The right to adequate shelter is a basic human right. Home ownership is what everyone aspires for. Unfortunately with property prices sky-rocketing, owning a house is beyond the financial means of the majority.
What is sadder than being unable to own a house is to be evicted from one's own house, and see it being demolished right in front of your eyes.
This is exactly what happened to the residents of Kampung Hakka.
|Kampung Hakka (Photo: Victor Chin)|
I came to know about the village after watching "Memory as Resistance" at the recent Freedom Film Fest 2015. It was an award-winning human rights film directed by Chan Seong Foong and Victor Chin.
I was eager to meet Grandma Kong, 88. Born and raised in the 120-year old village as was her mother and her grandmother, Grandma Kong has become the face of the struggle to defend Kg Hakka against further demolition.
|Visiting Grandma Kong in Kg Hakka. Her house is typical of those built by the Chinese in the vllages and small towns at the turn of the 20th century.|
Do share these photos (above and below) with your grandchildren. Children brought up in urban areas and used to modernization would be shocked at how spartan and rugged life was for their ancestors.
|The earthen jar with the dragon motif is an ubiquitous item in Chinese homes. Note the air-well. It provides natural lighting and ventilation to the house.|
|Rakan Mantin or Friends of Mantin organizes events and activities to raise funds to promote awareness of our historical and cultural heritage, and the need to preserve it for future generations.|
|Lunch is ready. Please queue - children and the elderly first. Thank you.|
|Top: kueh made from leaves like the ones I'm holding. Eating out Kg Hakka style.|
Life passes slowly in Kg Hakka, especially on a Sunday. Here's a mother kneading flour to make kueh while her son looks on. Learning by observing, and then doing. No electrical gadgets, no recipe book. When friends or relatives drop by, it's a good excuse to play a game of mahjong and share the latest news or gossip over a hot cup of tea or coffee.
|The way it used to be - vegetable gardens and happy residents enjoying a laid-back rustic lifestyle reminiscent of the old days. (Photo: Malay Mail online)|
|The villagers could only watch in despair and anger as the bulldozers destroyed their homes. (Photo: Malaysiakini)|
|Expressing their plight and rights on the wall of an old house. (Photo: Adib Rawi Yahya)|
|Two of the older residents tell their story|
|Some of the abandoned houses in Kg Hakka.|
|Residents like Yap Tuck Chai are determined to stop further demolition of the remaining houses.|
After surviving 120 years, Kampung Hakka may fall to modern times
Kg Hakka: Developers blame politicians
We'll continue fighting for Kg Hakka
|If you would like to contribute towards Rakan Mantin's efforts to get a new roof for the community centre, the details are above.|
SeniorsAloud will be screening "Memory as Resistance" on Friday 23 Oct morning at Wisma WIM, TTDI. This will be followed by a Q and A session with the film directors Chan Seong Foong and Victor Chin. Do mark the date on your calendar and join us for the event. More details will be announced soon on our SeniorsAloud Facebook page.