Sunday, 19 October 2008

Kampung Cempaka

We went to a 'shanty' town known as Kampung Cempaka, Petaling Jaya. According to Ah Kow, my brother-in-law's brother, the original settlers were relocated here soon after the May 13 incident. These were the people who had lost their loved ones in the racial riot. They were given land to resettle. I don't how much of what he said is true, but Kampung Cempaka is just like any other Chinese new villages where the roads are narrow and houses built haphazardly. But it seems to be a thriving village, where almost every household seems to own a car.

We went to the Kampung Cempaka Association as Ah Kow is a karaoke member there. He pays RM 10.00 a month so he could sing. The association seems to be popular with senior citizens. When we went there many of them were patiently waiting their turn to belt out their songs.

Later we went to a coffee shop that doubles up as a liquor store to have our coffee. I was surprised by the great variety of cheap locally produced whiskey, brandy, rum, gin and vodka. It seems they are popular with the Indian residents there, as the limited time we spent there saw Indian youth streaming in regularly to pick up a bottle.

Ah Kow is fond of saying that this is the Malaysian version of the ghetto.

Ah Kow, the feisty fighter. Although he has undergone several sessions of chemotherapy for his lung cancer, he has refused to let the disease unravel his desire to lead a full life

The small room where every one takes their turn to sing

Pictures of karaoke competitions adorn the wall

This is the roster that determines who sings first

The liquor shop that surprisingly sells a lot of locally produced spirits

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