There's always a price to pay for development. Yes? No doubt. I was in my kampung over the weekend. I love my kampung, I love my parents house. Over the years, slowly, I saw a lot of development in the kampung which I wish did not happen. But you cannot stop other people selling their land and build a house or even developing another residential area altogether.
I grew up in a kampung where there were rubber trees behind my house, a swamp if you trek further enough after the rubber trees, and also another small forest in front of my house. All houses in the kampung were nice wooden kampung houses with lots of trees in between them. It was really dark at night that you dare not go out at night. The town would be dead by 8pm. Supermarkets, cinemas or any entertainment outlet was unheard of. The only hapening thing was the Pekan Sehari on Friday nites and continued on until Saturday afternoons. They sold kampung vege and food and sometimes clothings. There was also the most awaited event of the year which was a month long bazaar in the month of October in conjunction of the Sultan's birthday. Everybody loved this bazaar which sells all sorts of things ranging to food, clothings, acessories, kitchennetes, furnitures, etc, etc. It took up a whole strecth of street at the riverfront. It was simply happening!
But that was then. These days, sadly all of it is almost gone. The rubber trees was cleared to make way for more kampung houses. Recently my right door neighbor sold their land to make way for a housing area all the way to the swamp area. My left door neighbor sold their land to a dentist who then built a huge bungalow complete with landscaping and all. Overshadowing my kampung house. I used to sit by the window to watch the trees, listening to the birds and bees, and inhaling real fresh air. Can't no longer do that, my view is blocked by the bungalow, but thank god I can still listen to the sound of nature and feel the fresh air. And on my right, I used to lie down at the balcony, read some books or simply lazing around looking at the trees and the sky. Well I can still do that, but there's no more trees, but a road leading to the new housing area. I can even see the main road which was then very much hidden by trees and bushes. Looking ahead, the small forest is also cleared for more bricks house or maybe another bungalow. I feel so bare! It's like the house is exposed! And worse, the 40 year-old house looked VERY old as though it can come down anytime.
The town itself is now mushroomed with shops, supermarkets, cybercafes and what not. Very much alive even at 10pm!
I hope the development will not tear down my parents' house. It is the only house my parents left us. It is the only memory I had with my parents. It is the memory that I shared with my kids of my childhood. And it's the only place I go back to during Hari Raya and such. Perhaps me and my siblings should 'redevelop' the place to be at par with the surroundings? No I will not agree!