Family’s hilltop home offers great view but little else

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 04 Jun 2020

Idyllic but isolated: The family relies on the sun and oil lamps for lighting and rain for water in Kampung Durian Daun Barat in Alor Gajah.

ALOR GAJAH: One family from Kampung Durian Daun Barat here has been living the “primitive” way for the past two decades without electricity and water supply – all because of where they live.

Odd-job worker Mohamad Md Diah, 49, lives in a typical village house with his wife Nuraini Ramli, 48, and son Muhd Aniq Haikal, 17, except that their plot of land is situated 800m above sea level.

With no access to electricity from that elevation, Mohamad has been harnessing sunlight for power.

Water comes from rainwater collected in tubs for his family’s daily consumption.

Nuraini works as a part-time cleaner. Their son stopped school last year due to the family’s financial constraints.

The family’s situation was highlighted by Melaka Consumer and Environment Association chairman K. Murali while he was distributing food aid on Tuesday.

“The family lives in an isolated area and on a steep hilltop in the village, ” he said.

Murali is working to help the house get water and electricity supply.

“We need to apply to Tenaga Nasional Berhad and state water concessionaire SAMB, ” he added.

Mohamad said he decided to live at the site after purchasing the land below market value from a Datuk 25 years ago.

“I was offered the land dirt-cheap due to the remote location.

“I used to work for a company in the 1990s and had a steady monthly income then, ” he added.

Mohamad gradually built his home by collecting materials from demolished and abandoned village houses.

“There was a laterite road leading to the hilltop when I first settled here but it had been partly damaged over the years, ” he said, adding that his wife enjoyed the breeze and the view from the hilltop.

“Both of us decided to stay here after we got married despite the house having no electricity and water, ” he added.

Mohamad said he endured hardship since he stopped working in 2004. “I can’t afford to rent another house.”

He earns a daily wage doing odd jobs while his wife gets paid whenever she gets cleaning jobs.

“I try to give my family the best but my earnings are just enough to put food on the table, ” he noted.

Mohamad said his home is lit by sunlight during the day and oil lamps at night.

“During the dry season, I collect water from a nearby river, ” he added.

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