Voices of the past
Now you may ask why Malaysia.
I first came to the Far East in 1960 being a member of the Royal Air Force and having been posted to Singapore. It was hot and steamy. After a short acclimatisation, one had to complete a jungle survival course, which we were petrified at. The thought of having to survive in the jungle for a week, on our own resources with the prospects of having to put up with snakes, leaches mosquitos and torrential rain.
None of us at that time had any experience at jungle survival. We underwent one weeks training in Singapore and were then thrown into the Malaysian jungle, however, we all survived.
Occasionally in those days, I went with three or four of my colleagues to go to an uninhabited island called Pulau Rawa on the East coast of Malaysia. We were taken from Mersing to Pulau Rawa on a small skiff having instructed the boatman to pick us up three days later. We used to take rations from the catering department to last us three days on the island. In this package was everything one needed for four people to exist for three days including toilet rolls. We used to build bashers on the beach and sleep on collapsible safari beds under the stars. We would spend an idyllic three days on the beach and drinking a Gin & Tonic occasionally, enjoying a completely carefree time.
I was married in 1973 and my wife had never been to the Far East and I was insistent upon her seeing a rubber tree. We caught a pick up taxi from Johor Bahru, which stopped frequently to pick up other passengers en-route to Kuala Lumpur. The atmosphere in the car due to the temperature and the humidity made the journey very uncomfortable, as we were sliding from side to side in the taxi that had plastic covered seats. I little realised at the time that the whole of Malaysia was covered in nothing but rubber trees. Once you’ve seen one rubber tree, you’ve seen them all.
Fast forward now to the late 1970s, my family now including 5 year old Oliver, were walking on a secondary road in the Genting Highlands when suddenly coming down the road in the opposite direction was this man walking with a 4ft blowpipe, wearing nothing but a loin cloth. We felt a little apprehensive at this unusual sight, as we have never encountered this sort of thing before. The man walked passed us and suddenly used his blowpipe to kill a monkey up a tree. He then picked up the monkey from the ground and continued walking as if nothing had ever happened. Which was probably correct by his way of life.
The three of us breathed a sigh of relief and continued our stroll.
I joined Singapore Airlines in 1977 and there was an occasion when a bunch of us met by chance on the beach in Terengganu, where one of them had caught an enormous fish ,we wondered how it was going to be cooked. We eventually went and bought a foot grating and we had the most incredible barbeque on the beach. This is part of what life was like in those days. An uncluttered lifestyle.
When we, and I’m referring to the “Royal We”, my son, daughter in law and myself, all came to live in Malaysia in 2013 the lifestyle is incredibly different, it is now a pulsating modern economy. I am now a retired English expat living in Kuala Lumpur and loving it. Having been very fortunate to have lived in a number of countries such as America, UK, Singapore and Cyprus I can honestly say that living here takes the biscuit.
I suppose the main reason that residing in Malaysia is so easy, is due mostly to the MM2H system. This is a ten-year arrangement that entitles one to live in a safe, beautiful tax-free environment. Sufficient to say the geographical beauty from impenetrable jungle, mountains and pristine coastlines and beaches with almost uninhabited small islands is really unbelievable. This coupled with the food available with local stalls to first class 5 star hotels and restaurants makes the place unique. Other fantastic benefits include a superb standard of medical and dental facilities second to none.
That is why!