Monday, June 04, 2007
Muzium Negara - Incompetency in all areas!
Yesterday, after having lunch at one of the traditional kampong Malay food stalls in Hulu Langat, me and my missus decided to visit our National Museum.
The last time I went to Muzium Negara was way back in 2001 when I first arrived in KL to settle down permanently here from my home island State of Penang after my divorce.
The museum back then was worth visiting and I enjoyed my tour of the place with all it's various artifacts and ancient collections making it all worth my visit.
Yesterday, all my memories of the place evaporated into a deep set feeling of disgust and dismay to see the museum short change it's visitors with only a floor of lousy displays and incompetent dour faced security staff minus all the pomp and pageantry they usually hype about Malaysia Truly Asia and all the bullshit you see flashed on our national TV!
I was so ashamed of my national museum now turned into a showcase of how screwed up this national heritage center has now become! Really nothing to be proud of and something that could seriously bring our national pretentious aspirations come crashing down into the sewers for the gross incompetence being allowed to run riot there!
First and foremost, you are charged RM2 for the parking under the hot blazing sun. No worries. We have paid more for our parking here in money, money, money city.
We then walked in to the Pameran Melayu. You have to sign your name , state where you are from, number of persons with you and initial it. The register is on an ordinary foolscap book you can buy from any bookshop.
Imagine the 'cokia' impression it gives out that 'hello' for a nation that is so bloody obsessed with achieving the highest this, the largest that, the bullshit this one, bullshit that one, it can really be damn proud of it's most cokia' guest register these part of Asia!
Then, there's the mediocre if not damn lousy display of some descriptions of the various Malay ethnicities and their origins from South East Asia.
Didn't see any 'Melayu Penang' <> Mamak Penang's being depicted despite the major achievements the ethnic group have in passing off themselves as pseudo Malays and squeezing in to even ministerial positions in the current and former Malaysian Cabinet.
Sensitive some might say. To heck with it. Anyway, the Pameran Melayu was just a half hearted attempt in trying to pass off as something to be proud of the Malay past. Boring...nothing to crow about , really.
Next, we went to the Pameran Orang Asli. Same procedure there. Write in your name, country of origin, number of pax, initial.
Usual run of the mill, Orang Asli wood carvings, video showing Orang Asli woman giving birth in the jungle with her husband assisting, some blowpipes, mengkuang weavings, a few native musical instruments, a couple of mannequins dressed in tree bark clothings, and voila..that's about it.
Next, we ventured forth into the main building. Entrance fee of RM2 for adults, children enter for free.
Nothing much to see. The Museum is undergoing renovations and the public are limited to just browse a floor of the major Malaysian ethnic displays. Major letdown!
They shortchanged the public with such lousy displays and never bothered to put up a display stating that the museum is undergoing renovations and that the usual displays aren't viewable at the moment!
Why the hell can't the museum authorities notify the public about the situation or just waive away the entrance fees as there's nothing much to see at the moment?
Another major issue I have with them is the placement of unsmiling , unfriendly, sour faced idiots at the entry points!
Imagine what a tourist feels coming to face such discourteous morons at Malaysia's National Museum?
I am sure that they will spread the word that Malaysia is just a pretentious , full of hype, conniving place full of dour faced imbeciles not worth all the pay rises that they are going to get soon!
Talk about heartaches. I had a major one yesterday seeing all those idiots manning the entrance counters of the place with one cross eyed Malay female security personnel at the Agong's Exhibition taking the major prize for being the sourest looking moron to man a public museum entrance counter!
She will win, hands down for her demeanor. None can challenge that cross eyed dumb and getting dumber by each passing second look! :P
The only exhibits that sort of soothed my heart was the Maritime Archeology displays. Even then, more could have been done to improve the exhibition to be more pro active.
They could have someone brief the visitors about the exhibits and how they came to be salvaged and discovered.
The guide could be dressed in the historical garbs of the period and explain how things took place and how the shipwrecks were discovered.
Imagination...that's all it takes to liven up things and to make the visit to the museum a memorable event that people can look forward to. Not pay money and go see cross eyed monsters! :P
The Gallery showing the life and pictorial record of the Yang Di Pertuan Agong was just alright. They could have had the Royal Nafiri troupe put on shows every other day to add some pomp and pageantry to the display. Can be arranged, right?
I pity all those folks who came from all parts of the country especially during these school holidays for being shortchanged by the museum and I will definitely not recommend you to go visit the place for the moment being.
Unless of course you love being not welcomed with a smile or just treasure being ignored by cross eyed sour faced security staff during your visit! :D
Another major let down was a 'Flea Market' thingy set up just outside the main building where very loud hip hop music was being blasted to the visitors frequenting the place!
Wah!!! Talk about wrong music at the wrong place!!! The surau was just a couple of meters away from the mostly 'made in Thailand' stuff being touted for sale there and there was this loud hip hop thingy being allowed to be blasted there spoiling the whole concept of a Malaysian major tourist 'attraction'!
That was a major tourist distraction, if you ask me? What the heck are the authorities doing at the museum?
Can't they see to it that traditional Malaysian culture and music be played at the place?
Can't they employ all those retired Malaysians to do their part for the nation and act as guides for the various exhibits, equip them with portable mini loudspeakers and those microphones such as the ones you see singers use during the concerts, dress them up with our traditional Baju Melayu's, Chinese Mandarin outfits or with the Indian Kurta's etcetera ?
Make use of our nation's golden age citizens. They deserve to be there at the museum and share their experiences with our people and the many tourists visiting from all over the world.
Next, we could have the traditional cultural troupes and music ensembles be engaged to play live traditional music to the visitors at a special stage or arena that could be easily set up there in the halls or suitable places there at the museum.
This will in turn keep alive our traditions and also carry on our nation's rich historical past. Those traditional troupes could be rotated on a daily basis and each ethnic group be given a chance to show their repertoire to the public accordingly.
The government is rich enough to spend millions on fireworks and stuff on special occasions every now and then. Such money could be better spent by paying the various traditional music and cultural groups of our nation, spreading the wealth fairly and keeping alive our national musical heritage.
Dondang Sayang groups from Penang and Melaka could be engaged to entertain the visitors to the museum and also continue their rich traditions for the people now and years to come.
Students from various secondary and primary schools could be allowed to present their renditions and speeches about the nation's history at the museum's grounds. Imagine how this will in turn enrich and empower our nation's future generations to remember our history better and in the appropriate surroundings.
There is just so many things that the museum authorities can do for the upkeeping of our nation's history IF only they are WILLING to affect change and preserve our nation's treasures and heritage in the manner which they deserve.
As it is, the museum is a joke right now and I do not wish to upset myself any longer crying about it's incompetent state. If the authorities have any moral sense of responsibility left in them, they should buck up or privatize the place.
I am sure people won't mind paying even RM5 to enter and have all those things presented to them. Anyway, the government can afford it!
I as a citizen can only give so much ideas. The rest is up to them. Peace out!