Monday, July 6, 2009

The authentic Tanjung Rhu will become "Welcome to Mini-Dubai of Langkawi"

Tanjung Rhu is situated on the north-east of Langkawi Island. The area is named after pokok rhu in Malay and these are the casuarina trees (Casuarinaceae family). As your drive along the Tanjung Rhu road, you will be greeted by casuariana trees that stand beautifully providing the cooling effect. You can simply stop your car beside the road and enjoy the scenic view of the mangroves.

Scenic mangroves with karst limestone hills as the backdrop
On weekends, this place is a popular spot for locals to wade into the mud and dig for clams, "punpun" (a kind of fat worm that is used as fish bait) and fishing. Is a cool and healthy recreation activities for families.


Traditional hobby for the locals.



Some harvest from Tanjung Rhu for the locals. The picture above is the "punpun" (mangrove worms) .

Unfortunately, truly unfortunately that this 8 hectare site will soon be be converted from a "luxurious kampung lifestyle" to an exclusive RM800 million 'residential-cum-commercial centre'. I was told that the project is now currently put on hold due to tight financial budget and I hope that this person is not talking bollocks.

From the design, this whole hideous plan looks like a mini-Dubai. Great for cheap-skate tourists that will come over to Tanjung Rhu instead of the original Dubai. Can the island sustain this massive development and the increase of population? Eventhough this project is put on hold, apparently, it will be an opportunity for us to look at their EIA. I wonder if EIA has been done before such ridiculous project been approved. The sad part is that the entire land is privately owned by Tan Sri Tajuddin. He is probably be laughing at us, "Ha,ha... is my land. I can do whatever I want!". And that makes it more difficult for us to fight against this project from happening.











Tanjung Rhu is still the one of the best beaches on Langkawi with the least crowd and it's natural heritage is still pretty much intact as compared to other sites. With this development is about to happen in near future, the locals have to look elsewhere for healthy recreation and the problem is where else can we find serene, peaceful, clean beaches when the bests were taken up, such as Tanjung Rhu. The worst will be the impact to the biodiversity of Tanjung Rhu.
The highest revenue for Langkawi is from tourism (or eco-tourism so call), mostly from the foreigners. I was amazed that a 13-year old Aussie boy clarified this infor from me. As such, most people fly in to this island is to enjoy the natural heritage that the island is still offering and not the duty-free stuffs. The islanders' rice bowl contains of the rainforest, mangroves, beaches, abundance of flora and fauna, etc. Can the islanders afford the rice bowl to be broken?

I ain't a trained activist or neither a environmentalist. Guidance is needed in seeking ways to conserve this area or at least shrink the development size. I'm a anti-politician, however, just when I was beginning to appreciate politicians like Elizabeth Wong but sadly, where have our real heroes gone to? (sob, sob)

References:
This infor is taken from: http://www.langkawi-gazette.com/newsandletters/news/241-tanjungrhu

Langkawi: A Luxury Project in Tanjung Rhu Mark, 2 June 2009 / Source: New Straits Times, 2 June 2009 and websites mentioned below'Developing' Tanjung Rhu ?A memorandum of understanding has been signed between ‘Coco Int. Ltd’., an investment Company from the ‘United Arab Emirates’, and ‘AUF Properties Sdn. Bhd.’, from Petaling Jaya, Selangor, about an exclusive RM800 million 'residential-cum-commercial centre' on a 8 hectare site in Tanjung Rhu.This picture is from the promotional pdf file mentioned below.If you are interested, you can download it (it has no c-right – remark and is obviously aimed at a broad distribution for promotional reasons):

http://www.auf.com.my/images/treb.pdf

11 comments:

  1. maybe we shd make a trip there, before it's gone.

    ReplyDelete
  2. i'm afraid you're on the horns of a dilemma. you don't want development but you need tourism. your current tourism is based on nature. development spoils nature. well, those of us who visit already pay through the nose for the privilege so we'll probably just move on to somewhere else... would have cared but not after reading this stuff

    ReplyDelete
  3. To Anonymous Sept30th;
    Development, yes but it should be sustainable development. Of course, development spoils nature. Do think of this... as homosapiens continue to crawl and grow on this planet, there bound to be development. Is inevitable. Is greed that promotes overly development.
    Probably you may be one of those luxury tourists that love to come to such nature spots but still want luxurious. Just remember that luxurious = unsustainable development. My 2cents worth.

    ReplyDelete
  4. and equally probably you may be one of those residents who want to charge London prices for local services... but let's not leap to conclusions about each other...

    ReplyDelete
  5. To Anonymous Oct4th;
    Every tourists that travelled here have choices.
    Is the same everywhere in the world.
    You get what you paid for. If you want 5-star service you have to pay london prices. If you want to pay only local prices, you will get a 2-star service. Simple as that.

    I don't know whose side you are with. You may want to read this:
    http://wchinner.blogspot.com/2009/10/they-created-impact.html

    If you still believe that this future development is sustainable, well go ahead... only the result of the impact will tell. By then, that will be too late, don't you think?

    ReplyDelete
  6. sorry, been away. WChinner, i have read everything there is to read. sadly we don't have a time machine. the rice bowl, such as it was, it already broken. accept it and move on. there are areas as yet unspoiled. protect them. t rhu is ruined already. it's not about sides.

    ReplyDelete
  7. There's one thing and only one when we read this: Langkawi's going to be stripped off it's UNESCO GEOPARK status forever if that terrible plan is to even be tabled!!!

    The CURSE of Langkawi is no legend-this island is controlled by people of the lowest levels of Malaysian society! They're a financial, social and ecological security threat to Langkawi's residents and economy as well as EVERY MALAYSIANS along with the cost of bearing our country's rotten reputation for biological conservancy!

    We are watching you,
    Anak-anak Malaysia

    ReplyDelete
  8. Very shocked to read these news.
    Is there anything sacred? What about the GeoPark status? Spoiling more mangrove areas will cause more problems to the locals and ruining 100% the most beautiful beach on the island.
    Sustainability is the key word of modern tourism - but unfortunately greediness normally wins but hopefully not this time.

    One can only look at the similar islands in Thailand and how they have been ruined. Thus current serious flood problems etc. Short-sighted development together with greedy projects like above are very unfortunate and not welcomed by most of the tourists and locals.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Anonymous Nov5;
    Nothing that i wish to comment further. You have spelled out everything so clearly for us here. I just wish that this will bring to the attention of UNESCO GEOPARK.

    ReplyDelete
  10. How do you save the nature on a privately owned land, in an unregulated place?

    Here is a bit more info I found about this development scheme.

    "The proposed master plan optimizes massing and density and proposes a compact development that minimizes building footprint. The project was designed to achieve economical targets while keeping the developable area below 27%. The design team promoted responsible tourism and environmental management strategies to guide the Tanjung Rhu to set a new benchmark for sustainable resort development in Malaysia. The strategies address all aspects of environmental sustainability throughout design, construction and operational stages of the development."

    ReplyDelete
  11. To Anonymous August 25th;
    Answering your question, the ugly truth is that we cannot save the nature on a privately owned land. The land owner can clear his land by burning and even the bomba (fire dept) cannot do anything from stopping the burning.

    Developers these days can sell themselves as being "eco" and "sustainable", blah blah... it is the trend now. Discerning travelers choose "eco-resorts" these days. Please look at the entire development plan. Do be honest with yourself. You think that is sustainable for an island like this? What about the carrying capacity and waste management? Any tourists seeing such development plan would be disgusted with it.

    Thanks for your input, tho.

    ReplyDelete

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