The Homeless (Picture by Barzuki Muhammad/Reuters)
I want you to find a newspaper now. You can try NST or The Star. Yeah now. Serious. Go. Go. I can wait. Got it? Good. Okay, now turn to the classified sections but particularly to those auction pages. Easy to find one. You just look for those pages sponsored by banks that do a much nicer column or area for all the properties they are trying to auction off. Those are much more helpful and easier to look through than those awful ones which are contained in an advertised court order. Now take a close look at many of those apartments and houses being auctioned off.
How much do they go for? Quite pathetic isn’t it? You have some apartments being auctioned off for as low as RM 100k+. What’s crazier are those being auctioned off that only cost something like RM 15 – 30K+. And I am fairly certain these are not second homes. These are I think some people’s only homes. If they were comfortable enough, they will definitely not live there and sell it off to upgrade themselves. But these are forced sales.
What concerns me is not so much that those properties cannot be sold but where are those people who cannot afford such cheap housing going? Think about it. You’re poor. You’re allocated this house. Then, for whatever reasons, you cannot afford the house. And that is your only house. You are booted out eithr now or later, when the new purchasers come in. Then what? If you are single perhaps you can swing it, but if you have a family? Where can you move them to? And you can bet that these people will also be unhappy, and then if that goes on long enough, perhaps even angry. Angry at themselves, angry at others, angry at life. Because they are also powerless, their anger is then made more pronounced by frustration.
If more of the impecunious face this problem then more of them will be sent into the streets, abandoned land and little nooks and crannies, in a state of anger, frustration, helplessness and poverty. All those public areas will become their grounds for living, finding food and at some point, drawing up territories.
And when their anger and frustrations begin to boil over. And when our policemen are too busy lining their own pockets and carrying out the bidding of their political masters. And when our politicians are busy lining their own pockets and feeding us lies. And when our royalties are ensconsed in their luxurious and privileged surroundings. And when there is no one left to protect us except the strength of our personal wealth long after all the government institutions have failed us.
Then where do we go?