I’ve been in Kuala Lumpur for two weeks now. From everything I was told, it was supposed to take about three or four days. I’ve been all over Asia, and don’t know why I got my hopes up. Ask one question to fifty people and get fifty different answers. It’s been slightly maddening at times. My crate arrived two weeks ago, and then took a week to get unloaded and go through port inspection. A week ago I went to Port Klang expecting to have my bike, and at the worst, the following day. I was handed off from my Australian forwarder (AGS) to another (Alliance). I asked questions along the way and was assured I would just pay some fees and get the bike out of the port. That was far from true. Kelly, the person I communicated with, and still am, at Alliance gave me a guys number (Zilin) to call when I got to the port, and he was supposed to hand off all the paperwork (Carnet and port forms), and I would pay him a little money for the handling of the crate. She made it clear multiple times that his job was only to get me the papers and all of the customs stuff was my job. I met him and he just took over. His english wasn’t very good and it was hard to understand exactly what was going on.
He took me to customs and insisted he go in and deal with it, and then came out giving me the news that I could have been told a long time ago. To clear customs I have to pay for a road tax card, and to get this I need Malaysian insurance. Not knowing what to do, I asked where to get this and he started making calls. Found out I needed to go to the AAM (Malaysian automobile club) to get insurance and road tax card. The communication was crap, and at any time he could have told me it wasn’t his job. Despite how things went, he really was nice guy that tried to help me.
He then drove me to AAM’s office a half hour away. We were there for four hours until they closed. They said I had been approved, but then kept us waiting and waiting and waiting, until their story was that the system had crashed. At that point I had to catch the train back to Kuala Lumpur, and they told me it would be sorted in the morning. I got back to an email from Kelly telling me that Zilins job wasn’t to be helping me with this stuff, and if I wanted it I could pay for someone. Talk about a what the hell moment. She said I had asked him for help. All I asked was how to get to customs and he took over from there not letting me have much input. So then for a couple days it was the most confusing game of trying to understand who to believe. I had Kelly telling me that I needed to handle everything, ZIlin telling me to just wait for his text because he was on it, and Mrs. Woo from AAM assuring me insurance was almost ready. She kept referring to Zilin as my agent and working with him even though I explained multiple times that he didn’t work for me.
Then after feeling they were all incompetent, got ahold of a lady even higher up at the forwarding company, who gave me an entire new story. According to her, now you had to clear customs first then get the bike out to get a roadworthy inspection, which would then allow you to get insurance and a road tax card. The confusion is becoming overwhelming. It doesn’t help that every time I ask a question it takes them a day to message me back. So much time has been spent running around being sent to different people with the same answers. One day was spent being sent all around Kuala Lumpur with terrible information. It really feels like nobody knows anything here. First I talked over the phone with AXA insurance and they told me I could come into there office and they would be able to do it. I know they give insurance for motorcycles on trips like mine from reading on forums, but the lady insisted that I needed to fill out some forms and take them to the post office to get insurance. After filling them out nicely and finding a post office, I was told by them that they can only issue insurance to Malaysian registered vehicles. These ladies instructed me to go to JPJ, who would be able to do it. After some train rides and a long wait in a hot office, I was told that they only do road tax cards, not insurance. They were sure that I needed to go to one of the insurance agents in the building. Every single one of the agents said they couldn’t do foreign registered vehicles. I was promised that the post office could and went to find another one, only to be told by the boss that they couldn’t do it. So pretty much a roller coaster of getting a little excited that I had figured it out, only to be told it was completely false over and over again. This is all happening while I still have a few different stories coming from everyone else at Alliance. Feeling a bit defeated right now. It doesn’t help that Saturday and Sunday everything is closed, and I can’t get anything done. Everything happens for a reason. At least that helps me feel better. The quest for my motorcycle continues.