COMMERCIAL districts in Kuala Lumpur were crowded with locals, tourists and foreign workers during the Hari Raya holidays.
Most foreigners used the LRT to get to the city centre and many were seen getting off at the Pasar Seni and KLCC stations.
The KLCC Park was the preferred place for many nationals from Indonesia, Nepal, Myanmar and Bangladesh as they were spotted taking pictures of the iconic Petronas Twin Towers and the KLCC lake’s symphony fountain.
They sat under the cool shade of the trees and took the opportunity to catch up with one another.
Some were dressed in their Hari Raya best while others opted to be comfortable in casual clothes.
Lili Kurnia Mohd Rashid, 23, from Jawa Tengah, Indonesia, was clad in a blue baju kurung and purple headscarf.
She took advantage of the public holidays to do some sightseeing with friends from Sabah and Sarawak who also could not return home for the festivities.
“Many of my friends could not get an extended break so we decided to spend the holidays together,” she said.
She and her husband had a fast food meal on the first day of Hari Raya before parting ways to spend time with their respective friends at Suria KLCC.
“We will meet again for dinner and enjoy some kuih-muih,” said Lili who has been living in Malaysia for six years and returns to Indonesia twice a year.
She plans to have an open house on the third day of Hari Raya, just like she would back home.
Bangladeshi worker Mohammad Shamin Israfil and his friends travelled from Ara Damansara and other parts of the city to spend time at the KLCC Park.
“We only have one day off for Hari Raya so we decided to meet at KLCC as there is a lot to see and do here.
“We took a train, bus and taxi to get here,” he said.
Spotted taking a selfie with his four-year-old niece was hypermarket cashier Hanafi Nawari, an Indonesian who stays in Gombak with his family.
“I have lived in Malaysia for 10 years but some of my family and friends have not seen KLCC before,” he said.
Saroj Thapa, 20, from Nepal, travelled to Kuala Lumpur from Pahang where he has been working for a year.
Saroj, his brother Yam and colleagues Manju Rai and Uttan Rawat, took the bus from Kuantan.
“It took us about four hours to get here,” he said, adding that they planned to spend a night in the city before taking the bus back.
In Medan Pasar, Kuala Lumpur, Rehana Julfikar, 35, was walking around with Aklima Ajgobali, 26. Both women were garbed in their bright traditionalwear and accompanied by their husbands. They work in a factory in Port Klang.
Rehana is making the best of her Hari Raya celebrations even though she misses her two children in Bangladesh.
“I have not seen my son and daughter for six years as my husband and I are earning a living here,” said the factory worker.
Rehana said they were on their way to meet her brother at Suria KLCC and would later cook dinner to celebrate the day.
Myanmar national Roshid Ahmad, 52, took a bus from Seremban to Kuala Lumpur so he could celebrate the day with his friend who lives in Selayang.
He said it was his first time in the city centre since he arrived in Malaysia four years ago.
The father of three said he was sad he could not be with his wife and children back home.
“I cannot go home because of the civil conflict there so I have not seen my children and wife since I left and I do not know when I can see them again,” he said.
Jagat Zunadu Razoat, 21, was seen taking pictures with his other Nepalese friends at Medan Pasar.
“I took the opportunity to spend time with them here since it is a holiday,” he said.
Jalan Tun Tan Siew Sin and the streets surrounding it, known for various sundry shops and apparel catering to foreign nationals, were overflowing with people.
Pedestrians ruled the streets as people walked along the almost deserted roads, without a care for the odd vehicle or bus that passed by.
Amir Hossen, 28, travelled to Malaysia after completing his studies in Mirpur, Bangladesh, and has been living here for the past six years.
The tailor from Puchong spent Hari Raya by walking around the city with co-worker Mithu Morol, 23.
“We started our day with prayers at the mosque in Masjid Jamek.
“But all we plan to do is walk around the city, take selfies, then end the day by cooking a good dinner and meeting up with friends to celebrate,” he said.
Both were proudly dressed in spiffy new matching jubah suits they had made for Hari Raya.
With Dataran Merdeka as their meeting point, Radhakrishnan Adhikari, 30, from Nepal, met friends to find a gift for a co-worker who was heading back to their homeland.
“We plan to shop for luggage and some things from Malaysia for a friend to take home to Nepal,” said Radhakrishnan.
Strolling around the busy tourist-centric Petaling Street, Kathmandu native Razu Bhandari, 28, and other friends from Nepal spent a casual day shopping and sightseeing.
“I have been working at a factory in Klang for two years, so every time there is a holiday, my friends and I try to make a trip to different places in Kuala Lumpur,” said Razu.