway like this being in the middle of Bangsar area for such a long period of time is by far the worst I've seen. These people are just plain ignorant, irresponsible and yet the authority is not doing anything.