Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Who are you feeding?

If you do not want stray dogs in your neighbourhood, what must you do? My answer is, “DON’T FEED THEM!” I read with concern (StarMetro: "Home on the Streets" dated 19 July 2012)that food provided under free food programme are dropped at designated area to be picked up by “someone” for the homeless. How are such NGOs to know if the food do reached those who deserve to eat them? It is in the news too that low-cost units are not owner-occupied. These units are often rented out to foreign workers who are on the move, based on the projects they are working on. Would they care about the environment they live in? Take a look at the low cost buildings in your area and you will get a clear picture that they are generally not well maintained. So how do NGOs know that they are not feeding illegal immigrants who may also be occupying homes meant for fellow Malaysians who need them? But can we blame low-cost unit owners from renting out their units for extra source of income? No! Blame the Ministry of Housing and Local Government who do not build low-cost units with the future in mind. While we have read that some low cost units have been taken up by those who are already owners of other houses, there are those who deserved them and have started out with low income. Over time they have progressed in life, their children have grown and they could now afford better homes. Look at the lifestyle of the majority race. If the culture is for all family members to live under one roof and to enjoy family gatherings in a large kitchen, how is it possible for them to continue living in the low cost units they could then afford? Maybe we should learn from the neighbouring countries. In Singapore, when size is a factor that caused units in unpopular district to be unsold, the Housing Development Board broke up the walls dividing two units and to create jumbo units which were quickly taken up. Why must low cost buildings be branded as such forever? If there is an option for owners of low cost units to acquire their next door units to extend the size of their homes, we could resolve the issues of unoccupied units or rental of such units to foreign workers. As neighbours of low cost buildings, I am sure you would like to see them well maintained and occupied by fellow Malaysians who have progressed in life, right?

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