Kuala Lumpur Travel Guide

Health & Safety

Crime is not rampant in Kuala Lumpur. The perception of crime is high, but in recent years the Malaysian police have managed to reduce crime significantly in and around urban Kuala Lumpur. Reports of violent crime against foreigners are uncommon but instances of pick pocketing and bag snatching have risen in recent years.

Kuala Lumpur is generally very safe for travellers (it is locals who are often the targets of crime), but be wary of over-friendly locals trying to con you. Police presence, particularly around tourist areas and at night has increased in recent years.

Walking in the city is usually fine but, as anywhere, caution must be exercised, especially if alone. Indeed, your greatest danger whilst walking will be sidewalks that end abruptly in massive holes, or impassable 6 lane roads that you must cross. Snatch thieves can be rather ruthless: women have been knocked unconscious by bag snatchers on motorbikes. If this happens to you, let go of the bag rather than be dragged several metres and risk injury. Hold your bag away from the street side and try not to appear flashy if possible. Be wary in alleyways or parking grounds that appear dark and deserted, as petty thieves with knives or firearms might mug you.

During the rains, pavements and streets become small rivers and crossing a street can be an adventure. Pavements become as slippery as ice so wear proper footwear.

Be careful of a poker scam that involves friendly locals. They normally target lone tourists in popular tourist places. It starts with a friendly approach and an invitation to their home to chat and learn about your country. Then comes poker, accumulated losses and the loss of your cash and jewellery. Such scams can also happen through couchsurfing.

The bogus cop scam is usually run by Middle-Easterners. You will be stopped by "plain-clothed police officers" on the pretext of checking your travel documents. You will be brought to a secluded area in the process and made to handover your wallet. Should you be stopped, you have the right to insist that you be taken to the nearest police station before saying/showing anything.

Malaysian law requires that visitors carry their passport at all times, and both police and "RELA" (civil volunteers) carry out spot checks for illegal immigrants.


source: Wikivoyage

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