Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
The Star Online
Thursday November 25, 2010
TWO housing developers have installed a set of traffic lights each and several lamp posts outside their housing schemes in Butterworth to help improve traffic flow.
Seberang Prai municipal councillor Soon Lip Chee said PJD Eastern Land, the developer of Harbour Place, installed a set of traffic lights on New Ferry Road which would be put on a two-week trial run from this week.
He said the traffic lights would help to improve traffic flow to the nearby Taman Mewah flats.
“When approving the Harbour Place layout plan, the council had asked the developer to build two new access roads and install a set of traffic lights on New Ferry Road,” he said in an interview.
Soon said this was necessary to cater to the anticipated high number of vehicles travelling between the Seaview Tower condominium and busy New Ferry Road.
He said PJD Eastern had built one of the access roads — a 200m-long road connecting Seaview Tower to New Ferry Road next to the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
He said the second road would connect Park View Tower and New Ferry Road, near the New Ferry Road Voluntary Fire Fighting squad’s base.
Seaview Tower and Parkview Tower are part of the Harbour Place project.
Soon said the other developer, Syarikat Perumahan Negara Berhad, had installed a set of traffic lights connecting its Taman Limbungan Indah mixed development project on Jalan Kapal to Chain Ferry Road.
“This particular set of traffic lights is highly necessary as many accidents had occurred at the road junction.
“These lights will only be functional next month as the developer has yet to complete resurfacing the road shoulders,” he said.
Fellow councillor Oon Neow Aun said although both new traffic lights were located less than 200m from the main traffic lights at the Chain Ferry Road-New Ferry Road junction, they were vital for traffic dispersal as there were too many shop houses along both stretches.
“There are five traffic lights between Taman Bagan and the Penang Sentral temporary bus terminal which is a distance of less than 1km.
“We will try our best to synchronise the timing of these traffic lights” he said.
Another councillor, S. Chandrasekeran, encouraged the public to give their feedback on the function and timing of the traffic lights to any municipal councillor or via the council’s website at http://www.mpsp.gov.my/english/pengunjung.asp.
“The council’s traffic committee will compile the feedback and take necessary action,” he said.
Friday, November 19, 2010
By Tess Ritcher (July 16, 2010)
Looking for a change? Move to Malaysia and you can enjoy a fascinating culture with gorgeous tropical scenery. One of the most vibrant and exciting cities in the country is Penang. With your own apartment Penang, you can live like a local. Experience life in Malaysia and make memories to last a lifetime.
The world is enchanted by Malaysia, a country where cultures from around Asia co-exist harmoniously. Most of the population is Malay, Chinese or Indian, though there are significant groups of many other Asian peoples as well. The city is known for being friendly and receptive to tourists and people from overseas. Many find the mix of modern and traditional, Eastern and Western to be very intriguing as well. For instance, in George Town, Penang you’ll see buildings from the city’s British colonial past, and not far away you can find any number of centuries-old Buddhist temples and indigenous shrines. You can also take part in tourist activities at beachfront resorts, enjoying the clear water, diving and coral reefs.
You can enjoy great dining in Penang, but trying the street food will give you a less touristy, more authentic experience. Go where the locals go and you’ll end up with some of the best dishes. In just a few minutes, you can try simple but flavorful Indian, Malaysian and Chinese dishes, and enjoy people-watching as you eat at the roadside.
Particularly for those with an interest in architecture or colonial history, take a look at the heritage buildings in inner city George Town. There you will find eclectic architecture overflowing with history.
Some of the most interesting architecture, also providing an informative look into Malaysian society and culture today, can be found at the many religious structures in Penang. Dedicated to the supreme ruler of heaven according to Taoist belief, the Jade Emperor’s Pavilion is a beautiful temple that has stood for a hundred and forty years. It sees the most number of visitors during Chinese New Year.
You should also be sure to check out the Reclining Buddha. The thirty-three meter long, gold plated Buddha statue is housed in a temple built by a Thai monk in 1845. Throughout the grounds you can find intricately decorated shrines and every shape and size of Buddha statue. The city also has mosques, Hindu temples, and Churches throughout, so the religious sights are virtually endless.
For the night life, head to the Upper Penang Road in George Town. There you can grab a drink in a bar, sing in a karaoke club, or enjoy a live band at one of the clubs. For a more casual scene, head to nearby Chulia Street where you can relax at a coffee shop, inexpensive bar or quaint motel.
If you’re living in Penang, you won’t want to miss the Toy Museum. The only one of its kind in the entire world, it offers countless toys and collectibles that kids and adults alike will delight in seeing. Another attraction in Teluk Bahang is the Penang Butterfly Farm. There you can go to see all sizes and colors of butterflies fluttering freely around. The farm is also a breeding and research center for butterflies.
No matter where you’re from, there are endless attractions in Penang. If you stay long enough and live in a luxurious Penang apartment, you can experience the local life in a new and exciting city.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
PENANG cannot help but be in the limelight with the island being singled out as the logistics, transportation and infrastructure hub for the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER). This paints a healthy picture for the state's residential properties as the higher-end properties and condominiums are moving up very positively.
Overall, the state, with a population of around 1.5 million, was ranked fourth in terms of real estate transactions totalling 20,877 for 2006 valued at RM5.49 billion after Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Johor.
Penang's residential market is expected to exhibit increased demand towards stratified properties and new growth areas, both on the island and the mainland. On the state's future housing supply, lifestyle housing, which came into the vogue the past three to four years, will continue. These comprise largely the two-and-a-half and three-storey terraced housing and luxury condominium developments.
With the cost of living in Penang being so much cheaper, Penang will continue to be quite an exciting place to invest in properties as long as the state can support it with more social amenities. The fact that major developers from Kuala Lumpur are coming to Penang to buy land and develop properties here goes to show that land prices are still relatively cheap and attractive.
Although Penang's population growth of 1.57% in the 1990s appears to be weak, mapper Ho Chin Soon says Penang can be likened to be a "little magnet" and anticipates that the state will have significant impact on the NCER and areas such as Kulim.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Go green for a brighter future
Bricks & Mortar by TEH LIP KIM
THE world is going green and as property developers we should place priority on how we can contribute towards a better environment and the community at large. Everything that we build will stand as testimony to our craft across many generations. Our buildings will speak volumes about whether we, as a society, cared for our environment, our home.
Property developers can respond to this eco-challenge in many ways. Sometimes, a small amount of effort is all it takes to bring about a large quantity of benefit. Developers can start off by taking small steps such as making use of natural air, light and ventilation when we design.
If a building is able to make use of what nature has to offer, then that means it is less dependent on electrical power. Layouts that are open and linear, with no nooks and crannies, will use less electricity.
Taking this a step further, we could think of other environmentally friendly ways to make buildings more energy efficient. These could include planting grass on rooftops, which would help keep temperatures down inside buildings, translating to a lower dependence on air-conditioning in our hot weather, and relieving our environment of ozone-eating CFCs. Of course, on-going maintenance will be required and the rooftops could be treated as part of the gardens belonging to the development.
We can also make provision for the water that is used in buildings to be recycled. Tap water can be channelled back into toilets and then treated for use in gardens. We can place solar panels on the roof for sustainable energy use. While solar panels are generally considered an expensive add-on in Malaysia, countries such as Japan, the Netherlands and Germany, already have government initiatives to support the building of integrated solar projects.
We can use recycled or sustainable materials for our construction. For example, a local company has discovered that old tyres need not be thrown away, but can be put under the foundation of a house to regulate the temperature inside the home.
We can use technologies that reduce water and energy consumption. If we have a high-speed elevator in the building, we can collect the energy that it generates on the way down for later use.
The problem, however, is that several of these technologies are, at present, rather costly for our stage of development.
Building safety is another important consideration that developers here should address. While Malaysia lies outside an earthquake-likely demarcated zone, many places in KL felt tremors during the recent earthquakes in Sumatra, and thousands of people were evacuated from their high-rise buildings until the danger had passed.
So, even though the law here does not require buildings to be designed for seismic conditions, we decided to design Park Seven so that it will withstand the horizontal force of an earthquake.
This involved strengthening the joints to provide better control of the lateral movements, increasing reinforcements in the columns and constructing closer links in the columns and the beams.
We comply with both the British standards, to which Malaysia adheres, and the Indonesian seismic code.
Eco-friendly designs may add an additional 15% to 20% to the total cost of construction for a developer but this is money that is worth spending. Over in Singapore, some flats designed to be environmentally sustainable were recently snapped up at premium prices, proving critics wrong who said that they would be hard to sell.
Financial experts, too, believe that by paying attention to environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues they can affect the way an investment portfolio performs. Two years ago the United Nations Secretary-General invited a group of the world’s largest institutional investors to jointly develop the UN Principles for Responsible Investing. While being aspirational and voluntary in nature, these principles provide investment professionals who are serious about ESG issues, with a framework to guide their investment decisions.
Green architecture has, in fact, taken off to varying degrees in many countries, including Singapore. Our neighbour down south launched a scheme in January 2005, called the BCA Green Mark Scheme under their Ministry of National Development, which rates existing and new buildings on their environmental sustainability, quality, safety and innovation, and presents cash incentives for buildings that win top ratings.
Regionally, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan have also implemented programmes to encourage their property developers to move towards more eco-friendly and environmentally sustainable buildings.
Malaysia, too, should get serious in this area if we want to be considered a developed nation. In fact, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi called for a balance between development and environmental sustainability in his speech to launch the Ninth Malaysia Plan.
As developers, we build for the future. Let us take the lead to ensure that our buildings are friendly to our environment, for the benefit of generations to come.