City of contrasts


We are in KL for a couple of days and yesterday I did my usual recce round one of the huge shopping centres for things we can’t get in Ipoh. While waiting for the shuttle back to the hotel, I was struck by the diversity of the people entering and leaving the main entrance. There were Malay women almost all wearing the hijab though some wear tight jeans and basketball shoes too, there were young Chinese women wearing the shortest of shorts (appropriate in this climate!), there were Muslim women from other countries veiled from head to toe in black, and there were the sleek women sweeping through the doors on their high heels, designer carrier bags swinging from their arms. In the midst of all this, was the cleaner whose job it is to mop the front steps. He is probably from Bangladesh or Nepal and earns less in a month than what one of those women disappearing into shiny Mercedes had just spent on one designer purchase. To cap it all off, a bright yellow Hummer vehicle swept onto the forecourt driven by an overweight, balding middle-aged man, displaying his mid-life crisis by driving a car completely unsuited to the frenetic KL traffic.

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