If Walls Could Talk

16 November 2016

We visit the historical Razak Mansion on Jalan Sungai Besi, a housing project launched in 1962 by Malaysia’s second Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak to house lower-income citizens.
Despite their imminent move to the new 1 Razak Mansion from as early as April 2017, the residents of Razak Mansion go about their day-to-day activities as usual: store owners open their shops before 8am, older folk find solace at the kopitiam they’ve been visiting for years, while children run around playing catch.

In the mornings and late afternoons, the open courtyard complete with a playground and basketball court is Razak Mansion’s most happening area. There is a strong sense of community amongst the residents here, a bond that some fear will change once they make the big move to the taller, more modern 1 Razak Mansion.

Located about 1km away from the current Razak Mansion flats, the new 1 Razak Mansion will feature units almost twice the size of the old unit’s 399sq ft space, with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Current residents will be allocated one new residential unit to replace the one they have to vacate.

Although it’s difficult to part with a place they’ve called home for so long, residents are generally happy with the relocation. Some even feel having a bigger home would encourage their adult children to visit more often.

Now 54 years old, Razak Mansion is the only one of the three Kuala Lumpur government housing projects of the late ’50s to ’60s that’s still alive today. But it won’t be long before it joins Suleiman Courts and Pekeliling Flats as another iconic landmark giving way to development.

Photos by Wong Yok Teng
Video by Teoh Eng Hooi

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