A feng shui tour of the Klang Valley #35

The third and fourth miles of Jalan Cheras used to be populated by squatters. As with many parts of Kuala Lumpur that we toured so far in our series, squatter areas and slums are usually found near riverbanks.

In this particular case, we are looking at the Kerayong River. As earth energy is blocked and deflected by a water body, it collects and pools near the water, particularly if the water embraces the land in a concave. Think of it as some kind of parabolic dish.

The pool of energy attracts life, animals and humans alike. Thus, towns and cities grew from shacks and shanties along riverbanks. Such humble beginnings are now shunned after the city is developed.

Affluent city folk move into posh neighbourhoods and fancy condominiums. Those who still live along riverbanks are usually the low-income people who cannot afford better abodes. Over time, squatter settlements are formed.

Living close to a river is not good. First, there is the danger of floods. Second, due to a lack of sanitation facilities, the river ends up being polluted by rubbish and human waste. Over time, these squatter homes become “legalised”. How else can they get electricity supply without a permanent address or have identity cards made for their children?

The concentration of low-income earners also lead to a rise in vice and crime. As education levels are low, boys would be tempted to rob, steal or deal in illegal substances while young girls would be tempted to work in nightclubs, karaoke centres and so on for easy money.

This would also lead to protection rackets and bouncers, again recruited from among the poorly-educated low-income folks. Thus, vice and gangsterism often go hand in hand, and many originate from slums and squatter areas. This is quite a common trait, not just in Malaysia but elsewhere in the world.

This part of Cheras was notorious for its link to the criminal underworld. I remember there used to be gang fights here very often, over territorial rights to the area.

The Kuala Lumpur City Hall made an effort to eradicate squatter homes, and one of its strategies was to build low-cost flats to house squatters. Thus, the squatters of Jalan Cheras were moved into low cost flats near the intersection between Jalan Cheras and Jalan Loke Yew, near the present-day Cheras Badminton Stadium.

These homes were generically called “kau lau” (nine storeys) although the height of these blocks varied from building to building. From the feng shui perspective, their proximity to Kerayong River defeats the purpose of rehabilitation, since the impact of the river and the past history of the squatters would most likely create the same scenario for the occupants.

Kerayong River also features prominently in the fortunes of Taman Maluri located nearby. The most visible main entrance into Taman Maluri is through Jalan Cheras at Jalan Jejaka where Jusco is located.

Now, buildings along one side of Jalan Jejaka (the other side is empty) ought to do very well for a few reasons. First, it is located along the main road and is the most visible. Second, it faces the Kerayong River which is parallel to this road and can tap into the pool of energy collected there.

Yet, one may notice that businesses here are not as vibrant as they could be. A cursory look would reveal the answer. They are in close proximity with the Light Rapid Transit (LRT) and high-tension power cables, both of which run alongside the river. Scientists continue to argue whether living near high-tension power cables is detrimental to health. However, I believe that it is not good.

It is a known fact that electric current generates an electromagnetic field. Some scientists argue that such fields cannot penetrate concrete walls and advise people to stay indoors.

We must say that this is a poor understanding of electromagnetism and power cables, and their influence on living beings. It is a known fact that humans are affected by electromagnetism: our blood is rich in iron which responds to magnetic fields; our brains and nervous system operate using electric signals and impulses.

We can be affected by electromagnetic fields. Even if we stay indoors based on the assumption that electromagnetic fields cannot penetrate concrete walls, how about windows, doors and the roof? If we are shielded within the confines of our home, how do our mobile phones or wireless networks work?

Here is another perspective, based on feng shui principles. Energy enters a person’s home through the main entrance, as it is the most often used opening that leads into the house. This is why placing the main entrance in the correct sector of one’s home is important. It is not the direction the entrance faces, but rather its location relative to the home and the owner.

Having a main entrance at the most conducive sector simply lets us induce energy into this favourable sector through the movement of people. Now, if the energy outside the house is unstable, due to the electromagnetic fields generated by high-tension power cables, then what sort of energy would you infuse into the house?

The effects will gradually affect the occupants, as the unstable energy gradually displaces stable energy. That is why living very close to high-tension power cables will not make you deathly ill within days or mere months. It happens over time, not just to health but harmony, wealth and achievement as well.

Engineers and scientists probably had the right idea when they proposed a setback of 33 feet from power cables and rivers whereby no development is allowed. Alas, this is often ignored in the chase for wealth, to the detriment of people who buy those properties.

Behind the shophouses of Jalan Jejaka are more shophouses (at Jalan Jejaka 2). These shops do relatively well. However, according to feng shui principles, this is not the most ideal direction to face. Their backs are to the river, where an LRT line and power lines are located.

The Jejaka area is unique for having an unusually high concentration of shophouses. Most developments have a mix of residential and commercial development. When they were first launched, each block of shophouses were sold between RM300,000 to RM400,000. Today, the price has doubled.

People who live along Jalan Jejaka 2 should notice something unusual or odd. The end lots along Jalan Jejaka 3, 5, 7 and 9 that intersect with Jalan Jejaka 2 are mostly coffeeshops and restaurants. They are all doing roaring business, while businesses across the road do not seem to fare as well. Is it a mere coincidence that these end lots happen to face the river?

Even as you travel up and down Jejaka 5 and 7 (which are perpendicular to the river), you will find that buildings facing southwest, following the direction of the river flow, are doing well while their neighbours across the road, facing against the flow, are not. In fact, many of these properties are shuttered and few are open for business.

At the other end lots of shophouses along Jalan Jejaka 3, 5, 7 and 9 (intersecting with Jalan Jejaka 4), businesses including coffeeshops seem to do less well. They have their backs to the river. Shops across the road, facing the river are, again, doing good business. There is even a very popular but expensive Teo Chew porridge shop here. One modest bowl of dishes can set you back between RM20 and RM30, and yet Ying Kee continues to enjoy good business.

We are inclined to believe that the value of a property is not just location, location, location, but rather, location, orientation and inclination. Is the building facing the right direction? Does it have a high back and low front? These seem to be the recurring theme throughout our tour so far.

Shops that have poor facing directions tend to suffer or keep changing hands. The owners may go out of business or enjoy success after much struggle. Even then, their success could be temporary or last for only one generation.
The Maluri Inn is a modest three-star hotel set in this area. It would likely do well if its entrance is changed to face the river (southeast) or to follow its direction(southwest). Presently, that is where the entrance to its ballroom is located and it is hardly used.

Across the Kerayong River from where we are, there is Taman Shamelin Perkasa. For some strange reason, both of these areas remain divided by the river. At a time when flyovers and bridges crisscross the city, it is odd that no one has done anything to connect the two.

To travel between these townships, we have to ply into Jalan Cheras or travel via Pandan Jaya, thus creating traffic jams on both sides. What a pity, as we believe a bridge would have contributed to the prosperity of both areas.
Next, we will take the Pandan Jaya route to Taman Shamelin Perkasa.

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