Spice: Bayan Baru RA’s deep concern


The Bayan Baru Residents Association has asked the state government/MPPP to put themselves in the shoes of the residents over the Spice project.

Apart from the agreement itself, the MPPP should make public the Spice business plan to prove that it is viable.

In any case, the Bayan Baru residents appear concerned about the environmental impact of the project and the lack of participation in the planning and decision-making.

This statement appeared in the Malaysian Insider:

eSpice: A win-win for whom? — Chan Kim Beng
The Residents Association of Bandar Bayan Baru (RABB) views with deep concern the signing of the concession to build the e-Spice by the Penang state government yesterday. The people of Bayan Baru township want the state and the MPPP to look into and resolve the existing traffic flow and issue.

Day in day out, we face traffic jams in and out of the Bayan Lepas FIZ area and our township is affected as well. Many vehicles go through our township and the FIZ area during peak periods and when there are big events held at PISA. Our association is also proposing a Metropolitan Park for public recreation and activities. Many of the open land space is being rapidly developed to make way for projects like Bayan City (which includes Jaya Jusco), Quarter Mile, The One Residence and soon the Sungai Nibong Kecil village.

The infrastructure development needs to be sustainable. Gas emissions from thousands of vehicles to international conventions at e-Spice would adversely impact our environment and quality of life. Land area here is scarce, where would all the cars be parked? Worst, there has not even been a proper feasibility study, a traffic impact study nor an EIA study done nor proper dialogues with the local residents up till now. So, why is MPPP and the state so adamant to push this project through?

This concession deal has been inked between MPPP and Eco Meridian Sdn Bhd (EMSB), a wholly owned subsidiary of SP Setia to undertake this project since August 19, 2011. That was some three weeks ago and the press only received wind of this news a couple of days ago. The discreetness in announcing this deal surely raises plenty of eyebrows.

This comes hot on the heels after revelations at a closed-door dialogue earlier this year on the project that SP Setia, which is financing the bulk of the construction cost, will be allowed to build an extra 1,500 houses in the various projects it is undertaking on the island of Penang. True enough, this criteria was inked in this deal, “over and above the maximum permissible density”. The state government’s decision to give such a major concession to the developer has set alarm bells ringing with questions raised if the move will set a dangerous precedent which may come back and haunt Penangites later. Is this in line with the state’s motto of “Competency, Accountability, Transparency”?

Our association also calls upon the state to reveal at least five guaranteed world-class projects and their respective revenue potential coming to e-Spice that it is capable of drawing in. That way, Penangites would be able to gauge themselves the economic viability and ROI of e-Spice. Then again, why not upgrade and refurbish the existing PISA infrastructure and sporting facilities into a world-class facility to cater to world-class events?

The anticipated cost of this project to the developer will be RM300 million (which includes upgrade and refurbishment of PISA). Despite the cost, SP Setia Group will potentially earn even more from this deal. Income generated through the hotel and the e-Spice rental can easily be in the millions of ringgit.

SP Setia is allowed an extra 1,500 residential units. Now we know SP Setia homes are well known to be quality homes. Therefore, let’s do simple accounting here (not taking into account the potential population density, traffic jams, environmental impact these “extra” homes are bound to create):

• 10 per cent are low-cost housing flats at 150 units x RM70,000 per unit = RM10.5 million

• 40 per cent are medium housing condos at 600 units x RM400,000 per unit = RM240 million

• 40 per cent are three-storey landed houses at 600 units x RM1.4 million = RM840 million

• 10 per cent are high-end three-storey penthouses at 150 units x RM2 million = RM300 million

The potential total revenue is a total of RM1.39 billion! Minus building material, labour and the RM313.7 million, et, there is still quite a fair share.

Clause 7 of the concession says that a site within PISA for a hotel to be built is to be sold to the developer for RM13.7 million (based on an agreed price of RM100 per square feet) and leased for 99 years. Potentially this hotel is also another huge money churner for the developer. Not to mention the rental collected from the F&B outlets within e-Spice.

The people of Bandar Bayan Baru and those staying close and around to PISA deserve better — they want the existing traffic woes to be resolved, not for more traffic to be brought in. They want a better quality of life and a sustainable township and a proper Metropolitan Park, not a “rooftop park” within the busy traffic swirling around the e-Spice Complex. Have bicycle lanes, build friendlier pedestrian sidewalks, etc. We also invite the officials from the state and MPPP to come and view themselves the traffic congestion and parking issues whenever big fairs such Pikom PC Fair, Matta Fair, international concerts, etc are held. Put yourselves in our shoes. A proper dialogue with the local township community here should have been held if the state and MPPP were serious about listening to the local people. Apparently, the state and MPPP have jumped the gun in making decisions on e-Spice.

Is this a win-win situation for the community in this township or a win-win for a few?

* Chan Kim Beng is the honorary secretary of the Residents Association of Bandar Bayan Baru (RABB).

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Sunway Tunas Resident

… knowing them who have been running the show of RABB, it is no doubt that private interest is involved.

the whole writing does not touch about alternatives and what’s next, as if these fellas prefer PISA to rot and collapse.

Suggest Mr Chan Kim Beng to buck up on his day Job …


The agreement only mentions RM250 million, less than RM50 million as reported earlier.


Anil, RM50 million fund injection from MPPP is still on or cancel by LGE?


Traffic? Around Bayan Baru? What has SP Setia profit got to do with Traffic at Bayan Baru? That is the reason for the loud protest? They want to cancel the project because of it? Who are we kidding?


High Traffic on the road is due to high vehicle ownership and no affinity for public transport. Most people shun public transport because of high ego as they associate public buses as a mode of transportation of pendatang asing.

Give Rapid Penang a try and we all can alleviate the congestion of Penang roads, while saving money from petrol consumption.


With the natural demise of Yellow Bus or Milan aka Bus Pajak, RapidPenang is the sole monopolist of public transport. When RapidPenang was launched in 2008 (if not mistaken, Anil pls correct if wrong), the strategy was to entice more people using the bus. The fare was RM1 per trip anywhere anytime any place. Then in stages the fare was increased to RM1.40 or RM2.00 or RM2.70 according to distance once the ‘pajak buses” being competitively wiped away. Some present bus users prefer these “pajak buses” to continue running to mainly cater for foreigners who count for every sen saved… Read more »


Pity Penang Rapid has to be contented with a variety of buses from different makers even though they appear similar under blue, red and white colours.

One would naturally wonder if that had to do with quota allocations among supporters (and suppliers of the buses).

The management of spare parts for this company must be mind boggling. 🙂


I heard it from the horse’s mouth. 🙂


Going to town from Paya Terubong cost RM2.00 one way. Might as well drive to save time and less frustration of no punctual timetable. Imagine you have a meeting and the bus schedule is not dependable and having to wait at the bus an hour earlier to take the chance.
I feel the bus fare should be reduced 50% to encourage more to take buses or provide season tickets just like the Penang Bridge Touch & Go.


Proposal For Penang Transport Forum :
RM30 monthly pass to Malaysian ID holders regardless of age.
However, school children RM15/month (restricted hours eg not on weekends or after 7pm to prevent them use bus to lepak at malls after school hours).

May be Anil’s can set up a forum specific on RapidPenang to gather feedback from the masses so that RapidPenang can sit up and excel.

What say you Mr Anil ?


Monthly pass of RM30 to malaysian adults as RapidPenang’s service is not up to mark based on high % penangites still no interest to take bus.
Once efficeiency or effectiveness of RapidPenang improves, then may be RM40/mth.

Also in the coming Anil’s forum on RapidPenang, proposal to set up proper sheltered bus stands everywhere and not just selcted places only.

No more flip flop btwn state & federal over local transport issue. Once Anil’s got the feedback, federal or local shall know that we the taxpayers are the paymasters to government decision makers and better get things done.


Anil, season ticket for senior citizens age 50 (not 55) and above.
It will go a long way for those planning on downshifting their lifestyle like me. And no GST. Now using prepaid also already GSTed!


Rapid Penang can certainly make more money by lowering fare to improve its loading factor.

I can empatise with to-be retirees like tunglang who may soon have no active income unless he become an active/professional writer.


Looking forward to Belum homesteading. No fees, no maintenance charges, no GST. And no O-Bladies.
Looking forward to 55 as adventurer artist of Malaysian Rainforest with global pro artist income.
Care to join?


Those making the complaints are Gerakan supporters pretending to be this and that. If the state gomen does not develop BB this same group would say that so far nothing had been done by the state gomen. When the state gomen decides to do something, the same gang would try to hinder. We know who you actually are.

Guess who were the people who wrote beautiful chinese caligraphy banners for the …street protests/disturbances led by Ezam (6kotak) recently. Go ahead to develop BB if it is really beneficial to the residents and the residents will surely support you.


BN also say go ahead to tear down any historic buildings since it benefiting rakyat…

Don’t u feel you are talking in same tone with BN goon?

Bengali Tiger

I do agree that BN shud also tear down anything that stands in the way of development if it is truely for the benefit of the people. However, like in the case of China Town in KL, I would certainly oppose the BN for doing so because the gomen/umno, under the pretext of development (appears to be) trying to rob Peter to pay themselves.


The planned ‘forced acquisition of land/building’ in Jln Sultan in KL smells like a conspiracy to systematically erase the historical significance of the heritage place as it is the place where the Chinese first developed KL. We have seen Yap Ah Loy lost his place in the Malaysian history book. Speaking of history, I learnt from TV3 8pm Buletin quoting an Umno’s ‘historian’ that Malaya was never dijajah British, only ‘dinaungan’ British. Soon the syllabus of the PMR/SPM Sejarah will be altered? If the British did not colonise (jajah) Malaya, then why did we need to seek independence? Merdeka from… Read more »


There are valid points brought up here but I also have my concerns with the RAMM committee.
It has become heavily politicised since March 8 2008, being strongly influenced by BN-oriented views. I live in the area and used to be active, but lately I rarely bother to attend the Residents Association activities.

Randy Savage

Sure once the rakyat know the deeper meaning and benefits of CAT, we will all see the barang naik patronage system being very feudal warlord like.
We all saw the massive wastages of raj]kyat money so we better trust those who can safeguard our dwindling resources for future generations.

Mr Santau
Saya sokong you punya pandangan !


There is always politics for two people and above living together.

Unless you want to be appointed as candidate in the GE and (want) to polish your boss.

Let focus on the issue, and not on the messenger.

Mr Santau

Saya sokong sPICE ! Dapat menikmati kemudahan canggih seperti “garden” yang cantik !
PISA akan bertukar wajar.
Buang keruh (dulu duit rakyat dibazir) ambil yang jernih (kucing cat cukup comel & tulus !)

Ong Eu Soon

After given SP Setia unusual concession, now it is revealed that the state government also give Boustead an unusual concession of 100 acres of land reclamation at the vicinity of Bayan Mutiara. The concession is given after Boustead abadon it’s hotel project which failed to meet the heritage zone requirement. The way LGe give concessions to developers for his pet project or meeting George Town heritage requirement is most alarming. LGe is virtually give a way all our rights to DEVELOPERS in an unprecedented way! Now you have (all these firms) all out to reclaim our sea shore without any… Read more »


Election is coming soon, where DAP get the money for its machai campaign expenses?


easy – just follow Gerakan in the past and if people do not like just kick DAP out and let Gerakan in and when Gerakan in power, they will continue to give concession and fund their election for their future Governments


Penangites will contribute to the kitty of PR parties in their party ceramah. Bundles of anonymous cash by single donors in newspaper wraps were collected in DAP’s Mar 6 ’08 rally at Han Chiang.

Voters who are passionate for change will fund PR parties which do not require any dirty money.


That was 3 year old story…

BN took 51 year to corrupt while PR take 3 year only.

I am awaiting Raja Petra’s third force to balance these two evils.

Sze Tho

Oh yes, and I am sure you have proof. You are not the type to shoot your mouth off….yeah right.

Bengali Tiger

Land reclaimation in Penang was first started by the BN gomen. Many countries had also done that, mostly out of neccessity. What is the problem now that the state gomen is also doing the same. The present state gomen, just like the previous one, must have had weighed the pros and cons before proceeding. Also, if anyone of you think that the present gomen is as corrupted as BN, I suggest that you go on the double to lodge a report to MACC, you will have my support.

For Your Info


It may interest you and your readers to know that Chan Kim Beng is one of the Gerakan Youth leaders in Penang.

It may also interest you to know that the ex-Gerakan assemblyman Wong Mun Hoe (has an interest) in the company that has the contract to manage PISA.

Andrew I

The man who would have been king and his ilk trying to salvage their mansions and propriety interests. Pa – dare.


For general neutral rakyat is not bother you are (aligned to) DAP … or Gerakan …, anyone can come forward to expose corruption and weaknesses on a public project.

Important thing is the the nature of issues. People got brain to see and analyze issues themselves.

Sue them if they make seditious and false statement against sPICE and LGE.

Anthony Tan

I wonder if it is the Hon. Secretary personal comment or the collective voice of the RABB. If it was a collective unhappiness of people in Bayan Baru, then the RABB committee should have called for a special meeting (EGM) to discuss this issue? The subject on the convention centre has been in the air for sometime already and the debate on the issue on Anil’s blog almost every day that lasted almost a week. If the RABB was against the project, more preventive steps should have been taken to stop the project at the earlier stage just like the… Read more »

Syiok Syiok

Anthony Tan In a nutshell it is truly the case of “sour grapes” ! Not all Penang residents are pro Pakatan; especially now tender process goes along CAT and not patronage system. Now we ask if the awarding of contract to SP Setia follows the CAT guidelines ? Before we jump the gun, let’s pay a visit to Komtar 16th floor. Read the fine prints of the projects and voice any objections in concrete manner. Bayan Baru is poised to become a vibrant commercial hub/residence and surely some local Penangites with interests elsewhere have been envied by that. Furthermore, go… Read more »

Bayan Baru resident

Anthony Tan I don’t call this sour grapes, but something that you see but cannot get hold of. LGE practice CAT, so these noisy people don’t have any change of getting anything. If they are given a small piece of the cake, wah! they will cry 110% support. LGE is the best CM.


Sp Setia rake in (perhaps) RM700 million from 1500 extra unit is not CAT…


RM 50 million free money is missing from the press statement released by MPPP.


The potential total revenue is a total of RM1.39 billion! Minus building material, labour and the RM313.7 million, et, there is still quite a fair share.


My developer friend told me his company profit margin is 50%.

In the nutshell, 1500 extra units concession alone can rake in RM700 million profit for SP Setia.

This is again to prove MPPP should not give away RM50 million after such lucrative concession.


You should partner with your friend and go into this project. No 50% but 40% profit also good. After all MPPP is also giving $50M…

Talam group should not have closed shop and Gamuda should go into deeper housing based on such smart and strong view and some housing should not have abandoned even if the profit margin is being reduced from 50% to 10%.

Ong Eu Soon

Actually I like LGe build his monument, ‘cos that is the only way to prove that he is wrong totally wrong! This PISA is a bad fengsui for zero KPI. Any smart alex should try to avoid it at all cost. This incredible CM from Melaka never see a grave before want to build a monument with two tombs protruded so obviously on the roof without trees!
Read my article on PICC ( now sPICE)- a monument of Lim Guan Eng at http://eusoon.blogspot.com/2010/01/picc-monument-of-lim-guan-eng.html


sPICE is one sided contract tilted to developer.

This is exact BN-like contract except LGE shows the contract to public.

This is a transparency but without accountability.


We Malaysians are all learning about the meaning of ‘accountability’. There was no such word in BM until ‘akauntabiiti’ was included recently in the latest edition of Kamus Dewan.


… LGE … is too busy to put himself in the shoes of the people…. As promised in the last GE to solve the traffic situation in Penang, nothing has been done…. all talk … but no action!!! …….. Rapid Penang ??? Anil and all others, please take a ride on a Rapid Penang bus, say on a Saturday afternoon, from Tesco Penang at Jelutong to the jetty…. I once took a ride, my god, I pity the bus driver, after that I actually started giving way for buses when I drive.

tan, tanjung bungah

Hi Anil and nudibranch,

Both of you are right on target!

Motorists should be civic-minded enough to give way to public transport, especially buses, to ensure a better ride, to reach destinations faster and hence, encourage more and more people to use buses!

As for the hon. sec. of RA of Bayan Baru, I’m also baffled by his contention of the viability of the eSPICE project and in the next breathe spells out how it would financially benefit the developer of the project!



Hope you can help me clear some confusion in my head. Who owns the piece in terms of improving traffic situations in Penang? State government or federal ? My understanding is that they are inter-twined and led me to believe that the state might have wanted to do something on that part but federal is setting up obstacles around it. Maybe I was wrong?

Lets use a hypothetical example of building a rail line between QB to Komtar. Who would be involve to approve this?

Hope you can help me understand better.


Randy Savage

Federal government need to protect Proton. Public transport too good & well organised, no locals will buy cars eg Proton. Since Proton has little market in overseas, Proton depends on locals to survive.


Thanks for the explanation Anil. But I think lots of other folks like me think the state gov is responsible for everything without understanding the segregation of power that exists between state/fed in our country. I do agree with you they should do what is doable. One step at a time expanding it slowly through out the island. It always takes the first step. Hope the don’t lose focus especially during their political bickering. I’ve been running around the heart of Georgetown in the recent months. Sad to see all the old architecture rotting away. One of the things I… Read more »


Just look at the Ministry of Transport. He is not even the Captain but his powers are taken away by others. eg Taxi are issued by others. Just look back and see what Federal Ministry of Transport has done since Ling leong Sick’s time. Even the MRT in KL, Jibby has the final say.

Anthony Tan

Traffic congestion is always a problem in all cities around the world. To reduce traffic congestion, people living in Penang must co-operate with the authorities to avoid the “single person, single car” usage instead use public transport whenever possible. Just think when a “single person, single car” goes to work in downtown from Paya Terbong and park the car for next 8 to 9 hours at the car park doing nothing, it is a waste of resources and to have a second car for the family to run around. Furthermore you still have to pay for a monthly reserved car… Read more »


I suggest we make one lane of every 2 lane road in the municipality a diamond lane ie. only vehicles with 2 occupants or more and public transport vehicles like taxis are allowed to use.

This will surely cut down single user vehicles on our roads.


If people do not change driving habits or do not take up public transportation, no government can solve problems of traffic cogestion and environment pollution. Simple as that.


First, Mr Chan question the viability of the project, but then he went on to assume that income generated by the hotel and convention centre would easily be the money churner for the developer. Why elect a confused man to be honorary secretary of RABB?

Bayan Baru resident

OK, we know very well the RABB comprises of all BN component parties members’. Sure la must make noise in line with Barisan policy ma. If this is Gerakan or UMNO’s project they will come to give thumps up and say it will boost up Bayan Baru and the surrounding areas. The residents never make noise. BTW, I’m a resident in Bayan Baru and didn’t hear any objection except noises from Gerakan.


My friends in Relau are welcoming the new development. Change is inevitable and they look at it as a new opportunity to attract more customers to their business, as Bukit Jambul Complex has lost its shine in the last decade due to the influx of pendatang asing.


I am a property owner in Bayan Baru and used to stay there in the ’80s and ’90s.

Why did they not object to Giant when it was constructed?
Why not object to the Free Industrial Zone since those factories are the main cause of traffic misery almost everywhere on the island ?

Stop every progress and we may not even need Bayan Baru.

Syiok Syiok

Bayan Baru, Relau, Sungai Ara, Bayan Lepas, Pantai Jerejak etc residents,
Start the habit of using RapidPenang now. Buy monthly pass at a discount. Leave your cars at home for emergency use.
Soon (not Ah Soon), we all shall contribute to smooth flowing traffic in Penang !


Bayan Baru RA opposing sPICE led by Wong Mun Hoe ?


Pls enlighten the people of Bayan Baru.