…BECAUSE THE OWNERS OF HOUSES IN THEM TAKE THE LAWS IN THEIR OWN HANDS, TURNING THEIR OWN INDIVIDUAL HOUSES INTO THEIR OWN IMAGINARY REPUBLICS.
By Mansor Puteh
Who in Malaysia who has not stolen land in front of their house and claim it to be theirs?
Malaysians are generally ‘thieves’ who are not convicted; they who steal public land in front of their houses and other properties they own.
They do not feel guilty for being thieves this way. Some even block public land such as the sidewalks which are for the public, to use as their own private spaces or gardens.
Some also use public spaces to erect food stalls and when the authorities come to take action, they disappear but only for a while before returning to resume their illegal trading.
And because the relevant authorities do not have long-term solutions to the daily problems faced by the public, similar issues appear every now and then, with the authorities taking action sparingly and occasionally.
They don’t even know how to stop such a menace.
Only those who have contributed to criminal activities are punished, while those who are engaged in petty delinquencies are let off scot-free, unless if the media highlight their errors.
So no wonder, most of the residential areas are unkempt and disorganized, with the quality of life in them deplorable.
Firing of crackers and fireworks are done whenever anyone pleases. The police do not care.
Garbage is strewn everywhere and drains clogged. Street lights are also disrupted with the affected areas left in the dark.
No wonder there is no unity in the scenery with everybody not contributing to the general well-being of the areas they live in; each and everyone of them only know how to contribute to the disruption of normalcy to it, so that their areas look untidy no matter how they think they are cleaning up their own houses and decorating and redecorating them all the time.
It all boils down to unqualified persons who are given posts and duties which do not commensurate with their academic qualification, professionalism and responsibility.
And as for the Muslims, they only can blame on their poor understanding of Islam which has caused them to become what they are today, Muslims who do not behave like Muslims.
Malaysian residential areas often have distinct features, with trees of a certain type grown by the developers, but they are all lost to their residents not adhering to accepted laws and regulations, as they are hardly ever imposed.
Unfortunately, the owners of the houses thought otherwise, and chop them to plan fruit trees of flowers of their own choice which they never tend to properly.
Worse, they thought the lands in front of their houses to be theirs too, so they construct concrete barriers which in effect stop the land from being used as diversions for vehicles if they have the need to avoid knocking into incoming vehicles.
As a result of that, residential areas in Malaysia have lost their unique look, with the owners of the houses in them, creating their own designs.
And what I find to be most pathetic is the way the houses are redesign again and again, and each time, it causes a lot of inconvenience to the neighbors who have to bear with the construction materials that are strewn and lorries parked near them for an extended periods of time.
Malaysian by-laws must be redefined so that they are risen to a higher level so that house owners are not allowed to do whatever they like on lands which are in front of their houses, which are meant to be walkways or for the gardening of the whole area.
In England and also Singapore, house owners are not allowed by law to redesign their houses, so that the whole areas have their own original look.
It is also an ingenious way to encourage, without the house-owners and members of public realizing, to save money, which they would otherwise, use to renovate and redesign their houses.
Putrajaya has started this trend, and the houses in the residential areas look nice, especially if they are terrace ones, so that they can retain their look for a long time.
Better still, there are no fences surrounding these houses which make the houses stand even more.
No wonder, owners of houses in the other areas have to constantly renovate and redesign their houses because they are in direct competition with their neighbors who had done so.
So it is not a surprise to see how some low-cost terrace houses have been renovated extensively that they now resemble double-story houses which do not look like they belong there.
Therefore, it is good sometimes for the members of parliament to deliberate on such issues instead of hogging onto the others where they need not have to get the complete facts or to conduct any study and they can just use emotions to spout diatribes in the Dewan Rakyat.
The problem being these members of parliament often live in areas which are secluded, so their views are blinkered from what is happening around them.
And to make matters even worse, there is open burning, which is done by the owners of the houses themselves, or by their Indonesian maids who do that because they think it is okay to do so, when it is not.
It is pathetic and sad that they do not know that they can be fined up to RM5,000 for open burning, yet, many do not seem to care about it.
There is also no point in lodging complaints with the authorities, as they take days to act on them, during which time the burning has long stopped.