Festive kampung cheer at Boon Lay neighbours’ doorsteps
When their next-door neighbour suggested they "combine" and decorate the corridor in front of their two homes for Hari Raya, Mr Shaieful Azan Zanal Abidin and Ms Siti Zulaifa Sukardi did not hesitate.
That was three years ago.
Since then, the 27-year-old couple have been teaming up with Mr Muhammad Sabri Johari, 30, and Ms Siti Juliana Saptu, 27, every year to give a festive air to their shared corridor in Boon Lay.
Each year, their efforts reached new heights. This year, they have picked a "kampung" theme.
The space in front of their flats is covered with a "grass" rug lined by picket fences, and the walls are decorated with flashing LED lights, while two "torches" stand near the entrance of the corridor.
The decorations cost a total of about $150.
"We wanted to bring back this kind of 'village' atmosphere, even though we have never lived in a village," said Mr Azan, who works as a logistics coordinator.
The corridor area is not just a place to enhance the festive spirit but has also become an extra space where they can sit to chat and relax.
The corridor has also turned into an attraction for their other neighbours and even food delivery riders.
Ms Zulaifa said: "Some neighbours bring their children to see the lights here and take pictures."
"Delivery riders who come to deliver our food have also praised what we do because this is something they don't usually see," said the teacher.
The two neighbours had moved into their flats around the same time three years ago and have grown closer over the years. Mr Azan and Ms Zulaifa recently took a trip to Batam with Mr Sabri and Ms Juliana and their two children, aged seven and one.
Mr Sabri said they hope to be an example of good neighbourliness to others.
"Indeed, we are lucky to have such neighbours, who are willing to cooperate and maintain a good relationship with us," he said.
A photo of their shared corridor posted by Mr Azan on Twitter recently made the rounds, prompting comments from many, including Malaysian Twitter users.
Mr Azan said: "I hope with this post we can encourage others to continue to build a good relationship with their neighbours, regardless of race or religion. -BERITA HARIAN
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