Foremost, forgive me. The title does not reflect the gravity of the situation nor the sadness I feel inside; it is something that just popped inside my head after reading - this time not a squatter colony - but a leprosy centre, one that has become an icon for Sungai Buloh, now being destroyed. It seems the news came out in NST. But since I only buy papers periodically, missed out on that and only found out at achmedrauff, kindly visit him for the whole story.
For those who have never been to the leper colony, allow me to update you:
The Sungai Buloh Leprosy Centre and Colony was founded more than a century ago to assist those who have contracted the disease. Sometime around the 1970's it was opened to the public as
1) The Medical Board there had ascertained the threat of the disease spreading had been eliminated, and
2) To allow remaining former patients who had nurtured and cultivated orchids and flower nurseries to mingle with the public and earn an income.
On my first visit to the colony, being the kaypochee that I am, I tried to strike conversation with some of the former patients. They were friendly but still kept their distance. That was in the early 1980's. Now, after numerous visits at the insistence of emak who love flowers, orchids and what not, I have managed to make friends with several, and we even talk about how they contracted the disease. Sadly, several of the familiar faces are no longer around.
The question I ask you is this: Have we, Malaysia, run out of space - land - that we now evict Malaysians - squatters and leper colony alike - to make way for development? Who's development then will it be for? And if so we are running out of space, why the bloody **** are we selling land to Singapore?
No matter how you view or make of Sungai Buloh, it is what it is today partly due to the leper colony. Taking it away is like taking part of your identity out of you.