Home Environment Sustainable development Tanjung Bunga: Good for developers, depressing for residents

Tanjung Bunga: Good for developers, depressing for residents

File photo of the Sore Thumb

This was outgoing Tanjung Bunga Residents Association chairman Renji Sathiah’s farewell address at the annual general meeting of the Tanjung Bunga Residents Association on 25 February 2017:

Penang and Tanjung Bunga continue to be threatened with unrestrained and unplanned development. More and more high-rise high-density projects have been and are being built in Tanjung Bunga and Batu Feringghi, greatly increasing traffic flows through our neighbourhood to and from the city.

Density in Penang, once 30 units per acre, was increased to 87 a few years ago and will be increased by the authorities to 128 units per acre, quadrupling what it used to be. A 65-storey building will replace the Copthorne Hotel, dwarfing its already giant neighbours at the Cove and One Tanjung.

The recently conducted survey of the Penang Structure Plan raises fresh concerns. The whole concept of primary and secondary corridors is under review and likely to be dropped. Instead there is the new concept of “optimisation” of the available land in Penang.

There are many flaws and contradictions in this hastily put together and belated review, but the fundamental message is a good one for developers and a depressing one for people concerned about their quality of life and the environment. The TBRA has sent in its comments on the review to the planning authorities.

Threat to hills

The hills, a key heritage of Penang, are in great danger. There is more construction of high-rise buildings on sensitive hill slopes, some of which are clearly illegal.

READ MORE:  55 highrise blocks approved on hills of Penang in recent years

Our fellow residents’ association in Sungai Ara won a landmark appeal against one such development last year but now must contend with another. Similarly, the residents in Paya Terubong have appealed a hill development project which is currently being heard by the appeals board.

From the air and from the drive into Penang on the bridge, one can clearly see the horrific damage done to our beautiful hills. Here in Tanjung Bunga, we have the Alilla 2 construction precariously situated on a sensitive hillside, believed to be illegal and other worrying developments in Chee Seng Gardens.

There is the issue of the paired roads that are already under construction. It is not clear how these roads to the northeast and south of Tanjung Bunga will connect with each other. The idea is to improve traffic flows to and from Batu Feringghi and the city, but we can only see more blockages resulting from this.

Worse, the northeastern road will cut through forested areas, endangering the little there is left of Tanjung Bunga’s green areas and the flora and fauna there.

The TBRA is affiliated to the Penang Forum and supports its efforts to take up all these issues with the authorities. Together with the Penang Forum, we have set up the Residents Associations of Penang, now with 12 member associations, to support one another. Residents associations are a key element in the struggle to promote and protect peoples’ concerns.

Last year we supported the efforts of a group of residents in Tanjung Bunga to push for the disconnection and dismantling of two telecommunications towers at schools in Tan Jit Seng and Lembah Permai. This well organised group finally succeeded after many years of frustration to get the state ExCo to act. It was most satisfying to be there with them when YB Chow informed them of the decision.

READ MORE:  Save our hills declaration at Penang Forum
Sore Thumb: Public park, not marina

The TBRA committee has been anxious to prevent a marina being built in Tanjung Bunga and was very keen to revive the idea of the Sore Thumb being made into a public park. The lack of public open spaces is a major issue in Penang and Tanjung Bunga is no exception.

Encouragingly, the chief minister had agreed in December that we can put up a project for the park and the plans for this should be ready by early next month for presentation to him. The concept is for a self-sustainable park that will promote environmental awareness, highlighting water conservation, energy conservation, recycling, fauna and flora etc and catering for children, youth, and adults.

There will be a special walkaway around the Sore Thumb with stunning sea views and “pit stops” which will highlight the subjects that I mentioned. There will be a football field and even an outdoor auditorium. If realised, we will have something special for Tanjung Bungah and for Penang to enjoy.

With development happening so fast, with all the accompanying issues of environmental damage, traffic congestion and public concerns being ignored, it is important that we stand together as a community and do what we can to preserve the Tanjung Bunga that we love.

The TBRA is the official body through which this can be done and we need your support to be effective. Help us broaden our membership and consider joining the committee to show your commitment to saving Tanjung Bunga. We have supported other RAs when they have had their issues but here, in our own community, support has sadly been lacking.

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Finally, do check out our Facebook page, our WhatsApp group “Saving Tanjung Bunga” and our blog. Your feedback using these media will be much appreciated.

Please help to support this blog if you can.


  1. Anil should channel his energy to constructively promote better public amenities from the state gomen and developers rather than keep demonizing them.

  2. Limit on landed properties raised from RM2mil to RM3mil on Penang island
    Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/03/17/minimum-price-tag-upped-for-foreign-buyers-limit-on-landed-properties-raised-from-rm2mil-to-rm3mil-o/#VIOR1szMwKhgkrDO.99

    The state government has increased the minimum price for foreign purchases of landed properties on Penang island from RM2mil to RM3mil.
    Q: What about the block sales to a single buyer?
    Shouldn’t there be a limit, say 2 properties??? And no loop holes by created corporations by a single entity masquerading as different buyers like that Singlander???

    • Q, why not ask the root and basic question why pg Lang wants to sell? Why sell so chiply? Why seller to same buyer?

  3. The picture posted is more than 3 years ago. Like that no credibility to your posting like recycling old tales not reflecting current situation. Just a feedback, no offence.

      • Do not register with your IC for those freebies. There is no data protection and soon you will receive phone calls offering you all kinds of services like loan

  4. China’s capital flight controls may affect M’sia, says minister

    Uncertainties of PRC home investors may affect those who unrealistically think of selling properties to foreigners (after a fall of Ringgit value) with a glut of properties.

    Time to rethink realistically of pricing strategies & production while there are still Malaysian buyers who are ready customers for the right-priced homes.

    What you say, property gurus?

    • Property price will fall, starting from Iskandar Johor since so many expensive condominiums targeting PRC Chinese suddenly find no buyer. It will be a chain reaction, or domino effect hitting the property price elsewhere from south to north.

      So hold on with your purchase and look for real bargain later this year. Those who have bought properties for speculation better sell now to avoid further losses later this year!

      • Do you think the [Forest City owners] will step in to seek audience with President Xi of PRC to ensure the Forest City project is not affected? It will become a very risky venture if the Chinese from China are not allowed to bring their money here to invest.

      • JDT football team could soon lose its sponsor in Country Garden?
        Answer: Sell off the … monster trucks & refinance the JDT Team, simple as that.

      • It’s more than a tipping point starting from Johor –
        loss of sea environment for fisheries, loss of fishermen jobs, degradation of sea water,
        degradation of rainforest rivers (where sand + soil mining is allowed to meet land reclamation needs), & eventual degradation of water catchment (thus quality of raw water & irregular supply – which explains why Johor needs to buy water from SingLand!),
        disruption of property prices (primary & secondary markets) which encourages more speculation & rise of land prices,
        confusion of freehold status for existing land & reclaimed land which may lead to international law suits against National Land Code Laws (pls recall that tiny island ceded mindlessly to SingLand?) in case of disputes with regards to sovereignty & international citizen’s freedom of human rights (to crimes).

      • like singland. before japs conquered and after with development by lky. now it become garden city and drinking water from sing river. if why produce children with growing population?

      • The tallest residential tower of South East Asia, The Astaka twin tower (74 and 66 storeys) in the heart of Johor Bahru, each unit starts RM3 million.

        Who to buy when PRC Chinese are curbed by their government?

      • Johor can now target rich Singaporean heartlanders to retire comfortably in Forest City? But Singaporeans are very scared of the high crime in Johor, and have no confidence in foreign workers as security guards.

      • Iskandar is too ambitious with so many condominiums built only targeting China buyers. I think trouble is ahead if no buyer is coming from other countries.

      • As Umno is trying to play fire, (alleged) proxy Jamal for anti Chinese racist demo, Ali Tinju’s Anti Chinese business rallies &

        worse, offering Terrorist Guru Zakir Naik to be a PR

        (the) setting up (of) pro ISIS centres producing wannabe Anti Christian Terrorists,

        … it’s a matter of time Western Countries FDIs & PRC will pull out all investments and shun its citizens from buying in the new Talibanised land, to be the Forest City habitats. Since Malaysia is promoting Islamisation and aspired to be a world’s halal hub, then it should attract investments from Middle East to make up for the losses.

      • Price of oil is still falling, even the Saudis have to diversify by investing or joint venturing in Asian countries. Who would want to invest in a fixed asset that doesn’t grow a country’s FDI?
        Dubai is enough of a neighbour’s bad experience to wake up from.

      • Najib’s One Malaysia embraced PRC’s ‘One Road One Belt’. Malaysia has lately been particularly keen to have more business dealings with China. Malaysian assets and contracts seemed to be ‘on sales’ and the successful buyer or service provider would inevitably be companies from mainland China. We can see several huge assets and contracts of Malaysia put ‘on sales’ and won by the mainland Chinese:


    • Never mind vacant unsold properties from speculators as many hohiatee can cross over from Jerejak once a physical bridge connect it to mainland. This year mid July festival surely very merry one!!!

      • In Johor, one can claim that reclaimed land (from the sea) is freehold status rightly reserved for international foreigners. No need to refer to national sovereignty or land code laws or state ownership since it is reclaimed from non-existing land (tanah hantu).
        In future, our Navy (may) not (be able to) enter these lands & surrounding seas since they are excluded from national sovereignty even if an international crime is committed. So far so good for wanna-be international criminals coming to invest in reclaimed lands of Malaysia(?)
        Penang CAT gomen, what say you regarding this reclaimed land with freehold no-brainer issue?

      • Ask Singland!
        May be, once Malaysia gets it back, Johor MB may issue a special freehold to the biggest bidder with a love for lighthouse!

      • Stupid statement. If navy can’t enter if is part of Malaysia how can tnb and air Johor bring water and elect. so ask singland when they get water from maMalaysia?

      • mahathir has posed pictures with signage at forest city showing the properties there are freehold for foreign buyers. foreigners no need to tumpah darah, just tumpah duit to own tanah melayu? 1511 deja vu!

      • A confusion created by Umno to deflect issues raised by Tun M.

        Ask yourself which foreigner will buy condominium costing millions of ringgit if it is not on free hold land?

      • ringgit is no longer like bullock cart wheel which we do not see. now is like rupees peso, rupiahs, dongs running into millions unlike sing dollar. so millions ringgits are onky thousands in uncle sam money

      • It is very vague because Sultan Johor has refused to confront Tun M directly to clear the confusion on this freehold issue. He is after all the major share holder of the project.

    • Forest City in Johor has been focused on the targeted chinese buyers segment.

      Therefore it would need a brand new marketing campaign to convince non-Chinese buyers. Need some rebranding.

  5. Went to Spice just now for megahome fair. Can’t escape Property agent now promoting new condo behind Krystal Suites of Sg Nibong area, despite area there kind of congested already!

    Good feeling not from the expo, but able to witness the open field with sheltered walkways on rooftop of Spice convention centre. Probably when it is officially opened to public, get to meet Anil jogging up there???

    • Those Relau folks living near Spice can now enjoy the amenities and facilities theredespite some protest in the early stage of the development. I believe their properties would also go up in valuation.

      • Would you want to live in an area where large conventions could cause congestion?

      • Worry not as there is no convention every day.
        I do not drive, so no impact on me.

      • Human traffic attending conference an opportunity to earn decent moral living. For example, my friends live near Mahsuri plan to offer cold drinks to thousands Indian participants, and we are learning to make good Indian fast food to sell to them by the entrance they can’t resist as our menu prices much cheaper than that Mamak, Mdm Priya, Olive Hotel, or that Syed Bistro! Anil you can drop by to identify yourself (may be with yr straw hat?) and we treat you foc! 🙂

      • Traffic congestion is now a norm during peak hours and lunch hours as everybody drives nowadays. So people are used to congestion.

      • Very easy to sit in pg transport council and no need to work hard when jams is a frequent matter. Now rapid takes over pg ferry but rapid bus remains the same. So far no body question how to increase ridership and yet rapid is taking over the ferry. How much rapid for the ferry? Chip chip??

      • Spice is the best thing in Relau since the infamous Panther Club.

        Spice provide space for leisure activities for Relau and Bayan Bari residents.

      • Spice with its LED lights really brighten the bad mood of falling ringgit. Certainly a shining star in the current state administration.

  6. Tbra chairman should confront the resident and landowners of tg bungah. Tg bungah is not Hulu Kelantan or gua Musa. It has been before Tua pek Kong is born. Why owners want to sell the land to developers in the first place? If owners and developers joinly develop the place why maximise the land?
    So it is the residents betray the associstion.

  7. My Condolences to the Souls of once Green & Tranquil Tanjung Bungah, a once highly coveted residential sanctuaries where the day ambience was like a hillside dreamers’ park & the night spell, an owl’s view of a bewitching panorama (of yellow lights of homely homes) from the top of Pearl Hill looking down.

    Cycling my Raleigh Carlton along Tanjung Bungah Road (in front of Dalat School) was like a breeze, speeding downhill towards Tanjung Bungah Bus Station with no traffic lights to interrupt my care-free Saturday morning recreation. Occasional cheers from the Dalat students truly made my day! (in the absence of Malay pro-cyclist racers who were the early sport cycling enthusiasts in Penang).

    Jalan Lembah Permai then was a sleepy & narrow country road with side roads connecting the quiet green residences of single storey bungalows, with shady trees to cool the air & tarred roads, & delighted by occasional ‘moos’ of bullock carts transporting anything from fodder to old furnitures. Noisy cockerel chasing mother hen across the sleepy road broke the silence of sweet dreams of day-sleeping dogs.

    One could even play badminton on the roadside like Ng Boon Bee or Punch Gunalan without a care for Speedy Gonzales MyVis (which was not born yet). Thirsty? Just walk to the open-door chai tiam mah (sundry shop) for a stick of Ais Manis (wrapped in 1 inch diameter plastic tubes).
    There was even a rattan furniture maker who crafted the best rattan chairs for Tanjung Bungah elderly folks to rock away the afternoon siestas.
    Walk over to the beaches, the sandy escapade with lapping emerald sea waves & dancing palm trees could have delighted any Captain Francis Light to impulsively make Pulo Pinang his East India Santuary. The rocky beach behind Dalat was the best secret shady spot for fishing Tiger fish & Koay Kao. Swimming to Pulau Tikus (island) was a waiting challenge every Friday after school swimming class @ Pg Chinese Swimming Club only to be distracted by the heavenly Mamak Mee Goreng, No Frills on Banana Leaf.

    That was my Dream Tanjung Bungah residence of the care-free 70s.

    • lucky you can ride raleigh bike. before grandies can go to town on bullock carts and richshaws. some even can sleep on the road. prices are in half cents.

      • Some peoples don’t know what is experience and hardwork Tunglang.
        They are blinded and deaf.

        rajraman.They closed their brain.How you explain to them they refused to listen.They always correct and manipulate like Political Traders.

      • tua pek kong not jealous when grsndies can buy thing at half cents and when george town is cowboy town snd bullock carts and kandang kerbau are everywhere. now tus pek kong no need to worry about stepping on cow dung

      • of politicians no need to work hard. just sweet talk. pass go and collect 200 quids. no need to go to kamunting resort. no need to face pg forum and fishermen.

      • Zoro, Raj666 & Tlang in Penang sci-fi tale travel back in time year 1970, when they are still small kids, arguing at Boston Cafe opposite Capitol Cinema over whose bicycle is the king of the road.

      • 🙂 🙂 🙂 Damien.
        FYI, Boston Cafe in the 70s & 80s for those courting couples & Blue Moon crooners.
        Kids @ Boston? You must be kidding!
        Anyway, I like you imagination!

    • Cycling Raleigh Carlton – zero carbon footprint except your exhaled CO2.

      But now hardly anyone cycle on the road, but more motorised vehicles polluting the atmosphere with greenhouse gas.

      Yes, time has changed. So people can reminiscing the good old days when Gurney Drive is lined with bungalows instead of high-risk condominiums today blocking any sea breeze.

      • “But now hardly anyone cycle on the road” Are you sure?

        Go to Esplanade at night & see for yourself the enthusiast cyclists (in groups) enjoying healthy night rides. Or Karpal Singh Drive.
        Since LGE launched the cycling craze some years ago, bike sellers of Raleigh, Wheeler, etc are laughing non-stop to the banks! Notwithstanding our roads wheezing with Speedy Gonzales MyVis of Fast + Furious!

      • Tokong still the bad guy making bike sellers laughing all the way to the banks. why tua pek Kong must buy branded bike?

    • Anil may want to dedicate a space for tunglang’s 60s tales of Penang, before The Star Wong CW snap him up as regular columnist? Anilnetto.con can be a stepping stone for tunglang to venture out to carve out his journalism career, which may pay him lavishly to afford condos on the island for his 3 children….

    • EcoWorld’s latest 2-page print ad on The Star today touted it’s property offerings (self proclaimed to be masterfully planned and meticulously designed) as ‘My Happy Place’ – where happiness is.

    • I think new development will allow more people the chance to live in Tanjung Bungah, so as not to make it exclusive to the rich to cause social divide.

  8. Ohh,Great,very great job.Looks like Penang is exceptionally good place to invest for future like the real estate agent and bankers told.

    rajraman.The rest of country or state oversupply by unsold/empty houses and Condos.Developer in other state delaying launching of housing project but Penang doing very well.I really envy Penang Tokong.
    Good luck investor. Bad luck for the next generation of Penang folks going to stay in cages like hongkies.

    Why not bulldoze every hills and get extra land.Sea covered by sand Island and the hills covered by grass.

    • Then tokong must be doing well in umno areas in penang. I envy too since it was mentioned Penang is exceptional place for investment.

    • Raj is indeed ahead of StarBiz Property report today:

      Penang developers plan mega projects
      – They are preparing for the next upturn.

      THE economic climate has not deterred developers from planning multi-billion ringgit projects in Penang.

      The general consensus is that the current slow period is part of the property cycle and not something sinister like the 1997/98 Asian Financial Crisis.

      In time, the situation will turn around and they are preparing for the cycle to turn. Among some of these positive thinkers are SP Setia Bhd, Eco World Development Group Bhd, Hunza Properties Bhd, Ideal Property Development Sdn Bhd and Aspen Vision All Sdn Bhd.

      These companies are planning multi-billion ringgit schemes for launch in the near future.


      • Terry,
        Actually its a old news.I have few property agent told me this and also my banker told me this few months back.
        My banker friend told me not to buy their stories and my property agent now so tight with cash flow until they drive uber or sell unit trust.

        rajraman.Meanwhile during 97/98 properties prices drops almost 25 to 35% due to interest rates.Peoples with $$$ grab it but now peoples with $$$ not buying since the prices not drop much.This cause the speculator cash tight to service loan with no tenant.Pockets of bubbles every where.Maybe Penang investor still greedy or ignorant.
        There is no cash circulating.Spending power less since too many peoples into properties market.
        Penang Ooh Penang,i will cry like cry for Argentina.

      • My property agent friend has to double up as plumbing ‘kangtao’ agent!
        Otherwise, ‘pak bang’ as no developers willing to lower prices, only realistic in their overtly greedy minds.
        How to sell properties in Penang when pro-seasoned property agents are sweating & lowering expectations, property gurus?

      • Tua pek Kong loves to see his friend remain as plumbing kangtao agent when cost of living is getting high with no one to rant at Putra Jaya but constantly at komtar.

      • Like that how to trust The Star?
        Possibly paid by developers to provide feel good factor like EcoWorld providing happiness to those buying it’s properties?

      • not only property burst but factories and oil face the same situation although oil slowly is inching up. when it burst what happen if there is an casacsding effect? become greece of asia?

      • politician can still continue to have teh tarik sessions or go to kopi tiams and blow water. no need to do much. very senang job and goyang kaki. but politicians cannot ask for discount but must buy at higher price. otherwise a gee will go after him like the bungalow.

      • Politicians like KuNan offering lucky draws to entice FT voters to back BeeEnd yesterday!

  9. TBRA picture here is outdated ! The notorious “Sore Thumb” has already been turned into an up-market Tower A and Tower B of 1-Tanjung ! The traffics around that area are even more congested like hell !

  10. Tanjung Bungah & Batu Ferinngi residents used to be very proud of their properties being the upmarket ones. Sadly, they now have to contend with high density of concrete and vehicles outshining the greenery hills and blue sea.
    If there is a disaster happening due to environmental degradation, then the property prices will plummet drastically.


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