Sunday, October 10, 2010

Not So Happy.

A few days ago we read the news from Seremban about the death of a four days old female infant killed by a monkey. The place is Happy Garden, Rasah, Seremban to be exact.

I have fond memories of Happy Garden, Rasah. When I began working at the Seremban Municipal Council in 1973 I was assigned to the Rasah area as my boss said it was 'the least commercial area' in Seremban. In other words there were more dwelling houses than shops in Rasah. 

It was a real challenge for me. Before this I was attending to to rural Malays. But now I was attending to urban non Malays. Many of the people staying in Rasah were retirees who had more time to look around their houses and make complaints to us. They complained either by by coming directly to our office, making phone calls or by writing letters.

One letter became a centre of attention. It came from an occupant of Happy Garden, Rasah and it started with the heading 'The Not So Happy Garden'. The complainant wrote that although he was staying in an area named with the word 'Happy' he was far from it. Every time I pass this area the title of the letter comes to my mind.

Happy Garden, Rasah is situated beside the Linggi River where it runs under the federal road connecting Seremban to Port Dickson. The bridge had been replaced a few times and somewhere in 1971 or 1972 one was totally washed away by floods. Floods also had affected Happy Garden a few times and even now the residents there live in fear every time it rains heavily.

When I was assigned to the Rasah area in 1973 I had to  make a detour through Loop Road (now named Jalan Tok Ungku) to go to Happy Garden. I even stayed in Mok Sum Garden, just adjacent to Happy Garden from 1973 to 1975. My landlord was operating a confectionery in Happy Garden.

Now with the completion of the Seremban Inner Ring Road passers by can only see the roofs of most of the houses and shops in Happy Garden. Business had gone down for the shop owners and a few shop owners had shifted somewhere else. My former landlord had closed his business a few years ago and he had since died.

One happy consolation for the Happy Garden people is that their place is near the two PLUS toll plazas in Rasah. So the occupants  there do not have to pass through heavy traffic to travel north and south using the expressway. Perhaps another consolation is their place is beside the Seremban Inner Ring Road. Whether this one is a happy consolation can be argued because the ring road does bring problems like noise and pollution.

I never know that the occupants of Happy Garden are also facing simian problems too beside other problems they are already facing. So it seems that the words of the letter writer written many many years ago are still true until today.


azahar said...

They are surrounded by human dwellings. They have no place to go but just have to blend in with the humans! We can't just put the blame to these creatures for the mishap.

Abu Nu'man said...

She's four days old, not four years old

maarofkassim said...

Thanks, Abu for the reminder. I stand corrected.