Wednesday, October 14, 2009

O p E d: Cerita dari Padang - Apabila maut dah tiba....

O p E d: Cerita dari Padang - Apabila maut dah tiba....

The Housing Story - Suspicious Neighbourhood

Today is already the 26th day of Syawal.

More than 50 houses I've visited both in Singapore and Johore.
Beside doing my rounds celebrating 'Aidilfitri to reaffirm relationship, we touched on general conversations of the latest happenings.

While Singaporeans are wary of the economic downturn and how their lifestyle changed, Johoreans are more concern with safety of one's property or family members.
Why not?
Conversations strike will be narrowed to somebody's house, a neighbour's house or a relative's house has been burglared  .

People dare not leave their homes empty far too long.
Even when neighbours are around and in their houses, house-breakings are rampant.

Once, mid-afternoon, I was sitting at the verendah of a house in Kampung Melayu.
I saw a girl climbing up a neighbour's house through a window after removing a few of the glass panes.
A man was waiting outside, sitting on a motorbike.

I told my host what had just happened.
The host told me that the girl's mother usually locked the door in order not to let her children out and the window is the outlet for them to avoid the parents' suspicions.

Only later at night that I knew the said house was wipe-clean of all valuables by the couple I saw when the owners were at work and their children were attending school.

Yes, I saw the incident.
But did I know it was burglary?
Not at all.
After the above explanation of the said house neighbour, should I still be suspicious?

After all, I did not know the house-owner nor ever seeing their children.

If only my host would practice to be a more concerned neighbour...
And the neighbour is friendly and acquainted well with the neighbourhood...
Undesirable happenings can at least be avoided...

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Housing Story - Moving The Households

Hello Singaporeans,

If you have rented out or sell off your flats and intended to stay in Johor, please, please, please

Do not let the Johoreans pay the inflated house-price at the end of the day because of your "rental in JB is very much cheaper compared to Singapore."

2. Do not take cleanliness for granted. Do not complain of uncollected garbage and litters all around you because here, Bangladeshis are not employed to clean the area.

3. Do not complain of taxi-drivers not turning on the meter or overcharging your fare because majority will ONLY have RM notes. They rarely have small coins with them.

4. Do not take safety for granted. Walking around your neighbourhood all by yourself at 8pm is a DIFFERENT experience walking alone at 12midnight in Singapore.

5. Do not make yourself another target of snatch-thief with your thick wallet opened in full view of shoppers.

6. Do not make yourself the most-hated neighbour in your neighbourhood with your bragging remarks: "Lifts in Singapore are always in good service." "Buses in Singapore are punctual." Remember, nobody ask you to move here. YOU chose to move.

7. When your kids warn you not to reprimand them with their declining school results because of the time consuming journey to and from school and the insufficient sleep, if you have their welfare at heart, for goodness sake, uproot your family and go BACK to Singapore.

8. When your spouse hinted of being left alone far too long hours at home, before a mountain can be created out of a mold, for goodness sake, uproot your family and go BACK to Singapore.

9. The purpose of staying in JB is to keep the family intact. But the children's education should not be compromised and the existence of spouse should not be ignored.

10. Ask around - opinions of Singaporeans who have stayed for a very long time in JB.