Preventing neighbourhood strife

(The Nut Graph) FROM the sale of beer to the protest against the construction of a Hindu temple within a Muslim majority area, there seems to be no shortage of issues where the demands of one ethnic group are pitted against another.

When such conflicts happen, the call for the police to take action against the perceived wrongdoers will usually follow. Such calls only treat the symptoms. They do not resolve the underlying cause of the dissent.

Looking at these issues from a purely technical perspective, such disputes are a result of a failure to plan townships to cater to the needs of different ethnic groups with different cultural practices.

Bad planning

For example, there are issues of racial tension resulting from poor town planning in Petaling Jaya. One such issue is the Petaling Jaya City Council (or known by its Malay acronym, MBPJ) crematorium in Kampung Tunku, which has been in existence for many years.

Somehow, the previous government allowed several low-cost flats to be built nearby and with many Malay-Muslim Malaysians moving in to those flats, it soon became an issue for the residents. Whenever the crematorium held funeral services, ash from the burning corpse would inevitably fly into their homes.

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