I’m woken up with a rattle on my door. Someones trying to get in and I haven’t locked it. The latch is preventing the door to open. I quickly lock it shut and get some more sleep….

I need to help Annie the receptionist get the recorded  CCTV footage for the police. Mohammed told me the intruder was a Malay Singaporean who was trying to get into my door. “He said he had a friend in room 303.”

When the intruder was given the  marching order, he reported the hotel to the police. Then he came back ten minutes later, and tried to jump over the counter to attack the Chinese receptionist who escorted him out of the hotel, after checking his passport. Yes he was a Malay Singaporean.

Mohammed is a gentle soul. He’s been here six years. He said his visa cost him 30 000 Ringgit. That’s AUS $ 10 000.  He has two children in Dhaka, where his wife takes care of them. He returns home once every two years. He’s the head cleaner at  my hotel.

The night receptionist is a very quiet and shy Chinese Tom Girl. She was behind the counter when the drunk tried to jump over the front desk. It was a big mistake. The Tom Boy pulled out her steal baton and started hitting him around the legs and the kidney region. Mohammed got a punch in the face but he seemed to be  enjoying the pushing and shoving.

It certainly beats cleaning toilets, in terms of excitement.

I tell a copper at my local about the incident. He doesn’t speak any English. “Report,” he says. He means make a report, and he walks away with his gun attached on his hip by a holster.

If it had of been a Malay business, would the police have been more vigilant in prosecuting the intruder? Probably, but this made for a great story on how Malaysians have to take the law into their own hands. The cop station is only 50 meters down the road.

“Indonesia is better,” said a Singaporean, in his late fifties. “They have one eye open and another closed.” He doesn’t like Malaysia. “They are Muslim.” He doesn’t like doing business with them. “Too many regulations.” He shows me what he’s talking about, and points his finger hard into his belly. But he loves Australia. “Horse racing in every city.”

He has a business here in Johor and only visits a few times a month. He says most of the Singapore investment has moved to the Chinese speaking countries like Taiwan, China and even South Korea.

He doesn’t like KL. “Too many people smoking.”

What do you mean, I ask.

“Heroine,” he says, “Too many junkies in KL.”

“Go to Indonesia, more fun,” he repeats, almost dream like. He has many fond memories and I totally understand.

I’m really tempted to take a ferry now to Batam in Indonesia, I really am. But I’m not prepared to pay the Singapore prices for the sake of someone closing an eye.


One thought on “One Eye Closed

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