Families live in containers for 17 years

Families live in containers for 17 years
Mr Ng Get Hee, a Malaysian living in Teluk Air Tawar in Penang, pointing at the unfinished flats that his and 36 other families were supposed to have moved into before the project was abandoned when the developer ran out of money in the 1997-1998 economic crisis.

MALAYSIA - Mr Ng Get Hee's home is just a few steps to the beach, where he likes to go fishing with his son Jackson.

Often, they stop to say hi to their neighbours. Theirs is a close-knit community; their homes in Teluk Air Tawar - Freshwater Bay in Malay - are shaded by casuarina trees and cooled by the sea breeze from the Strait of Malacca.

But this is no luxury seafront neighbourhood.

Mr Ng's is one of 37 families who live in cramped six-metre- long shipping containers.

The containers were supposed to house them while their low- cost flats were being built, but the developer ran out of money in the 1997-1998 economic crisis.

Seventeen years later, they are still there.

"It's too cramped but how to move? (We have) no money," Mr Ng, 54, told The Straits Times, with an air of resignation.

Teluk Air Tawar may be an extreme case, but abandoned or delayed projects are common in Malaysia.

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