Drip drip crumble brrrrrr...
Visited my office Ah Soh's (after much bugging from her) new low cost apartment block today.
After living in a squatter housing area by a river which is more like a huge dumping drain in SS2 for most of her married life at least, with high theft rates by the local neighbourhood drug addicts and delinquents (her house was robbed 5 times last year), abuse by authorities to move out soon or else (even though they did not have anywhere to go), insufficient plumbing and electricity supplies, risking injury from rubbish and pieces of old furniture thrown from another nearby apartment block into her house (crashing through the roof), endless nights of rain leaking into the house caused by the holes from the rubbish and bad patch up work... the list goes on..., she has now moved into a low cost flat on the 5th floor, just walking distance away from her beloved Kampung Damansara Dalam.
Whether this is better is yet to be proven.
I drove into the parking space thinking hmm... ok, this is going to look like a pack of sardines once the rest of the tenants move in. Then we get to the lift. This was block A of, I think, 5 blocks. There were two lifts moving at snail speed. They could fit in 10 people uncomfortably, 7 comfortably. We reach her floor. The place is drowning in the cacophony of the other blocks still under construction as well as the drilling coming from other units having their necessary renovations by their owners. The coridoor was long and narrow. One thing appropriate I noticed was the builders actually fitted in a front grill for all the units. That's very good of them. At least some form of security.
Then we get to her unit. The place is bright. Quite airy but hot because of the openness of the area. It has no shade whatsoever. The floor is a nice terrazzo type flooring. The rooms are small and claustrophobic. There are 3 rooms. There is one bath and one toilet for the whole family to use. Mind you this is an area with a majority of chinese with a smattering of either Malay and Indian here and there. Most of the families would have at least 4 children...
My colleague and me are shown to an area where the wall is leaking internally, with a basin on the other side clogged and leaking where it should not be, and this is even before she has moved in. Sigh.
Then Sam (my colleague), the Mr. Fix-it of the office, bangs his palm onto the walls... and the whole room vibrates and resonates a nice bass drone. I do it too and the same thing happens. I kind of liked the sound. Now if this was an M rehearsal and Saidah wanted the basses to produce a nice deep earthy sound, it would be perfect. But it wasn't. It was someone's HOME for God's sake!! The walls were built around beams filled with chalk plaster. No bricks whatsoever. They were so hollow inside I would be wary to live there. All I would need was to lose my temper once, throw something or someone onto the wall and everything would crumble... gosh.
And she lives on the 5th floor. What about the layer beneath the nice terrazzo??? Yikes.
We took a peak at the other blocks still under construction from a window. You could see how they were putting up the walls. Four corners of beams and some metal rods in between, and plaster. Then a worker followed us down with a wheelbarrow filled with some pieces of broken walls from another unit. Yes, I picked it up... it was chalk and plaster. So easily broken. Sigh again.
So basically just because Ah Soh and the other tenants are the low to middle class group of our society, therefore if their flats crumble one day because of bad irrigation and weather, it will be ok. It's the same as how it is in government hospitals... where if you are poor, it's ok, your child deserves to die because you can't afford the freakin RM100,000 bill your son's new heart is going to cost. Or you can bleed to death... it's ok, coz you're poor. Fucking double standards. YES they can subsidise it IF THEY WANTED TO.
I hope that whole housing development holds up, what with all the wind and rain we get nowadays, otherwise, Ah Soh's whole kampung would be better off in their old place. At least it will be shit they are used to handling... as opposed to going from the frying pan into the fire.
Tell me... is our country so poor that contractors can't afford to build homes with good foundations. The least of them being brick walls??? Whathefak??? And don't give me that shit about economy this and economy that... we have highways giving way but we still pay bloody road tax and toll.
I'm glad I still fall under the 'no need to pay tax' category.
Look at what we have become.