A couple of weeks ago, a few members of the Malays Married To Expats Group decided to meet up at Mont Kiara. Venue? Where else but at the Starbucks….unfortunately, a few of us were still away for the long Chinese New Year holidays and so only three couples arrived for the coffee.
George, moi, Alia, Richard, Andy and Azura
Discussions evolve around the differences of culture, food, religious support and all that. Sometimes there were stories about how the Malay spouses were treated unfairly at some establishments. Some of these retailers ought to teach their sales staff on how to treat mixed couples and not assume that just simply because we have a Mat Saleh walking next to us, doesnt mean that we want to buy that RM20,000 diamond ring, or that RM30,00 lounge chair.
Or how about this. One member of the group was thought to be a maid trailing with the “Mister”‘s sons not realizing that she was the Lady of the House. One spouse was ignored while the husband was swarmed by a team of sales staff trying to sell a massage chair.
I had personally received these kind of treatment before too. George was swarmed with some service staff at a restaurant while conveniently ignoring me. Had the same thing while entering a fancy boutique.
Assumption is the mother of all fuck-ups.
We are not sure how many Malays are there married to expats in Malaysia but we found out that there are quite a number. The group is still small and in its infancy. It was created as a support group to share information, network and ask questions about any aspect of life as a mixed couple.