Tuesday 8 April 2014

First world infrastructure with third world mentality

Anyone coming back to Kuala Lumpur via the KLIA faces this parking chaos, if you are being picked up by car. There are actually five lanes outside the arrival gates. The inner two are reserved for airport taxis. Yes, two lanes. Take a closer look next time.

The other three lanes are reduced to a single lane with cars double parking. Look around and you see traffic cops standing nearby. Take out your camera and start clicking. The cops will soon come around, blow their whistle and ask parked cars with drivers inside to move on. 

If my memory serves me right, this “parking on driveway” chaos happened since 1998 when this airport was first opened. I remembered Kadir Jasin wrote about this “first world infrastructure with third world mentality” observation.

15 years has passed and not much has changed.

Does this also happen elsewhere? Yes, it does in some places. But it is equally true to say that it does not happen in many places too.  Even in places like Taipei, Yangon, Port Moresby and Ho Chi Minh, drivers are better disciplined.

If this observation of Malaysian behaviour is endemic and symbiotic, perhaps we need to work harder on the mindset of the people, the software, rather than continue investing on hardware?

Perhaps there is much gain in productivity that can be achieved out of our existing assets? It is one way to reduce the Government’s budget deficit.


  1. Not only at KLIA, some Malaysians still double park even though parking space is available. They are just so inconsiderate and too lazy to walk a few meters more.

    So are some of the policemen who are too lazy to enforce the law

  2. Looks like we are striving to be a developed nation without the accompanying spirit. Soon we will be a nation with a small group of super-rich elites and a huge mass of strugglers. A nations without a soul and without proper values.

    Beyond the airport this kind of behavior thrives as an insidious culture everywhere.

  3. Definitely software is lacking! New radar but people sleeping also no use mah! Airplane still flying across unidentified until following day one lah!

  4. Malaysia always BOLEH la.....Boleh in the STONE AGES way, we have BOMOH better then the submarine, We have Billions Of Dollars Disappear without trace in Mega Projects AND Submarine, We have foreigner killed here and identity wipe out, We have an 'old horse' who can spin everything including buyout jurisdiction; We unofficial the RICHEST politician/man in Asia but now at the TOP of the state.....many more....MALAYSIA BOLEH!