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Friday April 18, 2008

Seri Kembangan - from village of 50 houses in 1952 to 2,500 now

BACK in the 1950s, the Seri Kembangan New Village was known as the Serdang New Village.

The village was established in 1952 when the British moved Chinese villagers living around Sungai Besi to a centralised location due to the communist threat during the insurgency.

The area was close to rubber estates and the jungle posed dangers of a different kind.

In its early days, the village had 50 houses and all were built from scratch because the British only provided empty plots of land.

Most of the 15,000 inhabitants earned meagre incomes as mining workers and rubber tappers.

The present day scenario is vastly different. For one, there are now 2,500 houses with only a smattering of the original wooden houses left and the population is thought to be 150,000, largely made up of entrepreneurs, businessmen and professionals.

A network of roads forms the 13 sections of the village and commercialisation has come to this sleepy hollow in a big way.

At one point, the Seri Kembangan New Village was known for cottage industries like shoe-making but this has been overtaken by more profitable ventures.

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