Bayan Mutiara and land use

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Another township coming up. How about also allocating space for organic vegetable farms and orchards? With food prices soaring and the not impossible prospect of global food shortages, we need to be self-sufficient in food.

Business Times, 7 June 2011

Does Penang have a policy to promote sustainable farming and fishing? Even on the mainland, the space for agriculture and suitable fishing waters is shrinking. If we don’t protect and promote farming and fishing, we can’t complain when food prices rise.

Think of the vegetable farms in Tanjung Tokong and Farlim that have vanished. Now we rely on Cameron Highlands for our vegetables – and as fuel prices (and hence transport costs) rise, further vegetable price increases will become inevitable.

And what happens when Cameron Highlands doesn’t have enough to supply the whole of Malaysia?

41 COMMENTS

  1. For those who have yet to Bayan Mutiara, here are some good tips :

    a) It’s near Queensbay Shopping Mall, so you can’t miss it even if you are from out of town.

    b) The seafood nearby (i was told run by local fishermen) is rather new – try that before the stalls made way for IJM or Ivory.

    c) Present open space at Bayan Mutiara – good for flying kites on breezy days. Bring your kids there so that they grow up knowing what a kite is and not a tool in Playstation orNintendo.

    d) A night funfair being held nearby. Get the ride there at ecomical price and save up money to buy expensive and depleting fish stock in Penang.

    cheers !!!!

     
  2. We are a state and not a country.

    As long as we can have sufficient land to grow food in this country, we need not worry about agricultural land being converted to township.

    Greening of the urban environment is better achieved by planting trees than vegetables.

     
      • Then the vegetarian food will be much, much cheaper and safer to eat! And helps save food cost for those who go vegetarian like me, a part-time vege.

         
      • Eat less meaty stuff in Penang Street Food to save the earth !

        Recommend Lily’s Vegetarian Kitchen at Madras Lane, Penang.

         
      • Anil

        To encourage the concern for the endangered environment, why not set up a forum for those interested to know more about Vegetarian Food (street food) available in Penang ?

        I am more than willing to contribute my information.

         
  3. Penang is changing … give you a tip Anil … check on Fort Cornwallis, LGE Gov already in talks with a group that run and entertainment/commercial project in Juru area … they may be taking over the fort, managing it. Wonder what it will become?

     
    • All the mumbling ghosts of Captain Francis Light’s cohort will run away to the nearby Magistrate Court and Standchart, HSBC buildings!
      And Malaysian Johnny Depp wannabe will set up fort entertainment camp for pinang trees swinging Pirates of the Caribbean all night long!
      Who needs water cannon at Fort Cornwallis full of candle-lit peace-loving and justice-for-all Penang Lang?

       
      • In Egypt they have Light & laser show near the Pyramid.

        I heard in New Delhi also some form of laser show near one of the trademark monument there.

        So naturally ok if local government gonna set up a venture like that.

        Imagine the impact :
        a) Vendors (on motobike) will line-up outside the Fort o sell food, drinks n souvenirs. Good to stimulate local entrepreneuriass.

        b) Candle Light virgil able to gain mileage with more exposure to visiting tourists hence external media attention for good causes.

        c) yes, we can our own version of Pirates (Francis Light to our locals were onced considered pirates anyway) of Pulau Mutiara. We can many sequels like :
        Pirates Of Pulau Mutiara & The Missing Monkeys of Feringghi
        Pirates Of Pulau Mutiara & The Fall of the Gerkhins
        etc

         
  4. A price tag on a piece of land, dictates the development on the land, it is market-driven and commercially motivated. we can’t expect vegetable plots and agriculture when developers are given the mandate to develop the land. Not much people has ever questioned the western economic model which is much based on capitalism and consumption. there WAS no price on land in the distant past before economic model capitalize on it.

    Unless there is enough political will by the government to reverse the decreasing trend of agricultural land, or awareness by the developer itself, self-sustainability on food will remain a distant dream.

    Anil, there is one idea I would like to share with you about sustainable development called ‘rubanisation’ by Tay Kheng Soon. It opened my eye a lot, hope it will do the same to you. look for ‘rubanisation.org’. take some time to digest his ideas.

    By the way,good job on the E&O meeting post. Keep it up with your good work!

     
  5. While we are at it, state gomen should also enforce birth control and stop non-penangites from relocating to Penang. Only parents with productive track record will be issued permit to have kids subject to yearly quota. This will in the long run resolve most of the housing, food and traffic issues we currently face.

     
    • How to enforce birth control when there is a likelihood of a TNB blackout all night long just right after 9 pm when eyes are still wide awake?
      Unless there is already a chastity belt down under (I don’t mean Australia!).
      How I wish to homesteading in ulu areas now where one can multiple as God has instructed men and women to multiple on earth.

       
  6. Not only do we have to green more available land spaces for food, water retention or cleaner air, we have no viable alternative but to get ready for the imminent environmental catastrophe and food shortage in the near future. Food and water will become more expensive and may supersede oil as more expensive essentials or commodities. By then no country with its own food supply will be that generous to sell to anyone.
    It will be a political bargain no unprepared country will win but surrender.

    This is one good mind opening to urban forestry and urban greening:
    http://www.naturewithin.info/

     
  7. The State Structure Plan (a statutory plan) allocates land for agriculture and farming. Has anyone referred to it? However the trend in many cities is also to encourage urban farming. Even in densely populated and expensive cities like Tokyo the local governments are experimenting with urban farming (inside buildings).

     
  8. I think it is way to simplistic to moan and say we should allocate land for agriculture. The reality is, land costs money. The 2 projects mentioned will meet housing needs for a growing population. The land is located in penang, which has one of the costliest land in the country. Who do you think will bear the cost of land? If you look around the world, agriculture land is avail…but usually in areas where the cost is much lower. Do you see farms in Manhattan or Singapore….or even Makati in the Philipines?

     
  9. Anil

    Here is one thing that our mobile telcos can do to serve customers better and to be more transparent in their offerings.

    Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) has become the first telco in Asia to unveil the average access speeds of its mobile broadband services. When you plug a dongle into a notebook computer to surf the Internet, you can now know the average speed you will get if you’re a SingTel customer.

    For example, for users of a 3.6 megabit per second (Mbps) plan, the typical range is between 0.8Mbps and 2.1Mbps or at most 60 percent.
    The maximum average for those using the 7.2Mbps service is at most half (between 1.4Mbps and 3.7Mbps). Premium customers on SingTel’s 21Mbps service will have access speeds of between 1.7Mbps and 4.8Mbps.

    http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporebusinessnews/view/1134878/1/.html

     
    • hello all those techno guy

      i want to surf net but can’t afford expensive deal (to a young student like me) offered by local telco companies.

      my father is a hawker at chulia street and he is lost by all the marketing lingo & bits bytes by celcom, tm streamyx, maxis, yes etc.

      Can someone (especially those who live in Penang) advise poor folks like us which telco broadband deals are the best in terms of true value (access speed, download quota etc) ?

      Anil can do good justice if he can do investigative reporting on the best broadband deals in town.

      meanwhile, i continue to surf at my father’s hawker stall tapping free signal provided by Penang Government (signal on off but still better than what previous government can deliver).

       
      • I use Penang free wifi. No need to go through telcos: Penang so small lah. Even some of the bigger kopitiams also got free wifi. Why pay? Rich kah, like Gherkin Khan? Thank you, Guan Eng.

         
      • Anil

        Perhaps you can do a comparison study on the best broadband deals for users who do not use internet for massive downloading, but purely to read news and blogs?

        There are so many different packages but I simply do not know the hidden costs before one could sign up.

        Maybe other readers can provide their input here.

         
  10. The land of my Hakka grand parents which they once used for rubber trees, fruit trees, vegetables and livestock farming in the hills of Balik Pulau are no longer used for that agrarian purpose anymore. Sold to the wealthy towkays decades ago, most of it are now used for the purpose of private bungalow lifestyle, weekend BBQ and relaxation.
    Many hill areas in Balik Pulau and soon Sungai Pinang and Pantai Acheh will be grabbed by the wealthy and greedy developers for their selfish lifestyle and profitable gains. And many are durian-rich and nutmeg estates producing the best of Ang Hay Durian unique only in Penang.
    Many used to hike or trek up the numerous trails passing by farm lands and homesteads and occasionally warned by barking dogs. Soon these trails will be off limit to outsiders / trespassers and demarcated and protected with electric fencing for the simple reason of security.
    To those nature loving mountain bikers, these trails will be history very soon!
    And the day will come when whatever vege or fruits you buy in Balik Pulau or Ayer Itam markets will all come from Cameron Highlands or Thailand!
    Hakka Yin, em hiau ku ni eh chu kong ti! (Hakka fellas, why can’t preserve grand parents land heritage!)

     
      • Too many uncles, too many diverse self interests.
        And as a godson to the eldest inheritor, did not even get a single cent from the land sale!
        What more can I say to you, Rach.

         
  11. Be realistic Anil. Go to the hypermarket, compare the price of imported vegetables/foods, you will learn Cameron vegetables are NOT cheap.

    Since you are so close to the North, you can also check Thailand rice price compare to Malaysia rice. Go google padi production, you will learn that Malaysia average padi production per acres, are way below Thailand average, perhaps you should ask why.

    Malaysia hannel billions ringgit of subsidies to Felda annually. However, the country still failed to increase the crops production to satisfactory level.

     
  12. SP Setia is now the new Darling of LGe, the one who will deliver the SPICE for LGe. Guess who will win in the land duel? What will happen if SP Setia is the ultimate winner? Will SP Setia turn Bayan Mutiara into another Big Ghetto by increasing the plot ration to more than 87 units per acre, with a total built-up area of 122,000 sq ft per acre or even worst?

     
  13. If you want to be a farmer, it will help if you are also an accountant.
    Otherwise, you end up like the UMNO entrepreneurs, always Red in the books, plenty of show no … fruitful results!!

     
  14. I agree with Anil, the world is already facing a shortage of foods and not getting better! ….including clean and healthy vegetables. No point moaning when the situation hit your …!!
    Japanese did not require a lot of land to grow their vegetables…perhaps, we can learn from them if land limitation is the problem or even study from China, how they are able to feed 1.5 billion of her citizens (the unofficial figure includes illegal births) and still, have some to export!

     
    • I didn’t say it had to be on that particular plot of land. Anyway why think of only profits for the companies and not the good of the people of Penang.

      After all, we all eat vegetables…

      but are we allocating any land for vegetable farms?

       
      • I hope our politicians can adopt the noble and selfless thinking of Anil.

        Under BN rule, there has never been a planned, structured and sustained development in our country because it requires disciplined, transparent and honest undertaking which sadly our politicians do not possess or choose to ignore for reasons known to us.

         
      • This is the indicator of our BN successful education policies. Be grateful to BN lah. Your children have decent education opportunities.

         
      • Maybe you should ask the recruitment people at the factories how many employable graduates these decent education opportunities are producing.

        No need to debate.

         

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