Before you buy a ‘sea-view’ property, think about rising sea levels


You would be forgiven for not knowing the results of a new study on how climate change is going to raise sea levels to a level higher than earlier expected. After all, who wins the English Premier League is way more important to the media and many of us than inundation by rising sea levels, right?

And so it is business (including property development and land reclamation) as usual…

Not surprisingly, a new report ‘Global and Regional Sea Level Rise Scenarios for the United States‘ last month hardly drew any media or public attention. The report forecasted that sea levels could rise by up to 8 feet by 2100.

The report was published by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, together with the US Environmental Protection Agency, the US Geological Survey (USGS) and Rutgers University – presumably before the Trump administration could do anything about it! (I suggest you keep the report before the climate change-deniers make it ‘disappear’.)

The business magazine Forbes – note, not an environmental NGO – translated the findings into simple language: “… the lowest scenario story line projects that global seas will rise by 1 foot (a big problem) by the end of this century. The worst-scenario finds up to 8 feet of sea level rise over the same period (a very, very big problem).”

And it will continue to rise beyond 2100.

So how would this affect us here in Penang and the rest of Malaysia? Three years ago, Malaysia was listed as one of the 20 countries that would be worst hit by rising sea levels – with 1.2m people (4 per cent of the population) likely to be affected. That estimate would surely have changed by now.

READ MORE:  Pay heed to warnings from Nature


Head over to Climate Central and play around with interactive map there. Vary the rise in the sea level and carefully examine how the rising sea level will affect the coastline in Penang and the rest of Malaysia. You judge for yourself.

In the 1970s, long before the 2004 tsunami or when anyone had heard about rising sea levels, an old family friend of my parents was thinking of buying a house near the coast on the mainland. But his wife was against the idea – she had a premonition or phobia about living too near the sea, and they then bought a house further inland. Events have since showed us that her fear was not without basis.

So think again before you rush to book your property with a glorious sea view. You – or your grandchildren – might get a closer view of the sea than you bargained for!

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  1. Africa’s ‘resilient cities’ plan for the future

    The effects of climate change may not be apparent in some parts of the world just yet.

    But in Dakar, the battle against nature has already begun, with coastal erosion wreaking havoc on the city’s peninsula that stretches into the Atlantic — forcing people to move out of their homes and ruining its long, sandy beaches.

    By 2080, more than 300 buildings and 60 percent of its beaches could be gone, according to a 2013 report.

    But now, the Senegalese capital of some 2.5 million people is fighting back, with a master plan for tackling the challenges brought on by a changing climate and growing population.

    As one of the world’s 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) — a project by the Rockefeller Foundation which lists resilient world cities tackling everything from rising sea levels and coastal erosion to housing and energy challenges — Dakar is the first of eleven African cities to introduce a so-called resilience strategy, a key milestone in the program.

    “Africa is one of the front lines in terms of urbanization globally. People are moving out of the villages and into the cities at a pace unprecedented in history,” says Michael Berkowitz, President, 100RC.

    The aim is to provide a model for what a new, more resilient urbanization might look like.

    “A sort of global revolution in the way we think about urbanization,” Berkowitz says.

    The Rockefeller Foundation has allocated $164 million to the program, which will fund a chief resilience officer for each city to draw up a resilience plan and provide support and a network of expertise.

    Creating the perfect future city
    “The things that really make a city resilient — more cohesive communities where neighbors check on neighbors, better transportation, mobility, improved air quality, better built environment and architecture — these don’t happen in a year or two, or even three. That’s the work of a generation.”

    • Tell that to PAS and east coast states. The gun pillar boxes to fight Japs are now in submerged in seawater. The Pantai Cinta has become Pantai Laut. Yet our tua pek Kong is barking up the wrong tree.

  2. The eerie cities where nobody lives

    The world’s biggest ghost towns
    In the last few decades, built-up areas in China have increased nearly fivefold – from 3,413 square miles (8,842 sq km) in 1984 to 16,126 square miles (41,768 sq km) in 2010. To construct these new urban zones, China used more concrete in the three years between 2011 and 2013 than the whole of the United States used in the 20th Century.

    Yet even in the world’s second largest economy, the rate of development has overtaken demand. Take China’s largest ghost town, Kangbashi in Ordos, Inner Mongolia. The province is rich in natural resources and the government built a futuristic city quickly to house an expected influx of workers. But they never came. Apart from a few local officials and a handful of migrant workers enticed by a special “relocation bonus” the city’s towerblocks, plazas and sports stadium stand empty.

    There are dozens of uninhabited urban developments across China. Despite a new push to move 100 million rural workers to cities, they remain a haunting reminder of China’s sky-high economic ambitions.

    • Tua pek Kong. Please go and tell china ambassador for what they have done to your ancestor land. They should have built near the sea as development is around coastal cities like fuozhou, Shanghai, Dalian, xiamen, shantou, Guangzhou etc. Even in malai, see how JB, melaka, Penang develops. Few wants to live inland like BM, sp, Taiping.

  3. Cannot build homes at hill slope, hill slope, hill bottom and now also cannot at seaside. Then where to build at Penang island? Do not suggest underground.

      • Rich people have spare cash and buy homes like collecting stamps as hobby. Also they buy now since Ringgit will continue to drop in value and the houses will continue to rise in price as construction materials and labour will also be expensive later.

        If you do not have such mentality, then you are in the different league as far as your current wealth status is concerned. This is a capitalist world after all.

      • A free for all (the rich) to reap?
        It is a scenario not unlike a buffet spread where the first in line scoop all the ho-liao leaving the bo ho-liao to the rest behind the line. People are essentially greedy regardless of whether it’s properties, shares or even [email protected]

        Wealth creation ala capitalist is the hard-core criminal of many ills in the modern world.

        It is not helping to make the world a better place but instead dividing the humanity into a wider gulf of haves & have-nots.

        It is indifferent to the sufferings of other less well-endowed e.g. frenzied (kia su) speculation in housing which is essentially a social need, if taken as a non-status symbol or not gambling chips. People need a decent roof over their heads, not rows of empty houses to boast in their asset class.

        It is blind to the environment crimes in the name of business. Nothing is sustainable but a poker-game type of mentality – if one business or industry fails, just jump to the next (opportunity). Who cares -the … retrenchment, the price of broken career dreams, the toxic wastes, the ever-growing mountains of thrash of outdated/end of life products due to the corporate practice of shorter life cycle for manufactured products, the disruptions of markets for diminishing raw materials.

        One thing is certain of this type or league of wealth creation:
        The world will never be the same as the one we, regardless of race, creed or league, honestly cherish in our dreams.

    • The current situation is an over-supply of properties built & sold @ high-end prices, which is not meeting the actual demand of local populace. So, why to build some more?
      Just a simple arithmetic, unless one is so consumed by greed to not understand with ten-finger counting.

      • Buying a home to stay and buying a home as investment are 2 different things. Therefore many still cannot reconcile the reality why the developers continue to build to feed the demand for investment. Property investment is now an industry in Malaysia with frequent property talks, seminars and fairs.

      • You still don’t understand that housing speculation has caused surreal prices of homes, which otherwise (primary or secondary markets) should have been more affordable. Put in the greed factor of developers & I hope you will understand the arithmetic of investment with dire consequences.
        Karma is watching!

      • You don’t understand. Feudal system has been in long existence. Even communists tried to change but today, people buy properties and collect rents and some self financing just like olden days of land owners. Why don’t you stand for election and implement changes or talk until the cows come home?

      • Why silent on excess universities and grads who are unemployable and not suit to demand by employers? Further, they required free training paid by tax payers. We also have excess kopi tiams, roti rata and smart phone shops. They entice people to lazy around with unnessay talks.
        Of course tua pek wants his way

      • There are many forecasts. You are the master as you mention what may happen in the future. Also to mislead readers?

      • Way back in 2013, Dr Ernest Cheong predicted that Malaysian property bubble would burst within 1 year:

        Since then the property price continues to rise, although at slower rate lately. So people continue to be brave to invest in property as other investment instruments did not bring in good returns, unless you are a bumiputera that could sit back to earn 8% per annum easily on Amanah Saham Bumiputera.

      • Way back in 2013, Dr Ernest Cheong predicted that Malaysian property bubble would burst within 1 year:

        Since then the property price continues to rise, although at slower rate lately. So people continue to be brave to invest in property as other investment instruments did not bring in good returns, unless you are a bumiputera that could sit back to earn 8% per annum easily on Amanah Saham Bumiputera.

  4. Zoro
    I didn’t specifically mention Penang.Johor and Melaka also reclaim land in big scale JV with China.
    Anyway how much the poor gets in return?Do you know how much?…

    rajraman.Do i say its haram to make $$$?

    • If johor and melaka can, Penang can or cannot?
      how much you think the poor to get fair value from Penang gomen given how many are the poor? Do you know how much the state made and how much gilakan central gomen give to state?
      you want the state to spend all what it gets and forget to save for raining days. If reasonable reply, your grouses are valid and we support you to be the coming tokong.

      • I have given up hope on Umno and Barisan.I am hoping the new goverment by Tokong will be different but he his no difference.
        There are many poors strugling and you said Tokong keeping for raining days? When? The next election?
        I parroting your words they give to the poor but you as usual can’t anwser how much and to how many peoples.Now not raining?The rain only comes when election comes.

        rajraman.Thank you for the offer of your one votes to make me Tokong.I rather be the Devil for some peoples to question how should a good goverment should be.I given the solution but keep harping for more.

      • you are the only person paying taxes income and gst to penang state gomen but all to central. your taxes are big like bullock cart wheel? fortunate no one ask for heritage perservation and no bullock cart riding on any roads.
        you have not even give figures on profit and expenses.
        why ask tokong when you can ask mic who is the tokong of hospitals? you cant differentiate services provide by state and federal. stopping spinning as health is mic federal role

      • Silent is Golden someone said.

        rajraman.To be silent with the great manipulators of Tokong its words every penny of my soul.if i ssy A you will tell a to z without ending.

        The great manipulator name zz.

      • Thanks for parroting my words where there are tokong there are devils the lucifers. Of course the lucifers tells more than A to Z, it is also Z to A. Therefore we cannot be blind. We need to discern carefully

      • Raj

        Do not expect any government to help you.
        Just be thankful if the government does not do harm to your future with false promises and corruption.

        Young generation should have good education and good attitude to face the future, and not dependent on BR1M if you are have the necessary skillsets to earn S$ in Singapore as 1S$ is hitting RM3.2 soon.

      • Mark,i have gone through with one meal a day when i start to works.No Politicals Traders help and i never ask for help.
        Out of pure hardwork i made it.I never believe Political Traders lies and their saliva talks.10 years hardworks,10 years later to see the fruits of success and 10 years to choose and picky to do any job who pay me well as i please.(30 years plus made me learn who tell lies and half truth).

        I have enough $$$ at least for the next 20 to 30 years if ringgit stay at this level.My kids grown up and they might migrate in few years time after they get some experience working.(just graduate).My mistake of keeping them here.As father i am a bit selfish and i want to see them beside me everyday.

        My main worries is my workers who with me the last 15 to 20 years.Keep them the last 1.5 years without any big job eating my company reserved.

        rajraman.This will be the last year for me to make decision to closed shop and let them goes before its eats into my retirement.I am not greedy to invest at my age.Anything goes wrong my saving will be wipe out.The current interest of 3.75 to 5% enough to sustain my life style.
        8% Amanah Saham giving almost 30k a month for me but UMNO say i am not the son of this soil although i born in this same soil as them.
        Thank you Mark for your advised although i known about it.If you are young and got the skill goes for it.Not Singapore i think but other countries who have better social life,better enviromental protection and freedom of speech,not makes a homes as investment tools beyond the next generation.
        Now i blog for good goverment and the happiest moment i see Opposition make inroads to state level but the happiness is fading since they also behaved like warlords.

      • Good advice!
        Now can work in Singapore but not for long as they are going for more automation and SMEs there are given government grant to go digitisation and move labour intensive operation offshore.

      • Its also raining with sick peoples who are poor in hospitals but Hadi more concern about after life.
        rajraman.Your tokong can help some poor peoples at least in Penang Hospitals.Don’t wait until their relative rains tears who dont get help from your Tokong.

      • Certain people believe that 72 virgins are waiting for them in afterlife.
        So they need to be fervent in their present day belief to justify the pleasure?

  5. Forbes cherry-picks the lowest value: “1 foot”. In Bolehland, the delusions encompass these:
    – reclaiming land from the sea
    – continuing to destroy mangrove forests
    – superficial remediation of coastal erosion in Pahang and Terengganu.

    We may have 15-20 years at best. Keep deluding yourself while you can.

    • Watch the DiCaprio’s “Before The Flood” documentary (not funded by Red Granite) and you will find that deforestation for oil palm plantation (Indonesia is featured, but Malaysia is also a culprit) is one factor causing climate change and rise in sea water. Those driving cars are releasing green house gas from their exhaust, feeling guilty with your carbon footprint?

      With today’s technology of virtual or augmented reality, soon you can visualise 360 degree seaview or whatever view you want with Google Oculus or Samsung Gear. No need to spend big for a seashore condominium.

      • DiCaprio is just like our tua pek Kong. he can claim but never do He flow from N.Y. to L.A. 5 times in 7days in private jet. How much he left behind carbon foot prints! Can’t he talk first class seat in commercial jets?

      • Di Caprio did not protest against Malaysian oil palm plantation because of his association with MO1 and Jho Low?

  6. Ideal Properties project near QBay Mall will then add extra selling point thanks to Anil. They shall state that their prestigious condo there shielded by rising water or tsunami by land mass of Jerejak Island.

    Now if I have money to buy new home, then not wise to live on hills or near sea per Anil, then I shall heed Anil advice to move to mainlands.

    What say you to fellow concerned readers?

    • Did you play the interactive map (above)?
      It shows mainland Penang will be mostly flooded during a rise of sea level (@ global temp rise of 3°C), more flooded acres than the whole of Penang Island!
      Note: A rise of 3°C is quite possible in the coming decades).
      Unless one intends to move as far as Baling (Kedah).

      • Tua pek Kong opposes any sea works and allow heritage to submerge. Tua pek Kong allow disappearing of of UNESCO site by opposing sea levee like Hollanders who pioneer SeaWorks

    • Sometimes in life you have to decide Damien.The pros and cons.If you works in mainland buy in mainland but if you works in Penang Island then please count the cost of petrol,tolls and time if your homes in mainland.

      rajraman.Don’t be a slave to please anyone and also high end condos comes with maintenance charges 30 to 40 cents psf minimum.Your add that monthly you might be abble to buy landed properties.Life style with condo views to see the world,swimming pools,gym its for you to used for few months but after that you don’t even bother to open your windows to see the view.

      Your own views about yourself is more important then other people’s views about you.As long you have some extra $$$ in the pocket to spend wisely you should be happy.

      Hold on from buying properties,the days of developers selling at high prices and flipping is over.If more people’s refused to buy from flipping the price will comes down but human greed and buyers fears of exclating price very well used by Developers to increase price.

      • Retirees can live more peacefully on mainland, away from all the consumerism and grievances/noises from GROs like Penang Forum.

      • G
        Its a part of our social obligation retired peoples to remind how a good goverment should behaved on behalf of current and future youngsters welfare.

        rajraman.If everyone who retired or don’t bother the Political Traders works together with Developer to rip off youngster $$$ then its a bad example.As senior citizen we must guard and protect the next generation not to be abused by Political Traders.
        Think about it G and thank you.

      • Sometimes, free social obligation by concerned seniors (who have nothing to gain) is not appreciated by the siau-lien chiau (young birds) until after the fact of the insidious afflicted upon them.
        Maybe, this is a course of life lessons for them to learn the hard ways (karmic?).
        The injustice can be avoided if people are more discerning & use common sense.

        Nothing is more sly & influentially toxic than an egoistic idol.

      • Dear, your time will come when you will feel the same.
        Don’t be so cocky sure.
        And pls give some respect to Penang Forum…

    • No sense. If everyone wants to be close, you get land from the karma, sky to build houses with tua pek Kong and pg forum screaming? Tell us where to get land if everyone wants to stay on the island,? Further where to get water in the island if more people wants to drink kopi kau2 . ,Can’t blame if one is rigid and worship his deity. But japs and china built high speed train. Osaka to Tokyo is only 1 hour and is as fast as from airport to komtar. People in Seremban travel by bus to KL to work everyday.

  7. Don’t cremate as burning at high temp is required. Don’t travel and move around as there will be jams and cars are not move but continue to burn fuel. Don’t drink kopI or Teh as boiling is required. Don’t use computer as directly it is electricity generted by fossil fuel. Don’t blame others sea level is due to ourselves

  8. Today’s scientific predictions of environmental changes in weather patterns, air + sea temperatures, depleting snowfall & shrinking ice caps, increasing tornadoes, torrential rains & flooding, etc with % are often revised by an advancement of a few years sooner than predicted!
    We are living in an age of unpredictability.

    Yet, in the name of material progress & lifestyle living, GDP as a measure of wealth creation, currency ratings, cheap labor productions, voracious consumptions & the me-factor, we relentlessly pursue these coveted creations of the capitalists championed + marketed by the American Money-ed Lifestyle.

    Before Mother Earth is depleted of its natural resources at the rate of never-satisfied consumption, we already are aiming planet Mars & other earth-like planets as future planets of consumption. It is as if we are receptive to the idea of a doomed Earth!

    Alternative thinking of changing political-economic-social norms & practices is deemed madness in the slippery name of progress > more money > more consumption > more never-ending desires.

    • Desires motivate human to strive for more BUT should not be at the expense of own and public health and safety.
      Curb your desire. Live in simplicity with inner peace then less angry complaints detrimental to spiritusl wellness. Bin chui not recognizable after death. Believe in Karma for better merits in present and future.

      • Then pls don’t believe in basic human rights? Can or not?
        And pls don’t vote for Karma doesn’t recognise a vote for Niao Kong!

      • tua pek kong is making komtar more powerful than Mo1, trump, beijing and mohdi. komtar can decide to raise or maintain the sea level

  9. Sea rise? Who cares? As long the Developers,State Goverment pocket rised with $$$.Keep digging more man made island and keep some extra land as investment as cementery.Even a plot of 6 feet land to bury nowdays is a investment.

    rajraman.Someone said (from BN) buy properties and bank should allow 3 generation to pay bank loan.
    The next generation without Political Traders membership with title Datuk Sri YB will be homeless or swallow by sea.

    • Someone said (from BN) buy properties and bank should allow 3 generation to pay bank loan.

      Yeah, greedy developers laugh to the banks the moment press b. buyers sign the S&P, so no need to wait for 3 generations to complete the sale. While home buyers suffer the next 3 generations!

      • Thats why don”t buy Political Traders and Developers sweet talks.The print media just want $$$ to cover their pages.More $$$ for them.
        rajraman.Believe their words at own perils.

      • Tua pek Kong forget greedy buyers but also central Gomen for inflation and money depreciation

    • So love the lifestyle condos that some dead ones want to be as ashes in ceramic vase placed near open corridors of condos to continue enjoy sea views or mountain views while remain close physically with next of kins.

      • Hopefully the vases with ash not flown away with tornado into the sea.When sea rised its will follows with enviroment change like wheather.

        rajraman.Damien – your name remind me the 666 movies.Those days i liked to watch this movies. Pity the kids who was posses by so called Devil.
        The crow flies and the sign of Devil Return.

      • Only columbariums are allowed to keep ashes or bones in stored vases.
        I have not heard of any condo that satisfies the dead wishing for such lifestyle wants (living in close proximity with the living loved ones)!

        This is only possible if one stays in the fringes of forest away from the eyes of authorities.

    • who cares if people stil want to live in penang. does it means gomen is haram to make $¥£€ and give back to poor peope? yes robinhood is worss than the sheriff

      • Developer and state gomen’s pocket is rising also cannot? Speak like Greater tokong. They don’t employed people, pay taxes, follow bldg by laws and use taxes to improve services? Then better for Greater tokOng to come out and show the way as human has been trying with different tokings and system of managing. Of course they are silence with gilakan&central gimen


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