By Sarawakian


Subang Jaya is no longer a child but an adult who would most likely be towards the peak of his or her career. But is Subang Jaya today really what you would have expected after living here for at least three decades?


Granted, there have been changes but for the convenience, comes the sacrifice of widened roads and the creation of barriers between residential taman. Where in the past, you could easily walk to another, today you would be faced with potentially fatal vehicular traffic. This is compounded with the fact that many have eyes on their mobile devices manoeuvring their machines at the same speed, more or less.


I guess that is the price of progress, if that is the progress expected. Many of us who have made Subang Jaya home for over three decades would have remembered how the town was a quiet place with lots of trees lining the roads. Then, Subang Jaya was like a new addition to Petaling Jaya as its numerical taman number began from SS12 till SS19. The main commercial area was SS14 and SS15 whilst the largest land mass belonged to SS19 which seemed to also house the larger and more hilly plots after SS17.


Banks were all focussed in SS15 and in a row. This created the reference of the place as the banking row to the local population. Then, the Subang Airport was still around. The international operations only ceased in 1998.The Subang Airport when built in 1965 had the longest runway in Southeast Asia. It evolved into having 3 terminals. Terminal 1 housed all international flights whilst Terminal 2 catered for the Singapore Malaysia shuttle flights. Terminal 3 was created solely for the domestic flights. This made Subang Jaya the choice for transit passengers and business folk. Hence, why the longest shopping centre in Southeast Asia opened on 13th August 1988 to cater for the market along with the Merlin hotel and Holiday Villa hotel. Subang Parade even had a duty-free shop area which is adjacent to the tourist bus wait area.


You could spot cabin crew and airline crew around Subang Jaya then. Many have also rented homes as it was near the airport. Mind you then, no one wanted to live near airports as they claim of noise pollution daily in the early mornings nearly every half hour as jets take off and hover above the sky. But it helped with having good quality homes for the crew and expatriates who come to work in neighbouring Petaling Jaya and Shah Alam.


The Subang Jaya Medical Centre provided for the well to do for their medical needs. Soon after, many private schools and colleges opened as Subang Jaya saw a population boom with the youths and young executives. Suddenly staying in Subang Jaya became cool and hip. No one complained about the planes waking you up in the early morning. The only complaint was the crazy traffic jam exiting Subang Jaya passing the only KFC drive through and stand-alone store near the Subang Valley club. Holiday Villa has the best dim sum and the Subang Ria Park was a hive of activity. Aerobic exercises were frequent by the floating platform on the lake. The Crocodile Farm had great seafood.


Today, we live in a Subang Jaya unrecognizable by those who have left Subang Jaya for at least 10 years. The progress has been swift but honestly, not always for the best. We lost many trees due to the LRT construction and it is only now we see seedlings planted. We see many roads widened. We can no longer walk across to the next residential area for fear of being knocked down.


We have a larger Subang Jaya now and even larger if you see it within the context of the local government. We have progressed swiftly from an appendage to a town council and now a city council. The education hub in SS15 has gone quiet as many moved on to larger premises. Houses that used to get good rents from student housing are now finding it challenging to even get enquiries. This is due to the many high-rise buildings coming up as many prefer to rent apartment units versus the older premises on landed property. I guess this is a return to normalcy not seen for many years before. Now, residents take over whilst some are renovated. I do not wish to see however, the houses converted into commercial use. Look at Bangsar. That is regressive. Instead of controlling commercial and residential parameters, these have been blurred there.


Today we see too many shopping centres being built in Subang Jaya. We have Subang Parade, Aeon Big, ss15 Courtyard, Sunway Pyramid, The Summit USJ, Mydin Mall, DaMen, USJ19 Mall and lastly Main Place. Giant has gone. We have two large private Medical Facilities but no Public Hospital. We need one. Just as much as we need more than one fire station. We only have one fire station in Subang Jaya. SS13 has also changed with new residential apartments already in place and private schools taking up root.


Forward looking Subang Jaya. We would need to embrace more public convenience as this remains the sore point. We would also need a better city council. Simple things like bus stops, bus schedules, bicycle lanes, pedestrian walkways, safe and secure streets, clean public spaces, better landscaping and a more receptive and people friendly service delivery are just examples of things not yet befitting of a forward thing Subang Jaya. Even the old bus app for the Smart Selangor one does not load nor work. The focus should be on the well being of the population. This involves the socio-economic aspect as well as the public infrastructure.


It is time to start being transparent again with budgets for the year and where these would be spent. It is time for the city council to inform those who have paid taxes as to where their taxes go. The exco managing local governments and transportation should also do his or her job so it is done. You know who you are. Those wanting to know who this is can always use this link: