Pantai Hill Orchard Wars – the fight over water and noise

Pantai Hill residents want peace

We want peace but it looks impossible to achieve

The last few weeks on Pantai Hill has been stressful. We have seen an escalation of conflict between residents and resort operators. The issues once again revolved around water and noise. The stubborn hazy-dry weather, over consumption of water, aggressive vandalism and selfish behaviour of some resorts and individuals have sparked another heated exchange – ending with very little to show – as the call of peace was quietly rejected.

A resident and resort proposed a newly re-worked Community Agreement but this was also dead in the water.

Dear visitors and guests to Pantai Hill Orchard. Let me be clear. There is tension in these hills. Please be aware of angry residents who may not welcome you because – certain resorts you may be staying at are behaving SELFISHLY and are irresponsible as a member of the Pantai Hill Orchard Resort community.

There is an an ongoing legal battle, noise issues are inadequately addressed and issues with the quality of the water (right now) is problematic, because the levels are so low that most of the water coming through the pipes are a-washed in mud and slush from our main tank.

Some recently unacceptable actions by the Pantai Hill Orchard Resort Community:
1. Water shortage has pushed Awanmulan to collect water above the Pantai community line – compromising our water collection.
2. Awanmulan defended their actions by pointing fingers at another resort and arrogantly left us in the dark regarding their water collection
3. Breakdown in community communication has resulted in, inefficient and haphazard water collection methods, undermining the stability of our water collection and basic living for residents.
4. Vandalism of The Dusun’s water pipe – slashed/punctured and stuffed with plastics.
5. Noise complaints by residents not respected by resort operators – push residents to react directly at their guests. Serenity Sanctuary and The Shorea have been very poor in their response to residents affected by their oversight.
6. Quality of water and its origins are not clearly made known to visitors. The risk factor has increased due to persistently low water levels.(compounded by our community conflict)

Dear visitors, as you can see – these are unresolved issues leading to high tensions on Pantai Hill. As paying guests, you should be aware of what you are signing up to, paying for and the kind of environment you are coming into at Pantai Hill Orchard Resort.

There were also calls and offers to host a ‘Peace Talk’ by some residents but it seems – that to is fading into oblivion. Just like most things – majority will not do anything until something DRASTIC happens. Peace is not always the obvious choice when profit and ego is around 😦

 

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Pantai Hill Resort – Water Wars

Water tank zero

Pantai Hill Resort water tank totally empty

Dear visitors and resort guests, we would like to share with you a recent incident involving water supply on Pantai Hill – how some residents and the 4 resorts (The Shorea, Cabinzcottage, The Dusun and Awanmulan) behaved in view of this recent water shortage event.

First, a bit of background – Pantai Hill Resort draws its water from a creek near the top of the hill. It is then stored in a big tank supposedly enough to supply to about 80 homes. However, the volume of this in-coming water varies with the weather patterns and does not allow adequate water supply all year round.

We currently have 24 homes on the hill, out of which 7 are used for resort operations. The tank water is suppose to feed 80 homes, but even at current numbers (24) we already have problems. Put in another way, occupancy rate based on lots available (inside Pantai Hill Resort gated community) is only 30% and yet there is already water shortage problems during certain months.

Out of the 24 homes, only 4 homes have residents who permanently live on the hill. These 4 homes have a total of only 9 people. If the average water usage in a household per person is 220 liters/day (Malaysian usage, highest in SE Asia) – 9 permanent residents would use an average of 1980 liters/day.

Assuming the water tank holds about 500,000 liters when full and the recent emptying of the water tank took 10 days to happen from one quarter level of tank (ie. 125,000 liters and no new water flows in). The 9 permanent residents would use 19,800 liters in 10 days, representing 16% total of water usage.

This implies that 84% of tank water is predominantly used by and for construction activities, resort operations, resort guests, visitors and visiting residents.

Now back to the story…

10 days ago, we (permanent residents the 16%) sent out 4 emails cautioning non-permanent residents and resort operators that the water level in the tank was getting critically low. Yesterday water went totally empty. These were the replies several days before water was completely emptied:

From users who make up 84% of tank water usage:

1. Non-permanent residents: ALL were silent as usual (except for Chandran and Julliet who offered to alert her contractor and for them to conserve water over this period)

2. Awanmulan: “We better pray…” (resort continued operations with no compromise)

3. Cabinzcottage: “So!….i’ve got my own water line wat?!” (resort continued operations with no compromise)

4. The Shorea: They remained silent and went on to operate an on-site concrete mixer for 2 days non-stop at the peak of this water crisis. (resort continued operations with no compromise)

5. The Dusun: “The Dusun will not be using water from the Pantai Hills reservoir as of tomorrow afternoon. We will arrange alternative source until this water crisis is over.”

(People with their own lines (from the same source) do not lift much burden from the Pantai Hill Tank, because they still use the main tank water until it runs out before switching over to their reserve lines. The only effective way is like The Dusun’s example – stopping usage and arranging alternative sources)

From users who make-up 16% of tank water usage:

1.. Permanent resident Rafi: “I have cancelled my hari raya celebrations this saturday and informed my guests..”


So, dear Pantai Hill visitors and resort guests. The summary above gives you an idea of the water shortage problem on the hill and also how much empathy and foresight each individual and resorts have for permanent residents of Pantai Hill.

Please choose your resorts carefully and please do not support ones who blatantly ignore and exclude themselves from communal hill responsibilities especially – if they are a core contributor to the 84%….at the expense of the 16%.

The story of ‘WATER’ is a major one. It doesn’t end here. More to come.

Shameful Awanmulan – Deletes Facebook comments

On 29 June 2015, Awanmulan, located on Pantai Hill Resort, Seremban and also a ‘TripAdvisor Category Winner for 2015’  – deleted 2 comments on their facebook page, which provided constructive commentary on their business culture.

This is a big shameful blow to the brand of Awanmulan. Supporters of Awanmulan please be aware that the issues surrounding Pantai Hill and how Awanmulan runs its business has been censored from YOU. Just like many profit oriented operations, the truth is kept hidden (a PR strategy),  to avoid bad publicity and a negative backlash from customers.

Awanmulan in their posting on Facebook declares their concern for the environment and their empathy for the surrounding community of Pantai Hill. Is this mere ‘lip-service’ to make them look good to customers? How can they claim to be ‘concerned’ when comments on how they operate and suggestions for them to improve has been completely CENSORED!

Below is prove of their recent behaviour: screen shot of 2 postings on their facebook page and within hours, they were deleted. Even the ability to comment on Awanmulan facebook has been taken out. This is how afraid they are to face genuine issues regarding their operations that affect their immediate neighbours. Instead of choosing to solve them together, Awanmuan has chosen the dark side, the path of censorship and dumbing down the audience and customers – by blocking information.

Facebook comments deleted

Awanmulan Facebook comments censored from public viewing. This comment has been deleted.

 

facebook comments deleted

Another Awanmulan Facebook comment censored from public viewing. This comment has been deleted.

All is not lost. Sometimes people make mistakes or make defensive moves that blow up in their faces. As we have always maintained, we do not seek to ‘catch people’ and we do not seek to make enemies. We are always open to meet up and talk about how we can all move forward while sharing this wonderful Pantai Hill together. 🙂

Pantai Hill Resorts and Visitors – end goal

We have mentioned these goals in various sections of this website. This is just another re-iteration, highlighting things we hope to see, in the preservation and protection of Pantai Hill Resorts in Seremban and its rare and priceless jungle getaway status.

To the resorts who have yet to show any form of neighbourly communications and contact: The Shorea, Cabinz Cottage, Awanmulan – Our message is simple, lets meet up and talk about our future moving forward. The goal being a creation of a community agreement which we all can respect and honour.

To Visitors of Pantai Hill Resorts in Seremban: We hope you can self regulate. We are concerned with preserving the beauty, tranquility and its surrounding environment. BIG GROUPS for parties or corporate team building is a difinite NO. If you see your favourite resort on Pantai Hill promoting such business activities, please stop supporting them. For more information please look at our VISITOR GUIDELINES.

Berembun Forest reserve

Pantai Hill Resorts getaway – view of the Berembun Forest Reserve, Seremban

Pantai Hill River Cleanup Report

Pantai Hil River Cleanup graphic

Volunteers of the Pantai Hill Community, cleaning up a dumpsite by river.

> A good start to our first Pantaihillwatch.org community river dump cleanup project.
> Collected and packed more than 50 large bin bags
> Notable Pantai Hill resort absentees – The Shorea and Awanmulan
> Big Thank You to all who participated
<<View the full report here>>

Message to Pantai Hill Resort operators

Hello Pantai Hill Orchard resort operators: Awanmulan, The Shorea and Cabinz Cottage.

We realise that this website may be damaging to your business. We also realise that not all resorts behave in a similar fashion. Our intentions are clearly spelled out in the <<‘Resort Section of this website’>>. Please do review it again.

The articles that we post here are – to our very best knowledge and intention – the truth. Potential visitors to Pantai Hill may be alerted of things and issues that they may be unaware of. It may help them make decisions, it may illuminate the ‘Politics’ happening on the hill, it may eventually assist them in forming personal opinions of Pantai Hill and its band of resort operators. (No one should act as they like and get away with it)

This is what the internet and crowd sourcing is all about… Isn’t it? – To inform and allow people to make better decisions and spread the knowledge to friends and family. Inevitably this information also exposes unscrupulous individuals and entities who take advantage of society at large for personal gains. We at pantaihillwatch.org are not interested in ‘catching’ or ‘bad mouthing’ anyone. We are only interested in preserving Pantai Hill’s environment and the rights of its residents to have a peaceful enjoyment of their own homes.

Is this request so unreasonable to ask???
To some resorts, the answer is Yes – if this request impedes and restricts the potential of resort operators to continue operating in its current configuration and if its expansion plans are challenged.

We respect the universal law concerning the ‘freedom of individual choice’.  As such, we do not threaten, we do not beg and we do not put anyone under duress. We leave it to the ‘UNIVERSE’ with the aid of truthful reporting.

This website does not need to be filled with demoralising pictures of rubbish and trash, of discontent and dispute and of irresponsible behaviour. It can be positive, clean and beautiful. It can be about the ‘privileged people on the hill’ helping the less fortunate below. It can be filled with stories of cooperation, collaboration, of social giving and of non-competition. It can even help promote responsible and sustainable tourism.

Once again, we ask for your cooperation, to come and have a dialogue with us. To work things out, to work on the <<‘Community Agreement’>> that The Dusun first proposed and to make Pantai Hill a sustainable place for all.

As for potential and returning Pantai Hill visitors reading this post, we hope that this appeals to your conscience, and that you may urge your favourite resort operator to respect this request and to personally – make good decisions that are in-line with the serenity, tranquility and beauty that you love so much about Pantai Hill. <<Please take a look at our Visitor Guidelines>>

Dear resort operators, we live in an increasingly inter-connected world. One cannot possibly hope to continue on a path which benefits oneself at the expense of the people around you. The wrath of the ‘UNIVERSE’ may come back several fold. So as they say – the choice is yours 🙂

“Behaviour is the mirror in which everyone shows their image” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Seremban Getaways – Pantai Hill Orchard

Several Malaysian media outlets both online and print versions have highlighted amazing getaways in Malaysia. It is great to know that resorts from Pantai Hill have been featured in these publications. For the media to recognise and highlight these Seremban getaways, it shows that Pantai Hill does genuinely offer a valued getaway destination.

However, we would like to add our (resident) opinions to what these media outlets have perhaps missed out in their quick and short description of such vacation destinations.


Peaceful Getaways in Malaysia

Published by: The Edge Travel Focus

Here is what they said:

Tired of congested tourist spots?Here are some off-the-beaten-track destinations where you can de-stress and rejuvenate…Several retreat bungalows and boutique hotels such as The Dusun, Awanmulan and The Shorea, offer visitors spectacular views of majestic trees and mountains.

We don’t have a problem with publications promoting  ‘off-the-beaten-track destinations’. However, certain resort operators are not conscious of – the impact of their operations on the surrounding environment. When capitalist oriented individuals sell out to – the ‘Priority of Profit’, such mentality overpowers community well being. This is exactly the kind of irresponsible behaviour that destroys relationships with local community and worst, destroys the very place that is suppose to bring a ‘Peaceful Getaway’. (This is the most common result of how places of natural beauty gets destroyed, all over the world)


7 Amazing Places to Vacation at in Malaysia

Published by http://www.femalemag.com.my

They featured 6 destinations in different states. What they failed to recognise is the difference in actual operational status of each resort/hotel destination. Ones in Ipoh, KL, Penang, Melaka and Serendah are proper commercial outlets with hotel licences. The Shorea, featured under Seremban does not have such an operational license and worst still The Shorea’s operations in-fringes on the comfort and peace of their neighbours – partly because of how they have built their structures and how they ignore noise complaints by their neighbours.

Here is what they said:

The Shorea – Built within a tropical forest reserve, the resort is an appreciation of nature itself. Build mostly from recycled shorea timber, it’s a great place for some R&R with magnificent views of the surrounding mountains.

We can’t blame femalemag for doing so (because how would they know?). In our experience we find that The Shorea does not appreciate nature. Owners of The Shorea do not respect their surroundings and do not respect nature and they have had multiple run-ins with neighbours regarding water drainage, water usage, water preservation, rubbish disposal in nature, noise, building materials spillage and trash.


10 Retreats Under RM250 per night

Published by http://www.thestar.com.my

Here is what they said:

…family-owned business, which was started over 30 years ago, seeks to promote sustainable farming and jungle conservation…There are five houses — Berembun, Emas, Sora, Perling and Tembusu, which combine elements of Malay and orang asli architecture….This is a perfect spot to marvel at nature, whether a waterfall or the beautiful hills. There are several swimming spots as well as jungle trekking and guided walks to experience kampung life.

We find this short reporting by the star to be fairly accurate. This family owned resort were the pioneers of resort business on Pantai Hill and have lived up to their ‘kampung life and jungle conservation’ attributes. They have always responded well to community needs and have earned the respect from the orang Asli community they employ. Residents on Pantai Hill do not have a problem dealing with them.


Romantic Highland Honemoon Getaway in Malaysia

Published by http://www.planyourwedding.my

Here is what they said:

Located on the hills hidden deep in the heart of Negeri Sembilan, The Shorea was built in a tropical forest reserve, making it an exclusively tranquil place to spend your honeymoon. If you and your spouse are nature lovers or you seeking for some peaceful rejuvenation, probably even a taste of Balinese honeymoon away from the crowd in Malaysia, this is the ideal forest getaway.

If you are a honeymoon couple looking for a tranquil place, we doubt that The Shorea will give you tranquility and peaceful rejuvenation they claim. The reason we say this is because as residents, what we have often observed large group bookings into The Shorea. If you read reviews from Tripadvisor.com.my you will find that people complain about how close their ‘Villas’ (which are actually- small rooms) are to each other and if you are a couple on honeymoon, it is certainly not a choice spot for you.


10 Secluded Forest Resorts in Malaysia for a Relaxing Getaway

Published by http://www.Lipstiq.com

Here is what they said:

AwanMulan is a cozy family run retreat located in Negeri Sembilan. Above the hills, and amidst the clouds, it’s not only a romantic getaway, but a perfect stop for family or friends

We do agree that Awanmulan is a cozy family run resort. And especially during rainy days there are many misty pockets in the hills around. In our opinion, it is a great place for family and friends only if the numbers are kept low. Just like The Shorea, Awanmulan is located on a residential hill. There are neighbours close by. Due to the open architecture plans favoured by residents on the hill – sound travels intact and easily reaches into the homes of others. Unlike The Shorea owners, the Awanmulan family have left their doors a little open for negotiation and do respond when taken to task. They are also quite professional in their dealings. Our message to Awanmulan is to please watch your numbers so the noise does not put a bad mark on your operations. To potential guests please regulate yourself – noise penetrates deep and we can hear almost every word (although muffled from time to time).


Best weekend getaways: Two-day trips

Published by http://www.timeout.com

Here is what they said:

A nature lover’s dream, the well-hidden property is mainly constructed using recycled shorea timber (hence its name)… Staff at The Shorea are known for their personalised service – city-dwelling families and couples looking for a relaxing forest retreat will not be disappointed.

We have already highlighted issues regarding The Shorea’s behaviour and it’s standing within the local community of Pantai Hill above. However, visitors to The Shorea will be rudely shocked, that for such a beautiful location that it commands, the owners have ‘overbuilt’. If visitors come today, you will observe a large unsightly construction going on behind the resort. When completed, this add on wing will make The Shorea into a large concrete building with water features that will heavily impose on Pantai Hill’s water demands. <<Take a look at what they are building>>