Tanjung Bunga: Good for developers, depressing for residents

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Ah Beng
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Ah Beng

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

Komakyoto
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Komakyoto

True, no need to be frustrated.

tunglang
Guest

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???

zoro
Guest
zoro

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

Welson
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Welson

Tanjung Bungah residents must be prepared to share the space with others. We are all Bangsa Penang!

Shinji
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Shinji

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.

zoro
Guest
zoro

Lucky you. Convention can be educational to know what is happening and new items in the market.

Annie Kheng
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Annie Kheng

Got freebies to take when there are fairs at Spice.

Adie
Guest
Adie

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

tunglang
Guest

China’s capital flight controls may affect M’sia, says minister
http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/375409

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?

Shun Fong
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Shun Fong

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!

Karamjit
Guest
Karamjit

This is the tipping point.
The after effect will be interesting.

Damien
Guest
Damien

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!!!

Terry
Guest
Terry

Can someone please explain the difference between ‘Freehold Land’ and ‘freehold strata’? Iskandar Johor seems to have a very unique situation as far as freehold is concerned:
http://m.malaysiakini.com/news/375651

Shinji
Guest
Shinji

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.

Ray
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Ray
Damien
Guest
Damien

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???

Ronald Ong
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Ronald Ong

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.

Karamjit
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Karamjit

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

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

zoro
Guest
zoro

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.

tunglang
Guest

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… Read more »

zoro
Guest
zoro

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.

tunglang
Guest

Jealous ah? Lots of money also cannot buy my x-perience, you know?

Ronald Ong
Guest
Ronald Ong

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.

tunglang
Guest

“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!

Damien
Guest
Damien

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….

Ronald Ong
Guest
Ronald Ong

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.

Yazhou
Guest
Yazhou

Very sad to let developer defining happiness for you.
Is this happening in Penang?

tunglang
Guest

See who actually end up happiest on the way to the banks!

Ending up paying high instalments to the banks is happiness???

Marcus
Guest
Marcus

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.

rajraman666
Guest
rajraman666

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.

zoro
Guest
zoro

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

Terry
Guest
Terry

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… Read more »

rajraman666
Guest
rajraman666

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… Read more »

tunglang
Guest

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?

zoro
Guest
zoro

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.

Ronald Ong
Guest
Ronald Ong

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?

Sonicfish
Guest
Sonicfish

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 !

The Head & The Heart
Guest
The Head & The Heart

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.