Sunday, November 18, 2012


Jalan Tun H.S. Lee in downtown KL is swarmed with foreigners on Sundays

If you haven't been in downtown Kuala Lumpur in quite a while, you will be surprised to find the old KL that we used to know no longer exists. Sure, most of the buildings are still there, but the inner city has lost much of its Malaysian identity.

Take a trip to the Kota Raya-Bangkok Bank area on Sunday, you will feel as if you are in Nepal or Myanmar as these pictures below show.

Businesses here cater mostly to the Myanmarese and Nepalese. There is a sizable population of Bangladeshis and Pakistanis too. The Indonesians are still the prevalent ethnic group in the Chow Kit area while the Filipinos hang out in the shopping malls in KLCC and in PJ.
Browsing their national papers in a retail outlet. DVDs, CDs and magazines are available
in several lingua franca.
A well-stocked mini-market. Enterprising shopkeepers supply foreign workers here
with almost anything they need from their homeland. 
Fresh produce for homecooked meals
Anyone for cow's head soup?
Don't be fooled by the display photos. This studio is patronized mainly by foreigners applying for work permits, passports, visas and who knows, MyKad as well?
The ladies are not forgotten. 
Banners are everywhere advertising all kinds of
services on the upper floors. This one is for air fares.
One of the few banners in English. I was told
this restaurant is popular with the Nepalese. 
Not sure if this ad is for funeral services or a football match!
For the younger workers - a hip-hop concert! 
Across the road from Kota Raya lies Chinatown. The stalls there are run by foreigners. It's a
matter of time before nearby Central Market is also taken over by non-Malaysians. Not too
far away is Bukit Bintang which is rapidly transforming into a Middle Eastern hot spot. 

Whether this foreign influx has a positive or negative spillover is debatable. But one thing is for certain, it won't be long before downtown KL becomes unrecognizable to local citizens.


Pak Idrus said...

This is nothing new. It happened in every major cities of the world. Soon that part of our city would be another world to us.

BTW recently I went to Low Yatt Plaza with my grandson and was shock to see most of the stores employ Bangla. Well nothing we could do about it.

Take care.

seniorsaloud said...

Employing foreign workers is fine, but they should at least be able to speak either Malay or English. Some of the hotels and restaurants have staff that can't understand both languages. It's much worse at retail shops when the sales staff don't know what the customer wants.

Pak Idrus said...

Lily, when the Chinese first open their shops in Malaya in the late nineteen century and early twentieth century they too could not speak a work of Malay or English and still they could do business. Eventually they learn communicative Malay and later English. The same would happen to these new Immigrants. BTW do you know that most of the stall at the Datuk Keramat wet market is now run by Indonesians?

Shaun Kwong said...

Try going to a barber whom just arrived from India. All he can manage is 'nai'.

Anonymous said...

What to do.their own country politicians are swindling they find Malaysia a haven for for any type of job .good pay.people are nicer.soon they will take over Malaysia from they were taught by their leaders .hahahaha