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Unfair to criticise gated communities
06/09/2004 The Star By V.K. CHIN

RESIDENTS of gated communities must be surprised by the criticism directed at them for choosing to live in such housing schemes. They have been described as anti-social.

Other allegations include being advocates of segregation, unfriendly and snobbish, but the one that really takes the cake must be apartheid. Such complaints are quite uncalled for, but to claim that they are practising apartheid is really over the top.

There could be a hint of envy by some of those living close to such gated projects, where the units are much more expensive.

No doubt many of the complainants would not mind being in the shoes of those living in a gated community if they could afford it. However, they still feel sore at those who can afford to live in such enclaves.

One of the main reasons for those opting to live in a gated community is security and they only wish for their family members to live in peace and quiet.

Such schemes are referred to as a gated community because the units are located within an area where there is proper fencing to keep out undesirable outsiders.

Due to the crime rate in normal housing estates and on the streets, people are worried over the safety of their loved ones and it is this fear that forced them to look for accommodation where there is some form of protection.

To cash in on this insecurity, developers have started the gated-community concept, which is supposed to provide the residents with this sense of protection from intruders and criminals.

They are prepared to pay a premium so that they can have peace of mind, knowing that while they are away from home, the lives of their loved ones would not be threatened.

It is difficult to understand what the fuss is all about. After all, this new lifestyle is similar to the upmarket condominiums, as those who bought them have decided to live in such dwellings because they feel protected.

Such high-rise units are also closely guarded and non-residents and even relatives are not allowed to enter the premises without prior approval from the owners.

If some groups and individuals should be against gated living, then they should also criticise those who live in such apartments.

However, there is no guarantee that living in such “guarded” housing will keep criminals at bay.

It is therefore unfair to take to task those who have chosen to live in such housing schemes. Those with the financial means will naturally be prepared to pay for the sake of their loved ones.

By living in such surroundings, the residents will be able to move about in peace and their children can play outside the house without worrying about falling prey to robbers and petty thieves.


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