Malacca Travel Blog› entry 219 of 254 › view all entries
We are coming to the end of our trip in Malaysia and reflecting on a country that was not part of our original itinery, but almost an afterthought. However, we have enjoyed Malaysia as much as the other Asian countries we have travelled in, despite and probably because, it is so different.
There is a fascinating mix of people - Malays, Chinese, Indians, Sri Lankans, and consequently a varied skyline of mosques and Hindu and Buddhist temples. Monks in burnt orange robes mingle with men in prayer caps and Sikh turbans. Somehow, they are preserving their cultures and traditions despite massive modernisation along western lines. People here are far more affluent than elsewhere in SE Asia, and westerners are not seen as just endless pots of money.
The government has set an ambitious target for Malaysia to become a first world nation by 2020 - this means doubling the size of the economy and increasing personal income four-fold. One of the more ambitious projects involves building a hi-tech "multi-media super corridor" stretching 50km south from KL, including a new, supposedly paperless administrative city called Putrajaya - much of this is already in place. As a visitor, you can't help but feel that Malaysia is on the up and up.
It is also very refreshing to see Malaysian muslim women taking a prominent and visible role in society. We have seen muslim women in the police force, as security guards, office workers, and in commerce and business. This is really positive, as all too often muslim women's human rights are non-existent, justified by religion.