Sunday, February 19, 2012

Where Are the Beautiful Public Beaches?

Malysia has some 4675km of shoreline and beaches. How much of that has been developed and promoted as beach resorts by the Federal government, the various State govermnents and Local Authorities, and by private companies which had acquired the land facing the shore. Do the companies which bought such land  also own the beach and become resposible for its development?

I raised these questions because there are many once beautiful beaches which have been damaged or which have lost their beauty due to neglect or misuse. On the other hand there are beautiful beaches with white sand and swaying palm trees once open to the public but now fenced in and only accessable to the guests of beach resort operators and hotels. The public beaches soon become overused, overcrowded and very dirty as compared to the privately owned ones but inaccessable to the public.

Beautiful beaches like the once famous Pantai Cinta Berahi ( Beach of Passionate Love), Telok Chempedak, Morib, and Telok Kemang have either bocome less attractive compared to the privately owned beaches run by five star hotels and resort operators, or have shrunk in size due to the acquisition of these private companies. On the other hand there are also beaches taken over by resort operators who not only failed to develop them but also ruined them with uncompleted or abandoned projects. If all these slow  'desecration' or 'vandalism' of our beaches are not effectively stopped by the authorities concerned, only those owned by the successful hotels and resort operators will retain their prestine or altered beauty as resort areas. Further acqisitions by the wealthy beach resort operators if left uncontrolled, will shrink futher the beach area open to the public until one day they are left with the murky and muddy areas of the beach which the beach resort operators don't want.

 Other than the problem of soil erosion threatening some parts of our beaches, the right of the public to have wide open beaches with good facilities for swimming, picnicking and lazing around, must be given serious consideration by both the Federal and State governments. Otherwise only those who can afford the luxuries of expensive hotels and exclusive beach resorts will enjoy or beaches in the future. The average citizens who couldn't afford or who don't want to squander hard-earned money on cut-throat hotels' and beach resorts' rates will have to swim in the brackish water of the sea-shore.         


kaykuala said...

Akhi Norzah,
You are right Akhi! We used to laze on the beach (in P Dickson)on Sundays. This was just across the road from the RMC (FMC then). I had also hitched on to catamaran and sampan rides from the boathouses there then. Recently when I went there as you've rightly pointed out the big hotels stood on them. All are private beaches now. Pity!


norzah said...

That's exactly what I'm bellyaching about, Akhi Hank. More and more of the good and beautiful beaches are falling into the hands of the resort operators who rare beginning to make their property inaccessible to the public in general. As far as I know they only own the land up to the high-level water mark as shown by the high tide. When the tide recedes and you've a wide area of sand beaches, that is still government property. I don;t know if that rule applies here in Malaysia. If the sandy beaches all belong to the resort operators, the public will soon be left with the unsightly part of the beaches with muddy and brackish water. Take a bath and you'll get skin diseases.

rambomadonna said...

Norzah, I read your post yesterday but susahlah nak komen with IPAD. Eeeee ... if I were to "story" you my experience on project development in Pantai Mas Batu Feringgi, I think I memang sah puasa 40 hari. BTW, in the national land code semua tanah pesisiran pantai (coastal area) and between 3 nautikal mile from pesisiran pantai belongs to the state government. All beaches in Malaysia are open to public. No such thing as private beaches and even reclaim lands are lease to private developers. In PD case, most probably private arrangement with the state government.

Have u ever wonder where the sewerage system from the hotels, beach toilets went to????? Euwwwwww...

That's why I takkkan jejak my kaki on the beach.

OK, btw ... I have found a species of mangrove that "live happily ever after" on sand and few hotels along the Batu Feringgi beach and Tanjung Bunga planted it. Not only it helps to prevent soil erosion but it also lessen the impact of tsunami (if it happen again lah). Nanti I share on my blog yer.

Ciao ...

norzah said...

Tq very much Jaime. Pantai in front of Hotel Rasa Sayang, is it open to the public? Hotels often provide reclining benches, umbrellas etc. for their clients on the beach and the public cannot go in. I US they have guards to keep the public out. In PD, the beach in front of Seri Bayu for example is out of bound to the public at large.
Where does the sewage go? I know and you can even see the murky rivulets coming down to the sea in PD. The Authority seems to do nothing about it. The sea water where the public go for a swim should be tested for dangerous viruses in PD. But that is never done.
I await your expose on the subject in your blog. Hey I have gone through your recent entries.

Enjoyed them especially the sexy golfer with Tiger Wood and also the lady in the White House.

Al-Manar said...

You keep raising issues which touch my daily life. This one is about the closest you have brought to my backyard, the beach.

I am ashamed when my visitors walked through the rear gate to the beach. On their return they would invariably say what I expected," Whay is it so dirty?" There plastic begs, broken beer bottles, pampers and you name it.

My wife used to make a couple of attempts to clean the part immediately bordering our part to the sea. But it was vain attempt. No sooner she had it all nicely piled up than more were left behind.

My state is proud to declare this new 'city' is Bandaraya Persisiran Pantai! Let say it is easier said than done!

norzah said...

What you described is quite a common sight for many beaches open to the public, Akhi Pakcik Al-Manar. It certainly is not your responsibility but that ofthe local authority or government. There's no separate authority in government to take care of publib beaches and beautiful sandy seashores to make sure they are not polluted or desecrated.

I think it is now necessary to create such authorities if the beaches are not to be polluted like the rivers. Like the question of looking after the rivers, govt comes in only after they are almost 'dead' or chokec to death. People living on the coasts overlooking public beaches should in fact be given the authotity to form some kind of committees to oversea the beaches and ask govt to undertake clearance and beautification work and prevention of erosion. They should get the Wakil rakyat to take some action on the sad conditions of the beaches.

I know that's not easy to do. But there are ways of getting the govt to act.

abdulhalimshah said...

Akhi Norzah,
I recalled what Tan Sri Hashim Aman said when he was the Chief Secretary, from his past experience of serving in the State of Perak, all beaches in the Federation belong to the State, ie. the Government. It seemed that what is being done by the hotels and beach resorts are in violation of this land rule. Perhaps the JPS who is responsible for our beaches should make this known and should propose the setting up of a Beaches and Rivers Commission just like the Land Transport Commission. We just have to right the wrongs by doing it the right way.

norzah said...

I would support your stand and suggestion all the way, Akhi Halim. While the hotels and beach resort operators might have violated the rule, some of them have taken care of the beaches and developed the area in front of their property well. The govt on the other hand had allowed many of the public beaches, once beautiful. to deteriorate into dumping areas.

If only the authorities and resort operators can come to terms and agreed on a formula for developing and beautifying the beaches, all will be rosy for the tourist industry and the nation. Otherwise what happened to the rivers will happen to the beaches outside the care of the beach operators. Some of the less successful beach operators also do little to beautify the beach under their care. The authority concerned should act on them.