Living in Kuala Lumpur… the Bad


{All images by Dutch photographer Marjon Hoogervorst}

Have you read part 1 of my series Living in Kuala Lumpurthe Good yesterday it started with the Good and how we enjoyed living in Damansara Heights the last 4,5 years.

But oh boy did we make a mistake by moving to this gated community. It has been one disappointement after the other. After having all sorts of trouble with our new landlord, broken promises, we received a 'warm-welcome' letter from the management office telling us: Get rid off your dog 'or else'… wow that was a shocker especially when nobody had told us before pets were not allowed … would we have choosen this house with this information given uprfront… no of course not!… We as Dutchies take rules very seriously… so we started searching for a new home for this little fellow… 


It has caused me a couple of nights of no sleep and stress, how to explain to the kids that Poppy had to go and where should he go to? Luckily for me we have a wonderful, amazing and fantastic group of friends here in Malaysia and soon we were able to find a great new home for poppy with a family living in yes one of those bungalows :):)…


Ok, problem solved, let's move  forward, keep thinking positive and think of all the things we love so much here… FOOD, yes just like all the Malaysians we Love the local food … the way we talk about the weather in the Netherlands, Malaysians talk about food and we have started to join them in this nice ritual… before breakfast, you think lunch, before lunch you think snack and before snack you think diner …. and the die-hards will go for antoher two meals in the evening and night… :):)

Food_marjon Outside Kitchen



But the taste of malaysia soon became  bittersweet again after yet a CRAZY incident in our new gated community… my kids officially are 'Offenders' now. A management officer and a guard made pictures of our two boys and our nanny outside our front door while playing and told her my boys should play INSIDE our house! The thing that upset me most was the 'picture-taking' thing, that is a NO-GO for me! I, at all times will protect my kids from crazy people wanting to have pictures on their cell-phones from my beautiful looking boys without my permission! Luckily the management officer understood this too, so he deleted the pics.

Perhaps you wonder why in the first place did he come over and took pictures, well the idea behind it: Use it as evidence. Evidence to show  in a letter to all residents that placing cones outside your house (clearly we did this for safety reasons) is unacceptable conduct behaviour… just quoting the letter which they hang on note-boards in the common areas to let other residents know. Instead of the mobile phone pics they used a picture from the CCTV camera. So my boys and nanny are now evidence material in a copy to all the residents that did is not allowed. Yes they did make the faces black so you can't recognise them… but come on what are we doing here??

After many emails going back and forth the last week, protest bike rides on the street and meetings with other concerned parents about the so called unacceptable behaviour by our kids we now have reached an understanding that kids are allowed to play and bike outside. Funny he… that we moved to this community to be safe and free!

The thing that surprises me most is why not discuss this face-to-face, ask our nanny, where is the mother, can I talk to her and tell me can you please remove the cones and tell your kids to play inside… what kind of OVER-THE-TOP response is this AGAIN??? Just so you know both my husband and I were inside our house. It feels like the guards are there to protect the residents from each others behaviour  … instead of looking to the outside…

[removed image for privacy reasons]

You as an international reader probably wonder is this normal for Malaysia, my answer is NO not at all. These are just incidents with this community. Malaysians are in my opinion very friendly, they love children and they approach life in a very relaxed, easy-going way. Schools are fantastic here, a lot of choice with very good education. It is easy to make friends and you are in the heart of South-Asia, which is a beautiful part of the world and I'm happy to share this with you on Monday

Part 3 of my series Living in Kuala Lumpur… the Beautiful

… with many pictures from again Marjon Hoogervorst. We will take you on a tour to Chinatown, a great shop, flowers, and local shops.

Someone asked me yesterday in the first post where the beautiful curtains come from… I love them too, they were given to me by the grandmother of my brother-in-law. The colors and fabric are fantastic and I believe they are about 35 years old!! The illustration hanging on the wall was a present from Ana Ventura… you know my friend from Portugal.


ps. Marjon Hoogervorst visited me for one week here in Malaysia, and we have tons a bautiful images also from some great homes, if you are interetsed to see more, just shoot her an email.





Bloesem loves comments
  1. Lisette

    OMG what a horrible way to be treated!

    Having to give up a pet is heart-wrenching – I’m so sorry you’ve had to give Poppy up for adoption, but happy you found a caring home for him.

    Being Dutch myself I understand the whole rule-following thing, but heavens, the way the community has handled the situation is just beyond wrong! Will you be staying in your current home, or are you planning to move elsewhere?

    Looking forward to seeing more of Marjon Hoogervorst’s beautiful photos on Monday, and learning more about Malaysia…

    Have a great weekend!

    liefs, Lisette

  2. Mariana

    I just can’t imagine that this all has been happening to you?!
    And I’m sorry you have to give Poppy away.
    But it is nice too see that despite of ‘the Bad’ you see and (will) share with us ‘the Good’ and ‘the Beautiful’… Thanks!

  3. diana

    he bah – wat en gedoe zeg met zulke over-ijverige concierges/manegemnt/mede-bewoners. Hopelijk koelt het allemaal wat af in de toekomst.
    P.S.:De gordijnen zijn inderdaad fantastisch!

  4. Hanna

    Sounds horrible! I thought people move to gated communities to let their kids actually play on the street safely!
    But it’s good, that the food can make you happy. And there must be lot’s of nice folks, too.

  5. jasi

    it doesn’t look like a safe place for children to play anyway. why make trouble in your new community? sometimes people with children and pets forget to be considerate of those without. you know?

  6. Lucia

    it sounds terrible and it reminded me some bad incidents we had living as expats in Germany. Small, safe and quiet neighborhoods sound great but could become a nightmare. Maybe it is just one neighbor that doesn´t like your “behavior” but could make your live something far away from “free”. To live like inside a jail in the name of the “perfect neighborhood” is horrible. I hope you find support in the other people with children living there and you can make your life much more free.

  7. tehmina - interior desigh DIY

    What an interesting welcome note you received abput your dog! Perhaps the reason they have a no-dogs policy is because of their culture(I know dogs are considered unclean in certain societies). Besides that, I hope you enjoy Malaysia overall – the warm climate, bright ambience and delicious food!

  8. Chloe

    Hi Irene,

    I’m truly shock to hear your story. It’s really unacceptable the way the estate management handled the issue.. Focusing on the mundane details of residents instead of focusing on external security issues. They should really go for some professional retraining on their scope of work. This is beyond acceptable.

    I hope things will turn better for u and ur family. Hv a great weekend.

  9. Joanne

    Sorry to hear that you have beem mis-informed by your landlord. I was told that it’s in the Building/Condo Act in Malaysia that you cannot keep dogs.
    Also staying in a gated community, one has to abide to the Rules. Your landlord should be responsible enough to have given you a copy before you signed the lease. I can understand the management’s concern should everyone who has children, putting up cones in their driveway.
    Most high end condos and gated communities in Malaysia have Nepalese (they are the best and most reliable) guards. They are mostly mild mannered and never rude. Maybe it’s just a misunderstanding.
    Hope you will enjoy where you are living now. Perhaps working alongside with the management to find alternative ways for your kids, like we did, will be mutually satisfying. Management companies are there to help the residents and never to antagonize them. I hope they will not give you further problems.
    God Bless.

  10. fiona

    wait, so you have to get rid of your dog and your children are supposed to be caged inside the house?! Your landlord really ought to have discussed this stuff with you BEFORE taking your money. what an ass.

    and what a sucky bunch of people, seriously!

    chin up xx

  11. margo

    What’s to stop you from moving again, get rid of my dog NEVER.

  12. Catherine

    I lived in KL for awhile (in Mont Kiara) and I know some of the rules are a little crazy. Don’t miss the climate (I loathe the heat) but I sure do miss the food though!! Hope it all works out for you.

  13. Annie

    You just got rid of your dog?
    Like an unwanted piece of furniture – expendable and no longer convenient.
    This is a disturbing and sad example to set for your children and I really hope you never get another pet.

  14. Anazur

    You know, it might be worth looking out of KL, places like Setia Alam ( theres tenby international school), bukit jelutong, denai alam. there might not be many expats but our kids have the freedom to roam around, cycle, kite flying etc.

  15. Titia

    Ha, dus daar komen de gordijnen vandaan: grandmother of my brother-in-law. Zo zie je maar weer “wie wat bewaart die heeft wat!”

  16. Marie @etincellestudio

    So sorry to read all that Irene! I had no idea you were going through all this shit after moving into your new home. This is so bad, and very hard to understand why these people would start acting like this. I especially am angry that you were asked to get rid of you sweet little dog. It must have been so traumatizing!
    Hopefully it will get better with time and support of the other families in your community 🙂
    All the best!

  17. Rachel

    I think it’s pretty horrible that you gave your dog away. And yes, a terrible example to set for your children.

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