30 Jul 2015 Kuala Lumpur
Taking a look at a local press this morning, all the headlines are about TPP talks in Hawaii. Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) has stated that Malaysia will not sign any agreement during the current round of talks, which runs until July 31st and reassured critics that it will stand firm on issues of sovereignty, government procurement, state- owned enterprises and the bimiputra agenda.
TPP has been a big mistery to us all. Although the talks have been going for few years now, United States still didn’t give out an official full text of the agreement. Some portions of it have leaked to the public. This unofficial information assured us, that TPP is not as ideal as United States make it sound. Continue reading Why Malaysia doesn’t want to join Trans-Pacific Partnership?→
Old Chinese mansion offers a refuge from busy streets of Medan. It is aged and spacious. It has tall painted ceillings, decorated with crystal chandeliers. Antic wooden parts of a mansion- bedroom furniture, paravan in a court yard, second storey floors- are the most spactacular ones. Windows just let the perfect amount of warm afternoon light in, to keep it bright enough, and breezy at the same time. I am almost alone when walking this vast labirinth of chambers. It is relaxing to wander around these aged wooden hallways. Long dining room table is sat with Chinese porcelain. Small crystal glasses in an office seem to be waiting to be filled with refreshing green tea. And at moments, looking at my reflexion in long mirrors hanging in every room, it becomes so easy to imagine living here.
Malaysia is probably the only country in the world with racial discrimination explicitly written into its constitution.There is a certain ethnic group in Malaysia called Bumiputra. Bumiputra is a term to describe the indigenous people of Southeast Asia, and used mostly in Malaysia. The term comes from the Sanskrit word bhumiputra, which literally stands for “son of the land” or “son of the soil” (bhumi= earth or land, putra=son).
I noticed that Bumiputra is a sensitive subject in Malaysia. Everybody knows about it but nobody will tell you straight away. Malaysians do not seem very proud of it. The idea of one chosen race, being rewarded for their provenance sounds wrong, but it is still commonly accepted. Why is that? Continue reading What you didn’t know about Malaysian society→
My favourite escape place from the heat and noise of Medan, is the Great Mosque of Medan. Built in Moroccan style during the Dutch East Indies era, has its own tranquil feel, characteristic for old temples. Inside, there is a calm pieceful silence. As soon as I step into the round prayer hall, I forget about curious stares and insistent (although always friendly) cries ‘Halo Miss!’. After cooling rinse in a washroom, soft red carpet feels so pleasant below my feet. I fall asleep underneeth the quiet fans and heavy chandeliers. The ornamented ceilling becomes more and more blurry. One of the praying women smiles to me politely and wisperes ‘Assalam Aleikum’. ‘Uaaleikum salam’ – ‘peace may be with you’ I reply and smile back. All the sounds of the street outside fade away. I close my eyes and fall back to my peacefull sleep..
Our hitch-hiking Malaysian adventure is about to Begin. We start our day with a laundry and Indian food. ‘Banana leaf’ is our favourite. We pay 2 dollars and we can eat as much as we want. This is definitely the best option for a cheap food in Malaysia. I buy a tarp in a local shop. It will be usefull later on, to protect myself from rain, when sleeping in a hammock. We take a ferry. Watch the Island disapear underneath the cloudy sky. Now, we need to get a bus to the place, where hitchhiking would be more possible. Here, we are below the labirinth of sky highways. There is no way to get on the road. We are waiting with Malaysians for an old, rusty (but always air-conditioned) bus. We pay 5 ringgit and get off in the midle of a road leading East. Little unsure, we stand by the side of a dusty road. It eradiates all its afternoon heat. We are prepared to wait for a while. We throw our bags on the sandy patch of grass, next to the hot asfalt street. It will get dark in 3 hours, so we better get started.
Our old yellow minibus stops and everything around sinks into an unbearable quienscency. It is hard to endure, not because of impatience to get through all these kilometres of traffic. It is because of an unbearable heat. In this moment I am not able to concentrate on anything else, except sweat dripping from every part of my body. I would do anything now, to feel a blow of this poluted, dusty air on my skin. The same one, which was so annoying, only a few momentes ago. I am about to faint any minute now. My face is wet and sticky from the city air. Continue reading Medan→
Today we had an amazing day, visiting this beautiful forest outside of KL!
The FRIM or Forest Research Institute of Malaysia is a great escape from the busy Kuala Lumur. It is approximately 13km north west of Kuala Lumpur City centre in Kepong. This 600 hectares of tropical forest contains a wealth of flora and fauna with ore than 15,000 species of plants. Howerver forest is not natural. It was planted to create a peaceful oasis for visitors and unable forest research.