Each of the 3888 units of dwelling in the 9 blocks of flats gave thousands of economically-disadvantaged folks a home – well, no buffaloes roamed, and no deer and antelopes played, but never mind.
They were tiny, averaging only 360 sq feet! Built in the mid-to-end 1960s, the Rifle Range Flats, Penang, were the first high-rise apartments in the state. I still remember watching intently from the adjacent Batu Gantong cemetery as the pre-cast concrete slabs were lifted up by cranes and put into place. Many people in Penang wondered if this kind of ‘Lego block’ assembly technique was safe.
Well, nearly 50 years have gone by, and they are still standing there as solid as ever. Unfortunately the super-high density design spawned many social problems that have worsened over the years.
I believe the Federal government has a plan to demolish these flats and re-develop the area.