While feeling sorry for the recent tragedy which took seven lives at the oldest shopping centre in Klang Valley, i can't help but imagine how that little golden triangle of Petaling Jaya (PJ)look like right now.
The Jaya shopping centre which was built and strategically located at the well-established commercial district of Section 14 in 1974 was 'the' favourite place for us, PJ school goers. I personally have many fond memories there and its surrounding area.
It is sad that due to vast development, some old buildings must make way, or in this case being given an 'uplift' inclined with modernisation. The last time i was there was three months ago when i was back for a short holiday.
This is the place during my secondary days, where the PJ schools pupils i.e. (the all girls) Sri Aman, Assunta and TP aka Jungle School; and (the all boys) SAS (Sek Anak Sultan; as my brother puts it), BB (Bukit Bintang) and La Salle gathers especially on Fridays after school to be seen, to hang out and just waste time with friends for and hour or so before heading back home.
(Hmmm...this make me wonder somehow; why does PJ has got more non-coed schools than any other town in Malaysia?)
Even so, the 'in' place during those time was will always be McD, which is located just opposite the ruined Jaya supermarket and still in existence to date.
This is the place where you can see people from the neighbourhood including expats shopping for their groceries on Fridays and Saturdays, familiar faces on tv and of course not forgetting young people and teenagers who'd mark this place as the meeting and dating point before heading somewhere else or window shopping there itself.
I can still remember the old build-up before the first renovation took place some twenty years back. There used to be a brick circle with huge plants in the middle in-front of the entrance and that was the place where we sometimes hide and want to be hidden from someone.
I had once go around the circle slowly but steadily ignoring the surrounding people because i saw someone whom i don't want to see, and not supposed to see me there.
It was humorous but very very innocently childish.
Around this surrounding area also located the place where i learnt my first bad words in Cantonese when i took my first tempt job as a Display Artist at Georgetown Chemist, the place where i had my first date, the place where i tried to test the 'authority' and happily drinking publicly during the fasting month a couple of time during my rebellious mid 20s (and didn't get busted), and the place where we would go for our ritual Ramadhan Bazaar buying spree or browsing for food every year (this year will not be missed certainly) and just name it.
It is all here, and the word is Jaya.
Gosh, it has been long ago yet i can still feel the fondness of it all.
Nevertheless, while we always hope for good things in life, mishaps can occured anywhere and everywhere, even in our own protected home.
Coming back to the collapse of the Jaya shopping centre, it was reported that initial investigation indicated overloading caused by eight heavy machines used in demolishing the building may have triggered the collapse and that currently some residents nearby the ruined building have been asked to evacuate their homes and were given temporary stay in nearby hotels including Armada and Crystal Crown until further notice.