RESIDENTS of Medan Damansara in Kuala Lumpur celebrated Malaysia Day in a meaningful way by honouring seniors in their neighbourhood.
Dr Jeyaretna Ampalavanar, 86, who bought his first house there in 1973, taught at Victoria Institution from 1968 to 1990.
“My parents never owned a car or a house. I bought my house here because of the location and nearby public facilities like University Malaya Medical Centre (formerly known as University Hospital) and most importantly, it has good racial diversity,” said Jeyaretna.
He has also been an active resident of the neighbourhood since he moved in and hoped the younger generation would be more involved.
Another former school teacher, Margaret Ong, 82, who has lived in the neighbourhood since 1973, fondly remembered hearing owls hooting at night in the 1970s and 1980s.
Resident Siti Aida Abdullah, 87, said she too had been a school teacher and taught from the age of 16 until her retirement at 55.
In the past, she said the neighbourhood was surrounded by jungle and remembered seeing cobras that had settled on cars.
Several other senior citizens expressed hope that facilities such as bridges or walkways would take senior’s accessiblity into account.
Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh said she was proud to attend the event that gave importance to seniors.
“Some of them live alone and this was apparent during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic whereby many seniors were found dead home alone.
“I hope the neighbourhood will conduct its own census to identify which houses have seniors living on their own so the neighbours can keep a lookout,” said Yeoh.
She said the playground in the neighbourhood needed an upgrade and would convey the request to Kuala Lumpur City Hall.
The seniors were gifted a box of fruits by Yeoh during the event.