Developer ordered to rebuild bungalow


The Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) has ordered Klassik Tropika, a subsidiary of the Mah Sing Group, to rebuild an illegally demolished colonial-era bungalow to its original condition.

This is a step in the right direction. The even bigger question is, what’s going to happen to the RM280 million high-rise plan for the Pykett Avenue site? Will MPPP reject the plan as a lesson to all? Or will the plan eventually be approved when the uproar has died down? The developer had bought the site from a private company in December 2009 for RM38.7 million (RM262 per sq ft), according to a filing with Bursa Malaysia.

See this report from theSun:

Restore building to original condition, developer told
Himanshu Bhatt

GEORGE TOWN (Feb 23, 2011): A developer that has been ordered to rebuild a colonial-era bungalow here after illegally demolishing it last year is required to restore it to its original condition, the Penang government has clarified.

State Local Government Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow today confirmed that the Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) has issued the order to Klassik Tropika Sdn Bhd to rebuild the the double-storey structure at 20 Pykett Avenue.

Responding to a report in theSun on the order, Chow explained that the MPPP is empowered to act accordingly under section 27 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1976.

He also stressed that the developer could reply to the MPPP to seek clarification and to discuss the matter.

The building was originally owned by Khaw Bian Cheng Sdn Bhd, which is connected to the 19th century magnate Khaw Sim Bee who became governor of Phuket in the 1890s.

Klassik Tropika is a subsidiary of Mah Sing Group Bhd. The company had on Oct 6 submitted a proposal to the MPPP for an apartment complex.

However, it demolished the old bungalow at the site on July 26 last year, prior to getting approval from the council.

The MPPP subsequently took the matter to the court and the company was fined RM6,000 by the George Town magistrate’s court on Jan 17 for demolishing without permit.

“We are in the process of applying to the courts to have the fine increased,” Chow said at a press conference.

He also stressed that the development project plan has still not been approved by the MPPP.

When it was pointed out that the bungalow is not officially listed as a heritage structure by the MPPP, Chow said the action taken by the council was based on the illegal demolition of a building per say.

The company has stressed that it has already complied with court action taken against it, and that it had also obtained confirmation from the MPPP that the building was not identified as a heritage structure before buying the land in 2009.

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Citizen Chant

till today MPPP done nothing about the illegal demolition


Tan sri Leong

why dont u built a high end gated and guarded community here ??

bungalows and semi d, we will leave you alone.

u come to penang, please respect the people.


Nkkhoo. Please get your facts right before you post your comments. Maybe Anil can enlighten you. God bless Penang. Don’t just complaint for the sake of complaining.


What is your fact to prove me wrong? NONE as usual.

Anil blog clearly mentioned MPPP put in RM30 million and also allocated 1500 extra units to developer in exchange of 30-year “old lady” building.

Melaka spend zero cent in RM279 million tram project and still they can share the profit with the private company.

LGE should be humble and apologize to Penangites for wasting RM30 public fund in sPICE.



Sudden conversion and accepting that there is FREE lunch in this part of the world especially with UMNO Government. Even when Sime Darby is having cost over run problems with Bakun dam, they requested help what more with this unknown company and its China partner.


Put in RM30 million in sPICE and no profit sharing with the developer is tantamount of giving free lunch to developer from the pocket of Penangites.

Any 30-old building is zero value in any accounting standard after depreciation. LGE as accountant by training should aware of this simple logic.

Who pay for dismantle cost after 30 years handover?

Divert an issue is your DAP machai’s expertise. Keep Sime Darby scandal as your thesis topic, but not here.


UMNO mahchai and support …

So you also want to join the CM to have free lunch that cost over RM230m for just a tram rail which is giving free lunch to the seniors and school children. Must be very good candy and believe in something when full details are not released.

Need not to ask any accountant if such business can survived as there is no assets – trams stops and not MRT stations, capital cost and running costs. If one tram breaks down, you expect the other tram behind to continue operating?


Who care as long no public money involved in tram? They go bankrupt after one day is also not your business.

LGE …. giving away RM30 million rakyat money to another UMNO-linked company for no good reason.

That is a lopsided contract to benefit developer.


Yes, Andrew i feel that Midlands One Stop is a waste. Yes, you are right, prime in the prime’s location.

I once said to the owner of a shop there why not make it a computer city. I believe something can be done…

Maybe the Penangnites should help to revive Midlands One Stop, boleh ar? Talk to Penas and see.


Yes, Andrew, i also remember Komtar was so glorious decades ago. Luckily, Pakatan captured Penang and Penangnites are so fortunate to have Lim Guan Eng who is not like any of the BN’s politicians – masuk kuat by spending taxpayers’ money for their own comfort and gaya. Alamak! Penang’s CM lives in a semi-detached house and people are making noise, asking the tainted MACC to probe him to see whether Lim Guan Eng makan kuat??? If not for DAP/Guan Eng, today if Penang is still under Gerakan, i bet Komtar will be just like Daya Bumi in KL, another white… Read more »


Go make a “patung” for LGE and pray him in your backyard.

sPICE is like another BN project with fishy decision made your “patung”.

Ali Rustam is not perfect, but his tram project has put LGE’s sPICE in bad shape. MPPP forks out RM30 million and in return get back an “old lady” 30 years later. That is a stupid investment!


“Old lady” is not the problem.
Maintenance of the building is.

If sPICE is built as a profit generating project for Eco Meridian, then all of us should expect that the building will be well maintained.
Otherwise, how to make money from such a hotel complex if what is built is only good for the first 10 or 15 years?

Remember, sPICE is not built and modeled after 1-stop Midlands to be sold to individual buyers.


Maintenance cost is increased with more aging building.

I may not keep the building in good share for last 5 years if I were the developer for cost reason. I foresee state government will receive a junk of piles from the developer at the end of 30-year contract.


Rasa Sayang Hotel, was still a 5 star hotel and in good shape even at the end of its 30 year before being closed for renovation. Ditto Trader’s hotel and Equatorial (old wing). Both are close to 30 year old buildings and they still look splendid despite the age. If a building is intentionally left to rot nearing the end of 30 years when business plan requires the owner to have income from the business to fulfill his return of investment, then the owner is stupid to save on maintenance. Moreover, there is the possibility (or 1st option) of a… Read more »


No wise minded investor will put in RM30 million and expect no profit sharing.

How many times traders hotel went through renovation? Do you know that?

Why LGE has to spend RM30 million public fund if sPICE is entirely owed by a private company? That is a very fishy and not a transparent decision.


Your lease out a land for 30 years, meaning you are no longer owner for 30 years.


How your read reply after 5 kayers?


hi Peter, E&O has done Penang proud with the Straits Quay, no doubt, I like Straits Quay, very nice !!!

However, how about the MUDDY Gurney Drive with the reclamation of land by E&O (nearby)???

Is Penang proud with MUDDY Gurney Drive???

Andrew I

All things new are nice. Now it’s countdown to dereliction. History tends to repeat itself. Could anyone imagine the state Midlands is in today back when it was new? Prime of the prime location. Badawi’s words will forever haunt us: first world infra, third world mentality.


Hey Chronic, you said:

“Bigger issues to handle traffic congestion , proper public transport system and homes for the lower income people”

You mean — the demolition of old heritage buildings such as these to make way for border to border super concrete blocks for the elite is not contributory to the problems (and many others) which you have stated need critical attention?


Remembering the fall of Asdang House IF you happen to pass along Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, still known to many locals in Penang island as Northam Road, chances are you would notice a quaint-looking high-rise apartment building completed just a few years back. With its combination of sharply angular and linear aesthetic features, the building appears contemporary in its design as it juts into the blue sky. But what gives the structure its peculiarity is not its height or modern appearance, but the much smaller facade on the ground floor – a replica of a pre-war colonial bungalow. Many people… Read more »


I am not optimistic. Tayang wayang… who want to bet? I say it will come to naught?

How to restore structure of a colonial building to original condition? Very interesting.


Gosh, is that all left, not even a column left standing?!!!

And Klassik Tropika subsidiary of Mah Sing was fined a mere RM6000? MACC should probe and investigate this case and do a background search on all those involved esp so the magistrate involved. I smell a rat here!!!


To answer your bigger question, Anil….
If the people of Penang permit the high rise to be built without a restoration of the old bungalow, ask them to go ahead and bring back BN/Gerakan/UMNO in the next general election.


Damage has been done, why rebuild? What are they trying to prove? Developers had found out that it’s not a heritage building and so has Chow, what’s the use of the building then ? Turn it to another KFC or those high tech beauty parlors or some nonsense? Before this how many of you have actually drove by and appreciated the building? Penang is full of rotten buildings like these which are dilapidated and fellows make noise only when something like this happens…. Bigger issues to handle, traffic congestion , proper public transport system and homes for the lower income… Read more »


NGOs and People like Pearl has been damming on very small thing as compare to bigger things in life especially when is is not really a heritage listed although it is a old building. But the point is that this developer act as though they can jump the gun…


MPPP should buy the land for public purpose like building a heritage museum.


In the meantime, Melaka government is going to build a new (bigger) Feeris Wheel.

It is going to be built by a company from China.

Let’s hope it is not another easily kaput project like the Melaka monorail.


Melaka government spend nothing, but it still can reap profit from the tram project. LGE should learn this from Ali Rustam.

Melaka Tram to open to public in May 2012


… How gullible are you to swallow this hook, line, and sinker !
Few MRT or mono rail for public transport make money and this company, Mrails International Sdn Bhd, is willing to forgo 20% of the fare.
Moreover, natural gas for a mono rail engine over diesel?
It has to be a joke. 🙂

By the way, who is going to finance the RM272 million?
Who is the guarantor?
Federal government?

Anyway, no thank you.


Let me rephrase on the opening lines you snipped, Anil.

“Are you going to trust a politician found guilty by his party for corruption?”


Someone found guilty by open court is more trusty for you?

This is a blind spot for machai, only see black spot of other politician.


May not kaput … but Malaysians will be poorer because of this because RM272 million is no small sum.
Don’t expect Mrails International coming out with all the money from their coffer.
Someone has to guarantee the financing.


Mind to show evidence to prove guarantee term by the Melaka state?

Andrew I

Erm, how are you going to rebuild it, unless you have the original building plans?

I’ve seen the artist’s impression of what’s coming up. Either he can’t draw or it’s a state of the art rubbish dump…like how you would find cardboard boxes stacked up at a dump.

For some, money can’t buy class.


Rebuild is the legal way to stop housing project. This is only purpose as I see it.


Anil, what about photos of the site and if any column is still standing?


Many in the name of progress couldn’t care less for Penang’s heritage, whether it be architecture, culture, traditions, food or festivals. It is a blanket sweep of progress that counts in terms of money, money, money. Woe to those who cannot stand strong in the winds of change ala the little Red Dot!


Swiflet farming in old heritage houses is a threat to UNESCO standing?


People living in heritage houses in the inner city of George Town are better living culture than empty dark houses with only noisy swiftlets. The long term positive consequences and pay back in terms of cultural vibrancy and liveliness far out weight the selfish profitability of a few. The many heritage houses are good for recycling in terms of providing livable spaces since land scarcity is a pressing problem with population growth.
Penangites are more important than swiftlets.


The only way is for MPPP to suspend planning permission. Its only fair to responsible developers like E & O , who has done Penang proud with Straits Quay.

The irresponsible ones who flaunt the law, suspend their planning permission for 10 years.

The state dont have to worry as there will be no damages involve if sued. the land will appreciate and I am sure Penang will get a few ECO GREEN sexy roundabouts haha.

LGE and Co TQ for a new Malaysia.


” …rebuild an illegally demolished colonial-era bungalow to its original condition.”

– That’s all? What about also confiscating the land altogether? This will be an effective deterant against any similar acts by irresponsible and greedy developers, in future. It has to stop!


I am sure MPPP would love to confiscate the land if they can find that clause in the statute which permits them to do so. 🙂


Yes, Pakatan goverrnment is always in the right direction. Bravo !!!

I dare say if today Gerakan is in power, the building not only demolished but construction of highrise is already on the way.

BN govt always works hand in hand with the developers. Developers “masuk kuat”, (certain) BN’s politicians are also getting a fat account in their banks.

Remember 1Najib said, “You help me, i help you.”


MPPP notice out on 11/2/11. 14 days to comply under the Town & Country Planning Act.

25/2 has passed. Each day they dont comply there is a running fine.

What is MPPP doing about it now ??


Illegal demolitions The developers want to escape For the land worth millions Paying peanuts reaped the profits What is a fine? A pittance for the directors These selfish people should be sent to jail Teaching other developers to respect the law The law as it is A small sum for the hundreds of millions made The company can afford to pay and escape penalty And the directors can smile ear to ear Once I was living in Penang One developer demolished an old hotel Along Sultan Ahmad Shah……….. Penang people protested fined $50,000 A multi-storey building sits on the site… Read more »


… I stand corrected, but I cannot find any caselaw that a director had been found guily and thrown into gaol for even 1 day.

What is the Securities Commission doing about this matter ??

I am sure minority shareholders wants answers from the responsible developer.


Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA report has not been done by the developer for this project.

They think they can just flaunt the law and push through their planning permission.

Sorry chaps, we are not BN here haha.