Pearl of the Orient
In general, crime in Penang is not a significant problem, although it is on the increase. Credit card fraud and ATM crime is a growing problem, so use cards with great care. Be very careful when paying by credit card and when using ATMs. There have been numerous instances of ‘skimming’ devices added to ATMs.
It’s a good idea to avoid street demonstrations in Malaysia. Theft sometimes occurs in guest house dormitories. This can involve an outsider sneaking in or perhaps fellow travellers rifling through other visitor’s possessions. Don’t leave important documents or valuables unlocked – you might want to bring a small padlock. Drug-dealing does go on, despite Malaysia’s notoriously harsh anti-drug laws. Don’t get involved with any kind of drugs: possessing even a tiny quantity can lead to imprisonment or even the death penalty. Tourists have been mugged in Love Lane in the backpacker district, so it’s best not to hang around in the area after dark.