Back from Singapore/ Malaysia

Arrived home yesterday, after an overnight flight from Singapore.
Most of the time is spend in the town of Kulai, in the Johor state of Malaysia. It is a pleasant growing town, which is less than one hour drive to Singapore. It has everything that make lives enjoyable – golf course, driving range, badminton courts, nice restaurants and food courts. The locals enjoy going to a food court that provides live singings. I am glad that my Mandarin level has improved somewhat. I felt that I could converse at ease in Mandarin with the local Chinese. It seems Mandarin is most widely spoken here. Even the kids are learning Mandarin as first language.
Visited KL too with friend. The traffic congestion was not as bad as I though. Went to Puchong area, and there are lots of new houses and shops there. The restaurants and entertainment outlet there are really good. In KL, Cantonese is still more widely spoken, though Mandarin is making headways too.
Why is Mandarin being more widely used by Malaysian Chinese. There are a number of reasons. One is that most of the kids go to Chinese language primary schools, where lessons are taught in Mandarin. Secondly, people are becoming more mobile and settle down in areas with good growth potential such as KL and south Johor. Many have problems conversing in Cantonese (in KL) or Hokkien (in Johor), and thus use Mandarin, which is widely understood.
In Singapore, the gigantic casino project in Marina area is slowing taking shape and will be ready soon. Another observation is that there are alot more China workers nowadays. Infact, they are running many of the coffeee shops,on behalf of the ‘lazy’ Singaporean owner.

About kchew

an occasional culturalist
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