Having spent the last 8 years living abroad with annual visits back to Malaysia, I’ve become acutely aware of the deterioration that has been taking place.
Here’s a typical example of why Malaysia is not a world class country: I needed to renew a car insurance and visited the insurer’s office. There were 5 staff members behind the customer service counter but only 1 of them was actually working. 1 customer was being served and 2 other customers (myself included) were waiting to be seen. Even then, we had to wait 45 minutes to be attended to. To make the situation more infuriating, the only working staff who attended to me needed to get approval from another department in order to proceed further and she rang at least 8 staff from that department and none of them answered the phone. So after an hour at this place, I was no closer to getting things sorted out!
Disappointed, I moved to a rival insurer and this time found only 1 staff working and about 15 customers waiting. There was a queue number system, which didn’t work in practise because people just pushed their way to the only staff working. My patience was running low, especially after the last place and so after (a further) 45 mins of chaotic service with people jumping queues, I kicked up a fuss and that was enough to get attended to. This time I was able to leave with the insurance renewed. Success at last!
As Malaysians we’ve come to expect this level of service from government agencies, not commercial enterprises. These insurers are public listed corporations that are supposed to be for profit. How they hope to gain any customers with such terrible customer service is beyond my comprehension.
I sincerely hope that Malaysia will be able to reverse this malaise before it becomes so ingrained in our culture that it becomes our identity.