“Perhaps it’s time to return home”

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Subhadra Lingden. Nepalese owner of The Khukri Restaurant
Jalan Tun Tan Siew Sin, Kuala Lumpur 2016

Subhadra arrived in Malaysia in 2003, and opened her restaurant in 2006. Her daughter grew up in Kuala Lumpur and have just completed her A-levels at an international school.

In the past, all Nepalese had to come to Kuala Lumpur to transfer money home. It is now possible to do so in many cities throughout Malaysia. This has resulted in a reduced number of customers for her restaurant. GST has also impacted her business. Subhadra says that her restaurant has lost half its business.

Additionally, in the area around Masjid Jamek, there is a mini-migration and it is defined along nationalistic lines.

The Nepalese community who used to be centred around Jalan Tun Tan Siew Sin have now moved to the Medan Pasar area. Taking their place are Bangladeshis. As Subhadra explained, “My landlord tells me that the  Bangladeshis and Myanmarese can pay higher rental.”
She is at a crossroads now. With her daughter recently returning to Nepal, she is considering returning home too.

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Subhadra and her sister

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The Khukri Restaurant

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The Khukri Restaurant

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