Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Busy Transportation Hub

BAGAN is the unofficial Malay name of Butterworth in Penang. It means ‘jetty’. Butterworth is the main town of Seberang Prai named after William John Butterworth, Governor of the Straits Settlements (1983-1855). According to Wikipedia, the town was established in the mid-19th century as a landing place across the channel from George Town. The town used to house many government offices but some of the offices were shifted to Kepala Batas, Seberang Jaya and Bukit Mertajam in the 1990s. Butterworth is a major transportation hub in the state for railway and bus routes. The railway station, bus terminal and ferry terminal are all located within walking distance from each other.

Centre of growth: A bird's eye view of Bagan Jermal Centre of growth: A bird's eye view of Bagan Jermal

Jalan Raja Uda is a food and shopping district famed for its hawker stalls, food courts and restaurants lining the streets. Religious processions such as the Nine Emperor Gods Festival and the Chinese New Year Cultural Festival are held here annually. This busy street is also popular for its night market and Apollo Market, which operates in the morning. The North Butterworth Container Terminal, which is the main cargo hub of Penang, is sited in Butterworth. So is the Sultan Abdul Halim Ferry Terminal where one can board the ferry to Penang island.

Colourful sight: The Butterworth Tow Boo Keong Temple in Jalan Raja Uda Colourful sight: The Butterworth Tow Boo Keong Temple in Jalan Raja Uda

The 14km Butterworth Outer Ring Road is a boon to motorists as it reduces travelling time. Now the attention in Butterworth is on the RM2.7bil Penang Sentral Project, which was launched in 2007 by former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. It was reported that the project is scheduled to take off this year. The 9.6ha project will include integrate rail, ferry, monorail and land transport modes. Bagan has seen housing projects mushrooming all over with new townships. Purchasing officer A.J. Selvanathan, 48, said he was born in Sungai Puyu and the place was ideal for him. He lamented that development had been too rapid in the area.

Outdoor fun: Children from Kampung Benggali in Sungai Puyu having fun playing football Outdoor fun: Children from Kampung Benggali in Sungai Puyu having fun playing football

He said: “There used to be padi fields several decades ago. “But for the last 10 to 15 years, Sungai Puyu has been turned into a residential area due to its proximity to the Penang Bridge and North-South Expressway.” Although the town was ideal for those seeking a quiet life, residents had to be alert because of crime problems. “I used to live in Kampung Manggis but I moved to the nearby Taman Selayang Indah last year after my house was broken into twice. It is quite common,” he claimed. The father-of-three, who spoke fondly of his hometown, said he wished development could be more balanced. “I’m not against development. Although there are many housing projects here, we don’t have a shopping mall, cinema or food places. Come nightfall, the town is dead. “We also lack a secondary school. The nearest one is in Bagan Ajam about 30 minutes away,” he said. He also remarked that property prices had skyrocketed over the couple of years.

Welder Safian Mamat, 45, from Kampung Benggali in Sungai Puyu, said he reminisced the time where children get to play at nearby padi fields. “Now, there is only one padi field left. In the past, there were lots of coconut trees. During my time, we used to catch fish in the padi fields. “It’s a pity that we don’t have the kampung environment anymore due to the rapid pace of development,” he added. “I hope the authorities will provide more facilities for the public such as a park or football field,” he said. Gardener M. Saravanan, 45, who lives in Kampung Ujong, Bagan Dalam, said the authorities should build affordable housing for the people there. He said many of them stayed in wooden houses built on government or private land. “The houses are in bad condition and are a fire hazard. There have been cases when the fire in one house had spread to neighbouring houses,” he said. He said the more efforts should be taken to develop Bagan Dalam. “It is good to have a Tamil school since the area has a sizable Indian population,” he said.

Upcoming township: New condominiums at Bagan Dalam

In Bagan Jermal, Chan Hang Lim, 64, who runs a magazine, newspapers and stationery shop in Raja Uda, said the area was previously dotted with vegetable farms. “Over the past 20 years, commercial and housing projects have replaced the farms. “As there are a lot of houses, many hawker stalls have came up in the area,” he said. Chan, who has stayed there for over 50 years, said the roads in Raja Uda were choked up during peak periods. A logistics company executive Teoh Mei Ping, 39, said the Seberang Prai Municipal Council needed to widen the roads there. “The council should build a multi-storey car park in Bagan Jermal to overcome shortage of parking bays,” the mother of two said. Teoh added that food stalls along the roadside should be relocated to a food complex.

The Star Online
Tuesday March 26,  2013
By Winnie Yeoh

Friday, March 22, 2013

Why it's important to take your time when looking for real estate property

Life becomes worth living because of choices. If you have no options in life, then it simply sucks. This might not always be the case but consider buying a house for example. If you have been given the option of only one bland looking house and no other option, this simply makes it worse to you than if you had two or three options. The fact that you have been given two or more options when it comes to buying a house ensures that you get what your heart desires. It is for this reason that you are advised to always think about things before buying a house. Consider all the facts and ensure that you have understood all features of the property.

When buying a property, you must invest time in case you want the best in the target market. It is not enough to entrust a house agent or a friend to help you search for a house. It is you who must do the actual job of verifying that the property you are about to buy is worth your money. Visit the government or the municipal offices and verify that the desired property has a clean title and history. You should also understand various pricing practices in the real estate industry.

Buying a property involves not just visiting the property and paying the prices asked by the seller. You will actually find yourself understanding a lot more about real estate than you can even imagine. First of all, you need to establish how authentic a property is. Go to the history of the property and strive to learn all that there is to learn. Try your best to dig into the history of the property. If there is anything suspicious, you can inform your agent and thereby have the price adjusted accordingly and to your favour.
The sheer fact that you own a property means that the limits are endless. You can do a lot of things to your property once you buy it. Do some renovations, do some repairs and even some decorations. This is possible because no one is really at your neck since it is your property. The other benefit that comes with owning a property is to rent it out. There is a handsome return when you opt to rent out your property.

Based on the article by M. James Dickens

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Festivaganza March Monthly Draw (17/03/13)

This is the second monthly draw for the Harbour Place Festivaganza promotion. Up to today, this promotion is still attracting quite a lot of attention from the general public and people were making inquires about Wellesley Residences just as the draw was about to commence.

The number of purchasers present was higher than the previous draw because for those who did not win during the previous draw, they are entitled to take part in the next draw.

Our heartiest congratulations to this month's winner...

WR Property Showcase (14-17/03/13)

Wellesley Residences recently had a showcase at Queensbay Mall, Penang and the Chic Urban Living Redefined concept is still drawing in the crowd.

The latest investment package for Wellesley Residences...

Looks like the latest residential installment to Harbour Place is doing very well indeed. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

On the right track

Famous for its scenic padi fields, the small rural town of Tasek Gelugor, bordering Kedah, is seeing bits and pieces of development which are gradually changing its ‘kampung’ image. The parliamentary constituency in north Seberang Prai is made up of three state seats — Teluk Air Tawar, Sungai Dua and Permatang Berangan. Tasek Gelugor consists of small villages surrounding the main town of Pekan Gelugor. The villages and settlements there include Kampung Air Melintas Kecil, Kampung Belukar, Kampung Lahar Tembun, Kampung Pengkalan Batu, Kampung Permatang Indah and Kampung Banggul. Locals say Tasek Gelugor got its name from a lake that was created from the overflow of a nearby river and the Gelugor tree which grew nearby the lake.

Tasek Gelugor’s main industry is agriculture. Padi fields can be spotted alongside the roads in Permatang Berangan and Sungai Dua. They have become a tourist attraction for out-of-town visitors who would pose for photos amidst the scenic backdrop.One of the biggest developments in Tasek Gelugor now is the Electrified Double Track Project from Ipoh to Padang Besar. As Tasek Gelugor is one of the towns that the train will pass through, a modern train station is being built. This will certainly stimulate development and benefit local people. The project undertaken by MMC-Gamuda Joint Venture Sdn Bhd (MMC-Gamuda) will enable Tasek Gelugor to have a train station supported by modern infrastructure.

Businessman Hor Su Jun, 57, said the town would become busier once the station was completed and operational. “The roads in Tasek Gelugor must be upgraded to support the volume of cars that will be crowding Tasek Gelugor in a few years’ time,” he said. A sundry shop owner, who wanted to be known only as Lee, 40 said business was becoming more competitive. “There are too many shops and the number of customers is still the same. We are hoping that once the station is completed, there will be more customers,” she said. Her brother, Gooi Po Sim, 50, said he was concerned about a new flyover built in the Tasek Gelugor Main Road over the railway tracks leading to the new train station.

“There are no proper signboards, white lines or traffic lights to guide traffic along the flyover,” he said, adding that many accidents had occurred along the flyover stretch since it was opened to the public six months ago. He said the flyover, which is only two lanes wide, would not be wide enough to support the volume of cars in the future. “Once the train station is built, there will be massive traffic congestions in the area,” he said. He suggested that the flyover be expanded to four lanes wide on each side. “We must anticipate such problems now and take the necessary steps. We must think far ahead if we want Tasek Gelugor to develop further,” he said.

Businessman Nor Azman Wan, 43, said traffic along the Tasek Gelugor Main Road, where his business is located, got congested particularly during peak hours. He said buses were providing good service in Tasek Gelugor and surrounding areas. At Sungai Dua, hawker Azman Ibrahim, 52, said there had been an increase in traffic since the Butterworth Outer Ring Road opened a few years ago. “It is now easier to access Sungai Dua from Prai with the highway. It is good for us because our business is getting better,” he said with a grin. Azman, who runs a ‘kuih’ stall, said there was a need for more facilities such as a hospital in Sungai Dua. “Currently, I have to drive to Seberang Jaya or Kepala Batas to seek treatment for my knee problem,” he said. “It takes about 15 to 20 minutes or between 5km and 10km to get to the nearest hospital,” he said. He said that having a hospital closer to home would certainly be welcomed.

In Teluk Air Tawar, housewife Suriani Hassan, 42, said the scenic beaches in the area were potential tourist spots. “The beaches along the coast of Taman Wira, Taman Robina and Taman Teluk Ai Tawar have great views of Penang island. “Apart from the beaches, the area is also famous for its seafood,” she said. Suriani said the cleanliness of the beaches had to be maintained. “Many visit the beaches and they tend to leave rubbish behind, making the areas an eyesore. “This issue needs to be looked at seriously if Teluk Air Tawar is to become a tourist attraction,” she said.


The Star Online - Wednesday 6 March, 2013