The Sour Fate of Kampung Pokok Asam Jawa

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As Penang develops, the costs are higher for some than for others. And often, the costs are highest for those who can afford it least. With the craving for land on the island, older residences close to George Town are being replaced by high rise and higher-cost buildings. More of Penang’s past is being buried.

The distant sound of a large lorry gets louder behind me. As it passes, kicking dust and debris over my shoes, I look at the place. This can’t be it, I think. There’s nothing left. There are a few houses in the distance, behind corrugated metal barriers, one or two dilapidated houses far off in the distance and a wooden mechanic’s hut that probably saw its last exhaust muffler repair some time ago. Near me is a tree, under which a house once stood. There are the remains of an old house nearby and scattered around are school stationery, CDs, a work tie; all small ghostly trinkets of life left behind.


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