When Soho comes to Penang …


Activist Tan Seng Hai raises the alert about a clever ploy in property development and a building frenzy in southeast Penang Island.

I have received an alert from a resident in Bayan Bay near Queensbay Mall concerning a proposed new development next to their Gold Coast condomimium. The proposed development consists of four tower blocks with a total of 1900 Soho (small office, home office) units.

MPPP has sent the residents there notices to raise their objections. The residents are concerned about the high density, traffic congestion and reclamation of the sea front.

Developers in Penang are increasingly building Soho units. These fetch higher market prices and they also exploit loopholes in the by-laws where they do not need to provide green spaces, allocated parking spaces and other amenities required for residential units.

Many buyers are also not informed at the point of buying that they have to pay commercial rates for assessment, quit rent and utilities for Soho units.

What is more distressing is an ongoing project next to Bayan Bay and Bayan Mutiara. This mega project involves reclamation of the sea and building of more than 45 highrise towers. Yes, 45 towers and thousands of units of commercial and office units with no (apparent) traffic and transportation plan.

Development in the south-east district of Penang island has totally gone out of control. God save Penang.

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Not providing green space and amenities are of secondary importance to developers. They mainly build SOHO to bypass the law that requires them to build low cost units each time they build high end apartments/condos.


Call it SOHO or what you want, most Malays in Penang island have migrated to Kedah to retreat to kampong life to ‘worship’ the new MB Mukhriz!

Don Anamalai

SOHO concept is not new if you consider so many landed residential homes that are tunred into commercial shop lots.

Awang Selamat Ori

Looks like LGE (admin) is more terror than UMNO baru and all the mosquitoes parties combined.

Bank balances must be checked. MACC must work hard to crack this case and follow the money trail?


Few things MPPP and state govt have to do. 1. Ban SOHO properties. If they want to call it SOHO it is find provided they comply with the exact same requirements as a residential property. 2. Place a cap on property prices in Penang depending on location and size of unit. Democracy doesn’t mean do whatever you like anywhere you like. As for the residents of gold coast, I am so happy for them. They deserve to get a taste of their own medicine. They reclaimed land too, right next to the sea, destroyed the seafront, built high rise towers… Read more »


And do any of us remember Ong Eu Soon comment previously that under the law or act, no building must be developed along the coastline. Now they are developing it even before reclaimation … (?) PR LGE and govt are (allegedly) contravening the regulations at their whim and fancy(?)

Awang Selamat Ori

SOHO ka? So much business to do in Penang ka? Even in KL, people are dumping SOHO at below original purchase price and Penangnites are buying at 400,000 RM per unit allegedly? While factories, multinationals folks are retrenching, even Intel are allegedly retrenching 300 engineers, these SOHO units for business? With the country expecting an economic downturn, Penangnites SOHO ka? I think Penangnites are far smarter than what those developers think, Penangnites will reject all these SOHO units and let the developers, LGE’s friends, bite dust. Greed has got no bound, and the greed shown by these developers are too… Read more »


Awang Selamat Ori : I think in fact many of Penangiet will not be able to afford these Soho but these Soho creativity by the developer instead drive up the price of medium and low medium house making it not affordable for the average wage earner. And thats due to the idiotic and stupidity of Jardip, the Exco in charge of housing


This is one tactic of developers to appreciate property prices: ‘Speculative Designer Home Building@designer prices’ in a locality which will eventually cause a general rise of all property prices in its surrounding/adjacent areas. Visit Batu Maung to see for yourself. This SOHO thing if not sold well will attract undesirable elements of society like designer drug addicts, prostitutes, ah longs, high flyer gangsters, even foreign workers batched to desperate-to-rent properties (go see Little Asean@Paya Terubong condos on the hills). SOHO will never be warm family homes of neighbourliness, of racial integration but of high privacy preferences of execs & singles.… Read more »


This is what we call speculative marketing by greedy-not-enough developers, drunkard property gurus, REHDA-HA-HA-HA & should we include the Boh-Nau-Boh-Lan-Hoot LGE state administration of all-hands-tied-so-no-money-from-Feds blaming syndrome. It is very surreal to see 45 high rise towers in a constricted location, no different from the surreal view of Macau just across the straits from HK. More like permanent giant developers’ joss sticks by the sea to pay homage to the great venerable Tokong of Komtar Tower more than praying for peace from the sea ghosts of Hungry Ghost Month. Now this is Cosmopolitan Penang (island) at an unholy price. Get… Read more »

Awang Selamat Ori

Normally, people buy SOHO, for business ka? Business juga. But, once the owners cannot rent it out to business people, they will let it out to anyone who is willing to pay. More often than not, these units are turned into private mess. Where all sorts of activities can occur. Today with the influx of foreign prostitutes, you will probably hear people groaning and moanings, all sorts of funny sounds of pleasure during every hour. Like it? Just think about it. But, alas, the developers are all LGE’s friends, so what to do? Penangnites are again going to be screwed… Read more »


Awang Selamat Ori, Cheers Kopi-O kau kau from ambience kopitiam.
Your comment is true to the point as any Ori-Maestro would be true to his recipe.

Don Anamalai

Never buy a SOHO unit as there is no ROI!!!!
But it could be used a place for drug processing lab to avoid narcotics detection?

Anyway, Tony Fernandez’s QPR venture is in deep trouble:


Don’t be a frog! Be a genuine supporter. Support the logo even you are not comfortable with the logo’s actions / policies. Many of us believe, Lim Junior is the second generation of top leadership if there is a change in Federal government. Some even proposing Lim Junior as future DPM. As the popular saying, you can always migrating if you don’t like!


Halim: “As the popular saying, you can always migrating if you don’t like!”

This is PURE BeeEnder racist-tinted attitude syndrome inherited with a worthless self value.
What is the point of citizenship? What is the point of representative democratic government?
Screw your head if you are worshipping without any common sense & vote-value.

Unless of course you cannot die but live continuously like a stateless Zombie without a brain.


Tunglang, Concur with you absolutely


The Regency beside Tesco was supposed to be for Korean expatriates but Korean was not interested and so will be for sale to Malaysian and Penangite and a 700 sq ft suite cost will 770k. Yes this is what Jardip Sin is going to give you Penangite. And a LMC 800 sq ft at 200k will be given to a non Penangite like Selangorian and Perakian. Penangite must now really have to migrate


And at 400 sq ft for 400k over. That is 1000k over per sq ft. This is what jardip and tokong give you and sooner we will be living in cage like apartment


never buy a soho apartment unless u are going do business there. u hv to pay commercial rate for your utilities for one thing & the other thing is there is no privacy, there maybe spa, motel, “chicken coop” set up beside your home… so dont ever buy it…