AFTER reading the Actionline complaint (“Gardening patch angers residents”— NST, Oct 2), I am moved to put pen to paper.
The resident in question had grown vegetables in a small patch at a playground in a housing estate in Kajang.
He had sought clarification from the municipal council, but the latter only responded to the press, and asked the resident to get its permission to grow the greens at the playground.
Whether the resident gets it or not depends on the largesse of the council.
However, given the higher cost of urban living, I can empathise with the vegetable-planting resident for his endeavour.
In fact, I feel all municipal councils should look into allotment gardening for any resident who wants to do so.
In Europe and the United States, this means a plot of land is made available for individual, non-commercial gardening or growing food plants.
In Asia, I believe only the
Philippines has such allotment gardens for the urban poor and urban gardeners.
We, in Malaysia, have such windows under the Local Agenda 21 (LA21), with community garden projects in Penang, and in Kuala Lumpur at PPR Raya Permai, in Sentul and maybe even affluent Bangsar.
In Bangsar, the land is under Tenaga Nasional Berhad, which has agreed to allow Kebun-Kebun Bangsar to plant terrace padi, and even have a beehive installation.
I am not clear if an environment impact assessment has been done on this particular venture, as the land is on a slope.
I am not sure if the latter falls under the concept of allotment as some of its projects seem to be commercially inclined.
But, I think urban folk should cultivate neighbourliness by allowing would-be gardeners to share their garden if feasible.
While no money changes hands in garden sharing, those involved can agree to divide the fruits and vegetables produced.
Of course, we need to learn to trust our neighbours.
In fact, vacant pieces of land, which abound all over housing areas in and around the cities
due to the high prices of land today, can be turned into urban gardens until the time the land is sold!
The city and municipal councils should make the LA21 opportunities more public so that residents, who just want to grow some vegetables, get some assistance under the LA21, and not be penalised for his or her hard work.
Let’s go green together.