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    Oct 10, 2016

    Residents come and go in ECP 'kampung'

    SOME tents were dismantled and the occupants moved out.

    But new ones would move in, pitch

    their own tents and "squat" in them

    for as long as they need to.

    And so the unlicensed tented community

    at a secluded part in Area D of East Coast Park, which popped up years ago and has shaped up to look like a "kampung" now, continues to exist.

    It is where anyone without a home might

    come and set up their abodes among others.

    Many living in the so-called "Tent Kampung" are new faces, who claimed they had moved in

    only recently, according to Shin Min Daily News.

    A cleaner, who did not want to be identified, said she moved into the "kampung" after returning from Tianjin, her home for five years with her Chinese husband whom she had divorced.

    She told the Chinese evening daily that she had fallen out with her family since coming home and did not like living in a rented house with others.

    "Now I live here with a male friend.

    "We have a quiet life, we keep the surroundings clean, and we do not create trouble," she said.

    A man in his 60s said he is living now

    in the "kampung" with his wife as he is out

    of a job after injuring himself at work.

    "If I am allotted a flat, I will immediately move in," added Mr Chen.

    A man, who gave his name as Muhammad Ahmad Rahman and claimed to be the unofficial "penghulu" (village head), said the place

    consisted of more than a dozen families.

    "We're all forced by different circumstances to come here. The tents are our home so please don't take picture," the 29-year-old told Shin Min.

    "We commit no crime and rely on ourselves. Sometimes, an MP or volunteers from some family centres will come visit us," he added.

    The "penghulu" noted that he did not like

    living in a welfare home as his freedom would

    be restricted.

    But he admitted he had been issued tickets

    for "illegal camping in public" by the

    authorities many times.

    Mr Muhammad said he spent only $100 to set

    up his "home", the purchases being the canvas,

    the tent rods, a chair and some drawers.

    He revealed that he had been without a stable home for 11 years and is alone as his parents

    had died and his siblings were married.

    Shin Min observed that all the homes there look self-sufficient, all containing essential items such as mattress, blanket, kitchen utensils and drying rack.

    Some families even partitioned their homes into sleeping and living quarters.

    But none has children, it noted.

    The "kampung" is situated near a public toilet where the occupants could go to and have their daily baths.

    According to the National Parks Board,

    camping without a permit in public parks is

    liable to a fine of up to $2,000.