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My Malaysian Affair - Chapter 4
Kuala Lumpur is crowded, busy, and unorganised. The infrastructure of the city is so bad, that traffic jams occur even after 11pm at night. This is not helped by road works which close off main roads, and disrupt traffic. Rain makes things even worse, as the falling rain collects on the roads, which have an insufficient camber to drain off excess water. The result is long jams, and dangerous driving conditions.
Aside from the traffic, and the hassles of commuting in and out of the city centre, Kuala Lumpur is set aside from the rest of Malaysia by the very strong influence of the west, and the less friendly nature of the people. Not wanting to generalise of course, as I saw many well presented and behaved families walking through "KL". However, KL did disappoint me, and made me long to return to the true heart of Malaysia (ie. the other states).
The biggest disappointment to me was that the youth of KL seemed to have forgotten their religion. This happens of course throughout Malaysia to a much lesser extent, but is very widespread in KL. One only needs to walk into any shopping centre to see what I mean by that. I have a similar account from a friend in Australia who visited KL one Valentines Day, and was disgusted by what he saw.
Aside from the negative things, there were some positives, and thankfully enough for that. As I mentioned, it gives great hope when one sees the very good families that do exist in KL, and also some well dressed men and women. I pray that one day they may pass on to their children the religious education that is so important. Having children is a great responsibility, and we will all be held accountable for how we raise our children, on the Day of Judgement. We all remember the story of the father who blamed his son for being bad to him (Uqooq), where the son replies: "O father, you made uqooq for me while I was young, so I am making uqooq to you while you are old, you had let me down when I was young, so I am letting you down when you are old."
The only other good memory I will take away from KL, is the national masjid, Masjid Negara. The outer design, which is hailed as being very innovative and modern, did not attract me. I did not particularly like the umbrella shape roof of the masjid which replaces the conventional dome. Its 18 points represent the thirteen states of Malaysia, and the five pillars of Islam. The main prayer hall is however very impressive, especially the detailed carvings on the mehrab. It was a great feeling to be able to pray in the front row of this masjid for Friday prayer, along with many of the contestants from the International Quran Reciters Assembly, which was taking place in KL at the time.