This hamlet, off the capital

The bus stop in the town centre is tricky. It looks like a bus stop except that it is half of the slip road around the mosque, and used by bikes. The barrier erected adjacent to it, makes it improbable for waiting passengers to ascend the slope past the barricade to any bus, which if at that point was waiting for embarking passengers will be blocking traffic on the main road.

Welcome to Dengkil.

The town seeking purpose, while being an artery for all about it.

It is different things to different people.

For those seeking genuine Chinese food while working or residing in Cyberjaya or Putrajaya, Dengkil is the sleepy hamlet with some culinary answers. The Banting road beckons for people from city centre to Banting and to Klang thereafter. The other road from the Banting turn-off will lead you to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) without paying toll. There is the new Putrajaya lead-off road giving people a more conventional dual-carriage passage to KLIA, skirting the township.

And for the sand-stealers, a reservoir of wealth – which they don’t let fall on the laps of the people of the district.

They do let other things fall.

The other day a resident filed a complaint that it was dangerous to ride his motorbike on the roads as sand-stealing trucks leave much of the sand on the roads, sliding off the decrepit trucks.

His son fell the other day, and he was did not mind the stealing, just as long as they did not harm the locals.

It’s almost a throwback to a feudal era – if Malaysia ever graduated from that era to begin with.

Filth riddle

The main road leading from Putrajaya (the older one since another has started operating) is good enough, but if you stop and peep over at the main monsoon drains on either side of the road, the filth inside would make you feel disgust you thought impossible.

These are cesspools of disease and those around have to just have to do with it. The Public Works Department which has the role to keep the drains running I suppose, don’t have the funding to clean it – so I am advised.

It gets compounded as the drains border the three schools for the township, and the children get to sit and idle by the drain daily and get their dose of disease courtesy of a system long disinterested in those who cannot afford private schools and gated communities.

There is this minor case, but it tells baleful of the apparent disconnect in this country.

The streetlights on one a 500 metre stretch alongside the city central traffic lights, have a slight timing glitch.

They run on a 12 hour shift. Starting before seven in the evening to the morning. Inadvertently the rotation begins at half past four in the afternoon – when the lights are superfluous – and therefore end at half past four in the morning.

Far before the factory workers and students emerge and make their passage – and due to the glitch, they travel in the dark. Parents, children and the general community is concerned, and the problem is not much of a problem.

But in the months of asking and then asking some more, the problem has not been rectified. People are given the run-around, just because. One phone number leads to another, but no one comes around re-programme the streetlights.

Is it because none of their twelve year old children are making the trek in darkness to school?

Rather than getting caught in a lengthy theoretical commentary of what governments are obliged to do – without being asked to, I want to continue my trip through my hamlet, for the readers benefit.

Asli enough?

The Orang Asli community are present in three different areas in the district. One now being claimed as Malay reserve although the people in it are only Orang Aslis – which means they have to miraculously become Malay or set for a legal battle to have legitimate claims on the land they have lived on long before lands could be gazetted in this country.

The other end of the district will have the Orang Asli primary school. The people are being systematically led away from their perceived inferior cultural practices to become naturalised Muslim Malays which is another debate for another time.

The glaring observation is the non-inclusion of the Orang Asli into the fabric of the Dengkil community. That is something all of us, myself included have to look into, and probably engage in.

In and Out

Inclusion is a real Malaysian debacle.

There are those who are ready advocates of exclusions with the caveat that they were equal advocates of inclusion. I’d spare the math, but it does not add up.

The mixed signals which get sent in and out in this country, always result in people not necessarily being honest about anything.

You have to say anything that would keep the people sitting in-front of you happy. And in making false proclamations, principle is lost.

Dengkil lives that reality, a stone throw away from the federal administrative capital of this country. Lip service all around, with only one consistency, nothing works at the pace the people need.

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