8 Malaysia Travel Safety Tips
Having born and raised in Malaysia, and subsequently lived in Singapore for half of my life, I sometimes take things for granted. The safety of Singapore is excellent so much so that I forgot and be complacent when I return to Malaysia. I write this article to remind myself and hopefully can help you travel safely in Malaysia as well. Not to say that Malaysia is dangerous place, it is generally OK ( I survived 20 years there anyway), So here are the few reminders
1) Don't put your hand phone on the table
I got so used to putting hand phones on the table in Singapore while dining/eating that I have to consciously remind myself not to do it in Malaysia. The action of leaving your phone on the table just make it incredibly easier for snatch thief to take and run. Just put it in your pocket, anyway, dining supposed to be a social time and better to keep your phone in the pocket, and if you are solo traveler, just sit , dine, sip your coffee or gulp your beer and watch the world goes by :)
2) Don't take your hand bag
So don't flaunt any expensive hand bag that you have especially while walking at the side of the road. Great if you can put everything into a wallet and put it in your pocket. If you have to , just get a cheap sling bag and wear it on your shoulder ( the bag should be always facing at the opposite of the road). Not to say every motorbike that past you is to snatch you , but you just want to minimize the risk ( you get the idea)
3) Dress Simple
The idea is not to attract unwanted attention, minimize of omit all the bling bling. Tone down your style, you might not realize this cause we are always in a cosmopolitan but if you are going to smaller towns in Malaysia, good idea to tone down your wear, else you will be really a screaming tourist ( Hey , everyone, I am a tourist ! )
4) Minimise your cash , but don't make it 0
Ok, common sense to minimise your cash amount in your wallet , but there is a reason you don't make it 0. Reason being, touch wood that you are really unfortunate and careless that you are in a situation where small thief ask you for money, at least you have some money to give to appease the thieves. Also ,in any case you get pull over by cops for speeding, and they hint you on ( you know), at least you can give less than the market rate.
5) Lock you car doors at all times
In Singapore, because of parking space constraint, all cars are designed to have retractable side mirrors. In Malaysia, because of safety, all cars are designed such that the moment you close all car doors, the doors will be auto lock. So please lock your car doors at all time.
6) Avoid small lanes or back lane
I think this apply universally, just want to mention here again, never ever go to back lanes , not only in Malaysia, but in any other countries ( maybe except Singapore lol )
Back Lanes are just a spawn area for crime , not well lit up and no public ever notice you. So if there is a shortcut and it is a small lane or back lane, avoid it. Take the longer route,
7) Park your car at well lit area
If you drive and if you have a choice, always park your car at well lit area, not all areas lighting is working ( you know, Malaysia state of maintaining stuff ) . so choose an area that is well lit, the idea is again to minimise the risk of getting your car ransacked or worst stolen ( Certain hot brands of cars that thieves especially notice - Lexus, Vell Fire ).
8) Watch out for scammers
Trust your instinct on this one, if it is too good to be true, it is . Not to say everyone is trying to scam you, Malaysians are generally very hospitable, warm and friendly but there are some desperate bad eggs cases. So trust your instinct and avoid them ,good thing is the bad eggs population is the exception rather the norm.