MALAYSIA, Why was I surprised?

DSCN2465 (3)The Petronas Towers housing the headquarters of Mayaysia’s national oil company are often seen as a symbol of this fairly prosperous Southeast Asian constitutional monarchy. These towers are the tallest twins in the world.

Ignorance can be cured by travel. My surprise at this visit to Malaysia was totally due to my lack of knowledge about this country.DSCN2478 (2) It is very clean, in fact I am tempted to call it spotless. There is an obvious police presence everywhere and I think that probably prompts people to put their trash in the proper place. As an example, a young couple were attempting to get a better angle for a photograph by standing on a concrete curb around a flower bed and a police officer quickly returned them to a sidewalk. One gets the impression that this is a “no nonsense ” kind of place!

Even the chaos that typically surrounds the exodus from a cruise ship was controlled here. Instead of hoards of taxi drivers descending upon you there were polite folks who asked your destination and then led you to a driver and gave him the instructions.

DSCN2486 (2) The Royal Palace

This is a democracy with a slant; a parliament elected by the people and a prime minister AND a king!

Nine of the 13 states that make up this union have kept their royal families and the Malaysia King is elected by the rulers of these families.  DSCN2485 (2) The palace is beautiful. Cameras were not allowed inside the palace but our friend Joe managed to get his picture taken beside the throne without causing an international incidentP1060708 (2) Not sure how he managed that.

The national religion is Islam but their constitution protects freedom of religion for all faiths.DSCN2420 (2) This is a beautiful Mosque on the harbor front.