By Anthony Dylan

Subang Jaya has changed drastically in the last 2 years. My recollection of Subang Jaya when I first set foot in 1993 was one of a beautiful housing development. There were trees lining the roads and the SS15 commercial area filled with banks and colleges. There were wide and deep storm drains and a few large roundabouts at Jalan Jengka and Persiaran Kewajipan. There were no massive flyovers. Everything was just enough. A private hospital, SJMC; two hotels of Merlin and Holiday Villa; the longest shopping centre at that time, Subang Parade and the many colleges of Inti, Taylor’s and Metropolitan in SS15. You also had the wet market in SS15 on which today, Subang Square sits and a thriving SS14 filled with bak kut teh.

In 1993, only USJ2 was built and USJ 1 was still in construction. Nothing existed further from USJ2. USJ and the SS part of Subang Jaya was divided by a small ditch which is now Kesas. The short cut road to USJ was via this ditch from SS14 via Persiaran Jengka.The exact location faces where the current SK USJ2 is located.

Much has changed since then. Subang Jaya began well with more areas being developed and now extended past USJ2 till USJ27 before Putra Heights. There were many empty fields in most of the housing enclaves where one could go to play a bit of kick around with the ball or fly a kite. You could easily walk from SS to the other or one USJ to the other. SS14 nearest to USJ2 was a hive of activity. Like Little India, it provided a unique character to Subang Jaya. A melting pot of diversity. Young and old seem to find a balance.

Development had changed Subang Jaya. We now see widened roads to have more than 2 lanes per flow. The normal walks could no longer be done as you risk being hit by vehicles who do not seem to respect pedestrians anymore. Motorcyclists seem to think they rule the road. Trees have been cut down in the name of progress. The greenery of Subang Jaya has turned into concrete attractions. Civic mindedness seemed far worse than before in terms of cleanliness of shop houses and the back lanes.

Subang Jaya today has two large private medical facilities and so many shopping centres that one can lose count. Do not discount the fact that Subang Jaya also has nearly all the hypermarkets you can think off bar Lotuss and Lulu. We now have TF Value Mart. I am not sure if NSK is still at One City, but I heard they moved. Aeon Big, Giant, Mydin, Fresh Boulevard, Jaya Grocer and Village Grocer are all within our neighbourhood. Smaller ones like Seasons Family Grocer, Alicor Vegetarian Mart and ST Rosyam now dot Taipan USJ10.

With progress, sadly there has been things we feel let down with. The roads around Subang Jaya seem to have not been taken care of. The condition of the surface could be better. The pedestrian walkways have never been improved other than a few showoff locations. Compare this with Kuala Lumpur and you would find that Subang Jaya has lagged despite blowing our trumpet.

Subang Parade is no longer what she used to be, handing the mantle away to Sunway Pyramid, especially in the last few years. One wonders aloud today walking in Subang Parade of what was and what is now. SS15 has not changed much other than the shop houses are now more food and beverage oriented. Gone are the many shops who provided photocopying services, photo developing and services like locksmiths and watch repairs.

SS14 has a famous preowned luxury watch shop, Wing Wah Watch which opened in 1982. This is the place to go if you want to splurge on limited editions. It is just a few steps away from Wong Soon Kee Kopitiam which spawned the famous Lim Fried Chicken. Today, you can still get the same dish in that kopitiam under Wong Fried Chicken or was it Soon Fried Chicken? Never mind, go on and try it. It is just as good.

Development brought to Subang Jaya had surely been more divisive than inclusive. The increased traffic brought about by the convenient access to Puchong and Bandar Sunway coupled with the easy access to the KELANA JAYA LINK, KESAS and NPE had brought in too much for the once quiet and beautiful township of Subang Jaya to endure. Some or many may disagree with me but that is how I see it.

Whilst we have many LRT stations, we see too much concrete being built in the name of commercial reasons. Transit Oriented Development is a wet dream for some and a nightmare for some. To the rest, as usual we sit in indifference.

Subang Jaya 2022 needs to be a year where the local government reviews where it wants to be. Subang Jaya as a city without soul is useless. Anything without soul is better off being a recreation of a desolate Zombieland. We want our green landscapes back as with our parks in all housing sections. We want to be able to walk and cycle safely. We want to drive on well surfaced roads. We want a cleaner Subang Jaya. We need better public facilities for the aging market and the young who have recently made their home here. The assessment taxes in Subang Jaya are not cheap.

Let us hope that we see a more decisive want for change and improvement.

To all our Muslim readers, let me wish you a ‘Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri 2022’