Once a Third World Country Always a Third World Country

I just experienced a prime example of why Malaysia still is a third world country and will be for the foreseeable future.

Malaysia got a few companies manufacturing motorcycles.  One of these are called “Syarikat Motosikal dan Enjin Nasional Sdn. Bhd.”, a.k.a. Modenas.  Modenas in turn is owned by DRB-HICOM, which is the largest conglomerate in Malaysia with an annual revenue of over RM 6 billion.

Now, one of the bikes Modenas produce is a license build Kawasaki Eliminator, called the Modenas Jaguh.  I have considered getting one of these but most of the ones for sale on the second hand market are quite worn down, so I considered buying a new one.  According to Modenas’ web-site:

RM 6000 is really not too bad.  Especially considering most of the second hand ones goes for around RM 2500 and are 12-14 years old.

Unfortunately calling the local resellers didn’t prove very productive, so I went back to the web-site:

So I decided to give their sales and marketing office a call.  This was on a normal Tuesday at around 2.30pm.  I think I called 2 or 3 times and nobody bothered to pick up the phone – nothing – nada.

Then I decided to give the factory a call and got through to some receptionist that actually proved quite helpful.  She gave me a mobile number for “someone in sales”.    So I called that mobile number a few times and again – nobody picked up.

By this time I had already started browsing Kawasaki, Suzuki and Honda’s web-sites, but after half an hour – much to my surprise – I actually received a return-call from the mobile number I had called earlier.  Unfortunately all he could tell me was that Modenas stopped making the Jaguh years ago.

So – a conglomerate with an annual revenue of more than 6 billion Ringgit, owning a motorcycle manufacturer that have apparently produced in excess of one million bikes (2008 figure) –

  1. Can’t afford – or couldn’t be bothered – to update their web-site
  2. Can’t afford – or just can’t be bothered – to pick up the phone – IN THEIR SALES OFFICE!

As a result I probably wasted almost an hour chasing something that doesn’t exist. Ok – I just called local, but say I was located in Europe and wanted to import motorcycles – my next call would be to China – not Malaysia and most certainly not Modenas.

It is incredible that someone can be that uninterested in making themselves convenient for their customers.

Not only is this third world mentality incredible rude towards potential customers, it is also plainly illegal in Malaysia.  The Malaysian Consumer Protection Act 1999 clearly states:

Considering Modenas no longer produce the Jaguh, I think it’s clear that they “do not intend to offer for supply”.  I think I’ll consider filing a complaint.