If before, our tiny neighbour down south bore the brunt of global ridicule for its bans on chewing gum and a thousand other banalities, we can now thump our chests in the confident knowledge that we have wrested the crown from Singapore for the title of ‘World’s Most Ridiculous Country’. The next step is to call in the noble officers from the Malaysian Book of Records to verify this claim. Then again, why shouldn’t it be certified, when numerous other records more absurd, like the longest lemang line, the biggest ang pau and the largest gathering of hoopla-hoopers have all been deemed worthy of inclusion into the great book of (misplaced) national pride?
There are perhaps only two achievements really deserving of mention; having what was once the world’s tallest buildings and laying claim to the highest rate of crime solvency, although we suspect the latter has got more to do with the sheer stupidity of local criminals rather than the efficiency of the Malaysian police squad. Setting aside the fact that the Twin Towers were designed by an American-Italian architect and built by Japanese and South Korean contractors, our Menara Berkembar really is a sight to behold, and its mere presence should suffice as a source of national pride. But Malaysians, being the petty people that we are, desperately require a record to somehow validate the Towers’ existence. When Taipei’s 101 Tower topped ours as the World’s Tallest Building, many of us were quick to point out that “ahh, we still retain the World’s Tallest Twin Towers”, which is really not that difficult considering the only other notable Twin Towers have been blown up by terrorists.
In the unlikely event that some pesky nation decides to build even taller twin towers, what happens next? “Ahh,” adds the record-crazy Malaysian, “but ours is the tallest towers in a Muslim-dominated country”. And what happens when one of those attention-seeking and overly ambitious Arab states (ie United Arab Emirates) finally completes the tallest building in the world? “Ahh, not to worry my friend, for our beloved Petronas Towers are still the World’s Tallest Buildings in an Elected Constitutional Federal Monarchy”. And considering we’re the only society which rotates its hereditary rulers every 5 years, it’s safe to assume that this record is virtually impossible to beat.