Friday, July 09, 2010

Petaling Jaya's neighbourhoods - low cost apartments

After lunch today, I took a short walk around another part of the neighbourhood which mainly consisted of low cost apartments. But before that, this is what I ate for lunch:

The chicken rice tastes decent, albeit a little on the pricey side at RM 5.50.

Pork noodles. The dark sauce and char siew taste a little bland.

These apartments were built in the late 70s / early 80s because of the emphasis on housing especially for low income groups in urban areas. This was in line with he New Economic Policy (NEP) implemented by our previous Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir. The private sector in the mean time focused on medium and high cost housing in the surrounding areas.

Interestingly before June 1998, the ceiling price for low cost housing was fixed at RM 25,000 per unit for those with a household income of less than RM 750. Nonetheless, some property investors / speculators still manage to obtain some of these apartments for their own interests despite not having the stipulated household income, and thereafter rent their units out to foreigners / students for a healthy sum. It just robs the rest of the underprivileged folks from the opportunity for a decent home to live in.

There are lots of small businesses operating at the ground floor level of these apartments.

... such as this dry cleaning shop. I also saw some stationery shops, hair saloons and even an engineer's office. No doubt the cheap rent must have influenced them to set up their business here.

Modular architecture at its finest. Les Corbusier would be proud. Yawn...

Arguably, not many developers are willing to build low cost apartments because of their low profit margin. Our tight arse government also doesn't give any special incentives to developers to build low cost housing, hence its no wonder that they're quite disinterested.

Flags of all nations.

Surprisingly, there are some semi exclusive cafes located in this area too. This cafe supposedly has very nice brownies and bakery items.

Lots of loanshark stickers were stuck here to this metal gate.

A nice small rooftop garden. At least you don't need to mow the lawn.

The grills and the shadow forms look quite unique.

No parking on the grass I presume. At least it keeps the grass green, albeit the ugly stripped tape.

It's a long way down there.

A nice view of Petaling Jaya from the rooftops.

Unfortunately the sky looks pretty dull today with lot of clouds .

Rows and rows of houses are sprawled across the land. There's barely any room left to breathe here.

The roof top's pretty empty, there are a few Astro antennas, steel pipes and an old solar panel

Although the apartments are old, they are full of character and showcase what it means to be living as a Malaysian in the early decades after our country's independence.

It's a pity that the availability of low cost apartments are becoming increasingly rare nowadays. In the face of an incoming economic recession, increasing price hikes of essential goods and stagnant pay checks, the need for low cost housing has become even greater than ever. Are we just going to sit down and do nothing about it and watch others burn?




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