The sign says "Welcome to Sarawak - A Place Like No Other".
I left Kuching when I was 14. I studied in Perth for 7 years and worked for a year after that. During that period of time, I had spent very little time in Kuching. I was complaining that Kuching has very little to offer. I think most people who have been to big cities like KL or Singapore would agree with me. Kuching is the biggest city in East Malaysia, yet it is does not have what other big cities have. That's why when Coffee Beans and Kenny Rogers opened in Kuching, everyone went crazy.
But how do we measure how much a city has to offer? Is it by the amount of franchised shopping and food outlets? Is it by the amount of highways or the number of *sniggers* toll booths?
Nicole and I were in Sarawak at 5:30pm drinking caramel latte from Coffee Bean. It took us 45 minutes to travel from there to Hui Sing Garden, when normally it would take no more than 15 minutes. Traffic congestion is hitting Kuching the way it hit KL.
People are getting irritated. Despite the city council spending taxpayers' money trying to improve roads with big visible monuments like the three flyovers, traffic is still an issue. Meanwhile, taxpayers' money were spent on building a nicely architectured South City Council building with nice manicured lawns near Lumba Kuda. Nowadays people are scared of being mugged, and I'm surprised the "decision makers" have not yet come under fire for failing to reduce the alarming crime rate.
Why do we have to treat politicans like royalty when half the time they treat us like shit? I really hope that Kuching can be different. I hope that it can really be a place like no other. Unfortunately, Kuching is slowly turning into another KL.