PENANG's Living Heritage  At  Rifle Range Flats




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PENANG' - Rifle Range Flats And Close Neighbourhood Culture

'Phak Cheng Por' in Chinese hokkien dialect refers to ' Rifle Range ' flats in Air Itam district of Penang.  It had been built four decades ago back in the early 1970's.  The nine blocks of 17 and 18-storey flats was then considered as the tallest buildings in Penang. And certainly the pride of those who lived there.

 
rifle range flats represents living heritage in penang
The flat dwellings may not be most sought-after today, but it is a vibrant living heritage in Penang.  The first generation group of residents know each other by name and possess a strong sense of belonging which is not seen elsewhere in new housing estates now.  Many still recall their early childhood days of playing 'buah guli' (marbles) on the dirt road with neighbourhood friends and relatives.  Everyone knows each other if not by their real names, then by their nicknames.

It is a safe place to stay and doors can widely opened during the day time.  Friendly open-door neighbours helping one and another. The wet market, post office, hawker food stalls and public bus stops are conveniently nearby.

 

 
 

After four decades since it was built, most second generation Rifle Range dwellers have shifted out, while their elderly parents refused to move out.  It is ironic, but they still have the old and the very young. The middle-age residents who have moved out would still bring the kids to visit their grandparents regularly.  The old folks can be seen with their grandkids running around in the evening.

 

Penang state government has been urged to conserve and rehabilitate Rifle Rage as the place represented Penang's living heritage before development. 

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