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MALAYSIA: AIDILFITRI – A TIME FOR FOREIGN WORKERS TO SHOP, HANG OUT AND MESS UP

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia The city comes to a standstill during the Aidilfitri season each year when KL-ites of different ethnicities and faiths leave for their respective hometowns.

As has been the case for the past few years, the busy streets and roads that were used to seeing bumper-to-bumper crawls, have been seeing road users ‘cruising’ in their vehicles in relaxed mode.

A Bernama survey of the vicinity of Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman (TAR) revealed that most shops and restaurants were closed, leaving only the Ramadan bazaar open.

The quiet streets and lanes had given foreign workers in the Klang Valley – who rarely have a long break – the perfect opportunity to shop at the open-air bazaar and hang out with friends and co-workers.

Some were even thinking of using the break to shop before returning to their countries of origin.

Among them was Mohd Delwar Hussai from Bangladesh who came with his colleagues to buy items for his family and relatives.

I come to the Jalan TAR area as it is a good place to shop. While many items are available back home, my relatives are happy to receive gifts from Malaysia, he said.

The 40-year-old cleaning services supervisor from Kajang said he was happy to work in Malaysia as it was a peaceful and safe country.

Bernama also spoke to foreign workers in the areas surrounding the Pasar Seni, Puduraya and the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC). Many of them were from Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Myanmar and Indonesia.

However, when they hang out in large numbers, they have little regard for their surroundings and their ugly side rears its head.

They tend to litter by leaving behind food wrappers, drink cartons, cans and bottles, says Majid Adain, 58, a local who works as a sweeper in Bukit Bintang.

They tend to chew betel leaves and then spit it out, leaving unsightly red and brown stains on the ground, he said.

Shamsudin Nordin, 50, a Kuala Lumpur native shared similar sentiments.

His Indonesian wife was keen to see Dataran Merdeka and the surrounding buildings but the area was swamped by foreigners.

Since they were in large groups, it created some discomfort as we’ve heard about the social problems they have caused. I was concerned about our safety as well as that of other visitors, he said.

An Indonesian who only wanted to be known as Yudi, said he was disappointed with the indiscriminate disposal of garbage and the filth in areas that were frequented by tourists and foreigners.

He was aghast over the lack of hygiene in such areas, and hoped the public would do its part in maintaining the cleanliness and image of the country.

Source: NAM News Network

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