By Dr. Mahathir Mohamad
on March 28, 2011 8:00 AM
I had often wondered why uni-versity towns like Cambridge and Oxford do not develop in Malaysia after we build uni-versities in places far from the towns. After much study and thinking things over I have concluded that it is because uni-versities, particularly Government uni-versities, build all the shops within the campus and probably operate them as well. The residences for the students and staff are all built by the Uni-versity.
Developers find no opportunity for developing the surrounding land through building shops and residences for staff and students. There will only be uni-versity campuses and no uni-versity towns. Uni-versities can be catalysts for new growth areas. That was how Cambridge and Oxford towns were founded. With clever planning these uni-versity towns can be very attractive and can attract visitors, especially relatives of the students coming to visit them. Maybe those in charge of uni-versity funding and development should think about this.
Teringat Angola. The uni-versity campus is so beautifully landscaped that it was built within a compound of half golf course and half residential areas. You’ll find a main road in between campus buildings, right from downtown Angola to Zoelner Golf course. Angola, a small lakes-ville countryside-picturesque town, is located in the northeast corner of Indiana. It’s like an hour drive from Fort Wayne (2nd best place in Indiana I guess), Kalamazoo (There were lots of Malaysian in the Michigan State Univ in 90s) and about 2 hours drive from Metropolitan Chicago (where you’ll get all your halal daging ayam from Devon Street). Indianapolis, Cleveland, Detroit, and Toledo are also only about three hours away via Interstate 69.
Angola is just like Tronoh. My first impression upon arrival at that town was a quite, peaceful town and perhaps a place for ol’ folk untuk menghabiskan saki baki hidup. It was a normal view in Angola if you find old lady doing their shopping all by themselves. If you go downtown for entertainment, you’ll find few good places to lepaking; Brokaw for instant is the place to release your stress watching movies. Well, we usually rent videos from Scotts at $0.52 cents per movie (kalau movie berwarna tu charge mahal skit ha ha ha). Further, you’ll find Bowling Alley; place to heat up yourself during winter (Unnerving feeling occurs and the need to disappear when some red-neck started to bowl foolishly. Further up, you’ll find rows of shops at the left and right side of the main street. It was also part of an entertaining routine for us to shop at Wall Mart, Myers only to refund back the goods purchased within a month time (taking advantage of 30days no-question-asked money back guarantee policy).
Taking up north, you could find beautiful lake view of Pokagon State Park. We used to have our bbq at the open camping area. You can do swimming, fishing, jungle tracking or just enjoy the nature. In a tragedy back in 1995, one of our Bangladeshi girlfriends drowned in that Pokagon lake. There are so many lakes in that State Park. I once tried to explain that to a librarian lady by saying “Oo.. there got many nice beaches there..”(which sounded like bitches…and she goes like “Oo…Ok?” frowning).
Further north, you could do shopping at value price from the outlets at Freemont. Levi’s, Reebok, Guess & Fossils, Queen Anne (sudu garpu yang mahal), you name it. In Levi’s, I barely could find pant of my size. :p~~~
Angola is populated by about 17 to 18 thousand of many ethnicity; Asian, African American (students only), Amish (yang tidak menggunakan enjin dalam hidup), the Whites and the famous Red-neck. The Uni-versity community is 10% of Angola’s population. No doubt Angola is the best fun place to live, safe and comfortable (at least when you not bump into the red-neck)
P/s – The uni really lighten up the surrounding areas. Wonder our neighbor Bob still there finishing his Bachelor Degree at 40++.