ew Zealander Selby showing a print he bought in China 15 years ago that now adorns his home in Kuala Lumpur.
The changes taking place in Malaysia fascinates New Zealander Craig J Selby, who has lived here for nine years.
“The places near where I live have become a lot busier, the food and beverage scene has become so vibrant, the range of options has become wider and more international,” said the managing director of a branding consultancy and public relations firm.
The 40-year-old from Auckland loves to loves to “eat, drink and shop,” He writes for magazines about food, business and branding.
“I’ve always lived within 2km from Mid Valley and it is impressive how the area has developed, an entire community has sprung up.
“On the other hand, the people are increasingly aware of the environment, such as the heritage preservation efforts in Penang,” he said.
Also an academic, Selby’s research interests include globalisation and education.
He is an avid collector and has been collecting art for 20 years. The vibrant art scene here has certainly kept him excited.
His residence in Old Klang Road is adorned with colourful paintings sourced from different places.
“I will buy anything that catches my eye, with no particular preference for a certain style or tone.
“I enjoy them, they cheer me up, and if I can make some money years later, that would be a bonus,” he said.
Selby is happy with the pace of life in Kuala Lumpur; it is the longest he has stayed in one place.
He confessed that he tended to have an itch to move house every two to three years.
“I enjoy my work here. I like my friends and clients, it is interesting that I have made more friends here than in New Zealand,” he said with a laugh.
Some adjustments were necessary when he first moved to Malaysia. The heat was his No.1 challenge, made worse when he had to use public transport during his initial years here.
The traffic was another thing he had to get used to.
Selby feels at ease here as English is widely-spoken, a stark contrast to his 15 years of living in China where language was a barrier even though he loved the culture.
Similarly, the multi-ethnic Malaysian society, with its rather complicated cultural tapestry, fascinates him.
“It is basically a tri-culture society in the peninsula but New Zealand has more. I grew up amid different cultures so I can easily adjust to that,” he said.
Green belts in the city and the richness of nature, which is just a short drive away, continue to intrigue him.
“You have large cities here but you can still see and feel nature, this is something Malaysians should be proud of,” he points out.