Posted by: danguard | July 7, 2009

Final days in KL (days 23-27)

Well, I’m back in Singapore, and am enjoying the safe, sterile, comfortable order and familiarity of the place after KL’s hustle and bustle. Here’s an overview of my final days in Malaysia:

 After frustrations already covered under my tirade against Malaysian state coercion, I was pleased to ‘lock down’ my interview with L.Cdr(Ret.) Karu on Tuesday, which meant another trip to the Royal Selangor Club and several more drinks signed on chits for me! I think the information garnered will be even more useful than the stuff from the Admiral, as there was a lot of discussion about the institutionalised discrimination that existed regarding promotion, and the islamisation of the force. I was also told a very moving tale about how Karu lost his command because he chose to let a group of Vietnamese refugees land in Malaysia rather than sending them back out to sea in a storm where they would have most likely died.

Sky Bar, Traders Hotel, KL

Sky Bar, Traders Hotel, KL

The rest of the week was spent tying up the few remaining sources left open to me, mainly old newspapers, and getting a digital copy of a book from Mudzaffar. I also explored the remaining cultural attractions. On Wednesday, a Canadian guy I met called Kacper and I went to check out the Sky bar, another elevated watering hole built on top of a hotel with views of the city. Although it has a closer view of the Petronas Towers, it’s not quite as breathtaking as the Luna bar as it’s not open top, plus it’s more pricey!

On Thursday I visited Malacca, as there was a RMN museum there, but also because it’s a major heritage city. The museum was rather superficial for my own work, but I enjoyed seeing the city’s sights. It’s unfortunate to say that once again, next to the old Portuguese fort, A Formosa, is located a shopping mall, but the north side of the river still retains its original Chinese character, with interesting streets, a fantastic temple which draws the city’s Taoist, Confucian and Buddhist communities, and also an interesting old Mosque built with Chinese and European architectural influences, quite unique. I also bought an original piece of art from a local artist named Titi (don’t laugh Neil!).

Had a foot, shoulder and head massage last night for under a tenner which was relaxing and painful in equal measure. Visited the rainforest reserve today without insect repellent which was a big mistake as the mosquitoes had a right old feast on me, but it was worth it to see monkeys swinging through the trees in a more natural environment than the tourist and litter-infested Batu Caves.

KL’s been both frustrating and exhilarating. By the end I even enjoyed haggling with the locals and bagged a couple of bargains in the process! I would definitely recommend a visit here to anyone.



  1. Titi, ha

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