(FILE PIX) The resident in question had grown vegetables in a small patch at a playground in a Kajang housing estate. NSTP PIX.

AFTER reading the Actionline complaint on Monday (“Gardening patch angers residents”, Oct 2, 2017), I am moved to put pen to paper.

The resident in question had grown vegetables in a small patch at a playground in a Kajang housing estate. He had sought clarification from the relevant 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 chap gets it or not depends on the largesse of the council.

However, given the higher costs of urban living today, I can empathise with the vegetable-planting resident for his endeavour.

In fact, I feel all the municipal councils should look into allotment gardening for any resident who wants to do so.

In Europe and the US, this means that 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 Local Agenda 21, with community garden projects in Penang and in Kuala Lumpur with PPR Raya Permai, in Sentul and maybe even affluent Bangsar.

In Bangsar, the land is under Tenaga Nasional, which entity 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 the latter falls under the concept of allotment as some of its projects seem to be commercially inclined.

But I think that 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 up the fruit and vegetables produced.

Of course, we need to be learn to trust our neighbours, once again.

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 the resident who just wanted to garden up some vegetables would get some LA21 assistance under LA21, and not be penalised for his or her hardworking effort.

Let’s go green together!


Kuala Lumpur

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