“Stop misbehaving or that guard will get you lah!” – I overheard one mother said to her child while doing groceries on a Friday afternoon in Malacca, Malaysia.
There are only two things I realized after living here in Malaysia for a couple of months: First, Malaysian moms are no different from your mom (or my mom), and second, I understand now why families from all over the world choose to live in this underrated Southeast Asian country.
Malaysia is known as the cultural melting pot of Asia, that means people of different cultures flock in here. I didn’t know what to expect when we arrived, but it wasn’t too long when I started noticing what that statement meant. This country is not only rich in delicious curries, but also rich in diversity. You can find Koreans, Indians, Malaysians, Chinese, Americans, Europeans… the list goes on and on. But why exactly do they come here? What is in Malaysia that makes people come here to visit or to live permanently?
Want a fun and relaxing day with your family but don’t want to spend too much? Head over to KL Park and take a dip in the clean public swimming pool! Yes, a public swimming pool in the heart of Kuala Lumpur – how awesome is that? I went there one time on a weekday and saw families having a nice picnic at the park while their children ran around the huge playground and swam in the pool. The weather was perfect and it was rather quiet considering the location.
Do you have some extra ringgit to spend for a fun and thrilling family day? Then go to Berjaya Times Square Indoor Theme Park! It’s an actual theme park inside one of the world’s largest shopping mall building, complete with exhilarating rides perfect for families. Wherever you go in Malaysia, there is always something that the whole family can enjoy.
Aside from their scrumptious Nasi Lemak, Malaysia’s selling point is their healthcare, and I experienced this firsthand. Medical tourism is booming in this country that I myself came here for the sole purpose of seeking the best healthcare – and wasn’t disappointed. This country offers world-class treatment with top of the line facilities and outstanding doctors. This is truly the place to be if you have a family, or planning to have one. Malaysia specializes in in vitro fertilization or IVF, a fertility treatment technique for couples who wish to have a baby and start a family. Here in Malaysia, they offer 72% success rate, which is not only the highest in Asia, but in the world.
My husband and I stayed in 3 different Airbnb listings in different states, before we finally found the perfect place for us. But there is one thing that the units have in common: amenities. Most of the homestays here in Malaysia include amenities perfect for families, that I even had a hard time looking for one that is just right for couples because most of the listings are catered towards families.
The condominiums here are equipped with amenities like swimming pools, playgrounds, table tennis rooms, squash courts, grill areas, gyms, rooftop gardens, and many more! Staycation is such a hit in Malaysia that we choose to stay in our unit on weekends and holidays because the condo is packed with people from all over the globe.
Living in a diverse country makes you appreciate other people’s culture and your own. It teaches you how to respect other people’s religion, tradition, and culture in general, and makes you understand how your culture is no better than the others – a great place to raise kids who will do the same. There is indeed unity in diversity, and here in Malaysia you can really see it. It still amazes me how everyone can live peacefully and in harmony despite their cultural differences. Maybe it’s because at the end of the day we’re not so different from each other at all.
We may not eat the same food, we may not worship the same God, we may not speak the same language, but there is one thing that unites us all – love. Maybe, just maybe, that’s what makes this country a melting pot.
After seeing that mother at the supermarket with her child, I realized that this country is just like home, because it is home, and when you are home, you feel loved. And one way or another, scaring your child that a guard will take her is a symbol of love wherever you are.