Monday, June 11, 2012

Dilarang Merokok (No Smoking?) in Genting Highlands

Made a short trip to Genting Highlands over the weekend and got rather irritated by the blatant ignorance of no smoking signs all around the area.

While I can put up with gamblers puffing away in the casinos, it was when the smokers were puffing away everywhere that really rackled my nerves. Be it the family oriented indoor and outdoor theme parks,  the video arcade vicinity and the crowded bus terminal, smokers were smoking right in front of the Dilarang Merokok aka No Smoking signs!

The karaoke at Genting First World Hotel is Studio K Family Karaoke but it is anything but family oriented. We wanted a karaoke session and waited for a room and when it was available, paid for a 2 hour session and was ushered in. Only then we realised it was a HUGE mistake! The previous patrons had turned the KTV room into a smoke chamber and when we complained to the 2 girls manning the counter, their approach was to bring in 2 cans of air fresheners to mask the cigarette smell! The ventilation fan in the room did not work and was not able to extract the dense smoke that had accumulated. Studio K Family Karaoke, please take down your Dilarang Merokok signs if you have no intention of enforcing it, the rooms have glass walls and it is not difficult to notice that your patrons had been smoking in your enclosed unventilated rooms that were supposedly smoke free. For non-smokers, please do make it a point to avoid Genting First World's Studio K Family Karaoke unless you are willing to be passive smokers and inhale 2nd hand smoke.

The theme parks and video arcade areas are obviously targetted to the children and youths and yet again, inconsiderate smokers were lighting up almost everywhere. The young keep getting exposed to cigarette smoke as they moved around from ride to ride. Again, there were the Dilarang Merokok aka No Smoking signs everywhere. Of course, the resort management were considerate enough to keep near these signs, some trashbins with sand pits for smokers to extinguish their cigarette butts when they were done, resulting in the extremely ironic situation of smokers puffing away right in front of the Dilarang Merokok signs.

Despite the proliferation of Dilarang Merokok signs, it is obvious that smoking is an accepted vice in Malaysia's sin destination. Smokers abound in the casinos puffing away at the jackpot machines, table games, in both smoking and non-smoking sections. Pregnant gamblers sat in the midst of all the smoke oblivious to the harm being caused to their unborn child. Rooms come with ash trays to help smokers keep the room clean. Not a single instance did I encountered whereby the security did anything to stop smokers from lighting up in the resort.

Genting Highlands may have tried to make it a family destination of choice but the Malaysian authorities have to buck up on enforcement of smoking bans. While the resort is a little old and run down, I still did enjoyed myself somewhat. It would have been much better for a non-smoker like me if I was able to breathe in the clear crisp misty white clouds floating around me instead of having to hide from the choking misty white cigarette fumes every once so often.

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