The start of my business trip to Brunei was not without its dramatic moment and it started right in the KLIA terminal. Clearly, it was not a good start considering an incident that happened at the airport.
A man had an epileptic seizure and fell on the hard cold floor. A pool of dark blood was dripping from his broken skull and was flooding the floor. 2 westerners stayed close to this man and kept a close watch whilst waiting for help to arrive. There was an information counter nearby but as expected, the staffs at the counter were not able to handle this emergency and were left with the task of paging for a doctor. One of the passengers who I believed was a doctor then came to his aid.
There was more help from the passengers than from the staff, which left me in disbelief and anger. Where is the readiness to expect the unexpected at an international airport?
My flight to Brunei was via Royal Brunei Airlines‘ nibble A320 Airbus. The flight was not full – there were plenty of empty seats to sleep on this 2 hours flight. Service was first class and the crew was kind and attentive.
It was too bad that the flight was short but I was kind of looking to reach the hotel as soon as possible for sleep. It was way past my bedtime and I was so sleepy. I heard that the hotel was not far from the airport, it should not take long.
It was almost 2 am in morning by the time I had settled down in my hotel room. Despite the odd-looking from the outside, the room was clean and spacious. Breakfast was provided but it was not on a buffet and the portion was small – kind of a bad start in the morning for a guy who takes a very heavy breakfast. Other than hand, the breakfast provided was healthier than the one I usually have in the morning.
It was all work on the next day but there were several first impressions of Brunei on my first day in the country and there are among others, is that Malaysia is not that prominent or influential to Bruneians. For one thing, Malaysia Ringgit is not listed in the exchange information on television despite the closeness of the 2 countries. I saw Najib prominently displayed on the front page at one of the newspapers in Brunei but that’s about it.
More influential and prominent to Brunei is Singapore and it is not a big surprise – both are small countries facing political and economic pressure from Malaysia.
To be continued in Part 2.