Sadly, this world is far from ideal.
Some people think Malaysia needs more development.
Others beg to differ. Antares, for one, says:
I wasn't born in Kg Buah Pala. In fact I didn't even know such a place existed. So I feel no special love for that piece of land and have no emotional roots there. However, I have grown extremely deep roots in my present location and am prepared to KILL to defend it against bulldozers and corporate pirates. Cranky, highrise apartments do NOT equal "progress." Indeed, "progress" is perhaps the stupidest and most dangerous word in the dictionary since it traps us in linear time inside our left brains.
No doubt the people of Kg Buah Pala have likewise grown deep roots to their village, having lived there for 5 generations.
Apparently, some of them are still cowherds til today. From various images I have gleaned over the internet, they even get their water from a well.
Now, I will humbly admit that this is a completely different lifestyle from what I'm used to.
The first time I ever saw a cow close-up, I got my friend to take a picture of us (cow and I).
I stood at a comfortable distance (just in case the cow developed a sudden hostility towards me and decided to butt me - or is it just bulls which do that?) and flashed my best smile.
Which reminds me, my friend still owes me those photos. But I digress.
Antares has an issue with the word 'progress'. I think if given a chance, he would prefer that those who live in their condos remain there and those who live in their villages be allowed to live peacefully - each in amicable understanding.
In fact, upon re-reading my original post, I think I was a little harsh when I said that Kg Buah Pala is a blight in the face of Penang. I had no right to say that.
But, I haven't changed my stance on Kg Buah Pala.
Perhaps we may be able to halt the demolition this time. But to what end? Will we buy every single village in this country and save them from developers?
Will we decide that new highways should not be built to ease traffic congestion?
Will we ban all foreigners from living in Kuala Lumpur?
And when I say 'foreigner', I'm not just referring to the Indonesians, Bangladeshis and Americans who have come to live here.
I also include all those who were born in another state and came to KL to find a job and earn a living.
If you are a foreigner, you are one of the reasons why KL experiences traffic congestion before and after office hours.
And as one of the natives who has had ancestors here for 6 generations, I don't particularly like having to share my space.
There's this new apartment being built across the road from my house. During construction, my house was covered in dust. But that's nothing compared to what will happen when the owners eventually move in.
A survey was carried out recently, and according to the findings, the average family in KL owns 2 cars. I can already imagine cars parked outside my gate in the evenings, blocking my entrance like it happens when someone in the neighbourhood throws a party.
But do I have a choice? Not really. As always, people will move to the city in search of better opportunities. More roads will be built. More condos will be built. More babies will be born.
So the squatters of Kg Buah Pala may protest the demolition of their houses. And they may rally others to assist them in going against the flow.
I sympathise. I really do.
But at some point, even Kg Buah Pala will have to make way for 'progress', whether you like it or not.