This is an article by Lokman Mustafa of NST which was published on 19 July, 2013:
BOAT LOVERS: Owning a boat, much less a waterfront property with berthing facilities is still the preserve of the rich but some Malaysian developers are making it more affordable.
According to Marina Sanctuary Resort Sdn Bhd Managing Director, Datuk Ding Poi Chung, waterfront living “caters to individuals or families who love water sports, boats, sunsets, beaches, scenic views of hills and water, and the feeling of security as well as exclusivity.”
For Jeff Harris, a sailing secretary of the Royal Selangor Yacht Club who decided to move into his current residence in Glenmarie Cove Residential Resort in May 2007, a home on the waterfront affords him the convenience of enjoying his love of sailing.
“I bought the house after attending a property exhibition in Bahrain. As a sailor, I am genuinely interested in sailing and boating. The other properties I looked at were mostly apartment and condominium units. Glenmarie Cove, however, was unique at that time as it offered me the choice of owning a landed property. The ‘open‘ concept of a neighbourhood without fences was also something I really liked. In addition, my yacht “NiJinsky”, named after a race horse, is berthed nearby in Port Klang,“ Harris explains.
Catering to sailors and non-sailors
The President of Glenmarie Cove Owners and Residents Association (GCORA), Johann Foo shares the same sentiment as Harris‘. His family moved into their home on the riverfront two years ago upon returning from the United States, as they were “keen to find something that has the feel of an open and well-manicured surrounding area,” he points out.
Filled with a similar fondness of the sea, Foo who also enjoys boating found the residential resort to be an obvious choice due to its location along the Langat river which leads to the Straits of Malacca.
“It was my wish that I would be able to launch my power boat whenever I wanted and pull it out of the river after an outing. This desire has not yet materialised however because the boat ramp built is not really user friendly,” he laments. Foo is hopeful that things will improve as the problem has already been discussed with the relevant parties.
Harris, meanwhile believes that a waterfront property will attract more buyers if it is located beside a long stretch of natural water body whilst overlooking a natural surrounding. In regards to the Langat river which is classified as Class IIB for cleanliness and is ideal for recreational purposes and protection of certain aquatic species, Harris notes, “The river is relatively clean and the people here like fishing.
Buyers or residents are therefore attracted to Glenmarie Cove‘s pristine and natural surroundings.”
Forces of nature
Homeowners on the waterfront should, however, be aware of the phenomena resulting from the forces of nature. High tides and heavy rain may flood low-lying areas especially during monsoon seasons. Those intending to reside especially on the riverfront or seafront, need to find out if the surrounding water body has the tendency to rise during certain times of the year.
Nevertheless, it is worth noting that the threat of flood occurring in a residential resort may be allayed through careful planning on the developer‘s part. Mariner Jeff Harris is quick to agree with this. “In Telok Gong, the tide can sometimes rise up to 16 feet high. Children therefore, should definitely not be near the river bank unless accompanied by an adult. Fortunately, there has not been any case of flooding as the developer has conducted thorough research on the flood levels for the past 100 years. In addition, the embankment built has stopped the river from overflowing.“
Ding of Marina Sanctuary Resort adds, “The risk of flooding in islands is close to nil as islands by nature would have its water excess flowing out into the sea. Furthermore, Marina Island is surrounded by hills and Pangkor Island which also act as a natural wave breaker to protect it from tsunami and strong waves.”
With the tsunami tragedy which claimed 68 lives still fresh on most Penangites‘ minds, the developer of Andaman at Quayside decided to build the condominiums on a site reclaimed at a height of more than 16 feet above sea level, with an armoured rock bund perimeter that has been strengthened and shaped into a rock revetment wall. “In fact, it was this revetment wall and the height of Seri Tanjung Pinang that was higher than the main road of Jalan Tanjung Tokong, which buffered the Tanjong Tokong area from the full force of the December 26, 2004 tsunami,“ recalls Christina Lau, E&O General Manager of Marketing & Sales (Penang).
To ensure protection against erosion, developers of waterfront properties must also adhere to strict regulations imposed by the Department of Environment, under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Malaysia. Such regulations involved submission of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report by developers prior to the commencement of any projects.
Foo believes that those who reside near the waterfront should be equally responsible in preserving the natural surroundings by trying to avoid disrupting the ecosystem or contributing to coastal erosion. While jetties erected by the developer for pleasure boats have minimal impact on the environment, “residents must also do their part by not adding more structures of any kind nor dumping wastes into the river,” Foo stresses.
Tips on buying
For some waterfront homeowners, living by the water means access to sun, sea and sailing. For others, waterfront living provides a quiet place to connect with nature. Whatever lifestyle one is looking for, there is surely a waterfront property which suits his or her needs.
Describing his neighbourhood as still ‘a work in progress‘, Foo urges buyers to be vigilant over the developer‘s plans for facilities which are highlighted in the sales brochures but do not appear in the Sale and Purchase Agreement. “Perhaps it is better to see some real signs of development of the facilities at the beginning of the development process,” he advises, while admitting that “it does not matter, however, if all that excites you is the mere presence of water in front of or around your home!”
Malaysia is fortunate as there are a lot of islands and mangrove forests which provide the necessary protection to its beautiful coastline. We may never be the Monaco of the East but at least we can boast of having some of the cheapest marina properties in the world.