When mentioned about how much more fun it is to live in Malaysia, my Singaporean friend immediately responded :
"It's more dangerous in Malaysia-leh and politically it is so unstable now-leh, can easily get killed on the road or on the streets-leh! "
"But I have no problem staying there throughout my life!"
"You might just have been lucky! Look at all those media reports in the newspapers and TV, you must be joking to say its safe there! and to drive on PLUS highway is never safe......and ....."
As a seasoned traveler, (although most of the time for business) I am well aware that every country has crime and their social problems. Yes, each and every one of them, the Brits have too many drunk people on the streets; the Americans can virtually buy a gun from their supermarket and start shooting people at will; the Japanese commit suicide as often as we eat ice cream; and murder/rape/traffic accidents DO happen in Singapore!
The only major difference is, what kind of perception does the people have on their own country and on other countries. Top that up with the microscopic coverage of the media, be it CNN, BBC or Channel News Asia, a small incident that does not affect anyone could sound like a disaster for that country. However, when the country is peaceful and doing well, it will not be reported, as the news will not sell, true?
Luckily, Malaysia is not the only victim, and it's not the worse victim.
One of the worse victim, due to the irresponsible bias media coverage is Pakistan.
Being assigned there for a week for business, I managed to "interviewed" several working-class Pakistanis.
Local #1:"Why is it not safe? Do you see any sort of violence throughout your stay?"
Local #2:"Nothing, people are still busy with getting money to feed their family, and the political system does not directly affect the bureaucratic system over here. For example: the Prime Minister can change, but the Ministry of Education still runs, the Ministry of Finance still does it work, the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority still ensure the development mobile phone networks."
"What do you think about your President?"
Local #3:" There's a President and the Prime Minister. The president is not holding any actual power, he's the one who is always in the media spotlight, but he does not do anything. In contrast, the Prime Minister holds actual governmental power, and he keeps the country running."