Arriving in Kuala Lumpur from Manila is like leaping from an old western into a futuristic sci-fi movie. Here it’s all shiny steel and glass; modern motorways, clean streets and manicured lawns. At first glance, its also rather sterile.
There are expensive shops and polite, helpful locals. But the city lacks edge. Already, I miss crazy Manila. If the world was a pharmacy, Kuala Lumpur would surely be Panadol. (Only dangerous in very large doses.) Manila however, would probably be a banned substance!
There’s a curious approach to security here. At Kuala Lumpur airport, we had to supply finger prints. Nothing else. No customs declaration. No quarantine check. No sniffer dogs. No x-rays. No local address. Presumably if you have an accident they’ll use Facebook to find next of kin.
The same casual approach was evident when I visited the city’s world famous landmark an hour ago. It takes only 10 minutes to walk from our hotel to the nearby Petronas Building. At 88 floors, it’s the world’s highest twin tower.
Now surely this is a security alert waiting to happen? Apparently not. I was able to walk straight off the street and explore the main foyer and ground floor shopping arcades. No metal detectors. No bag or security checks. No concern about cameras or mobile phones.
Looks like a bad case of homeland apathy?