The Pantai Hill Orchard Resort – conflict and issues with resort operators

Here is a little summary of the on-going saga between residents and resort operators, played out on Pantai Hills Orchard Resort. We hope that – you – visitors – tourists – authorities – friends – families – workers may benefit from this information – and make informed choices to help this beleaguered community.

Little Background
Pantai Hill Orchard Resort – born in the early 1990’s, was originally a ‘Homestead’ concept for private home owners.

Developer of Pantai Hill Orchard Resort - advertising Homestead land for sale

Developer of Pantai Hill Orchard Resort – advertising Homestead land for sale

Here are some of Wiki’s definition of ‘Homestead’:

A homestead is a dwelling, especially a farmhouse, and adjacent outbuildings, typically on a large agricultural holding such as a ranch or station. Homesteading is a lifestyle of self-sufficiency. It is characterized by subsistence agriculture, home preservation of foodstuffs.”

Modern homesteaders often use renewable energy options including solar electricity and wind power and some even invent DIY cars. Many also choose to plant and grow heirloom vegetables and to raise heritage livestock. Homesteading is not defined by where someone lives, such as the city or the country, but by the lifestyle choices they make.”

Today, the developers of this project – Intermewah Development Sdn Bhd no longer performs its responsibilities and has conveniently and discreetly exited the scene. They are still selling remaining land on Pantai Hills via a connected entity called SK Brothers.

Developer of Pantai Hill Orchard Resort - advertising 'Development land'!! for sale

Developer of Pantai Hill Orchard Resort – advertising ‘Development land’!! for sale

In their eagerness to sell their remaining land, they have turned a blind eye and contravened the very sale & purchase agreement and the accompanying schedules we all signed on – in good faith – when we purchased our ‘Homestead’ lots.

So now, far from being a ‘Homestead’ concept, Pantai Hills Orchard Resort has become a haven for – unregulated resort operations. Since 2011, five new private resort operators have mushroomed on the hill.

Initially the presence of resorts on the hill had little impact on the lives of private residents. We were friends with healthy neighbourly exchanges. As the popularity of the resorts grew – spurring expansions, it further taxed the shared resources and surrounding environment. This was when our neighbourly relationship began to change.

As communications broke down, naturally residents took to the law for action. We expected a slow process, but never anticipated a total indifference/blackout (even after receiving positive responses from their investigative teams who came to check the sites) by all the state agencies concerned. <<Check out the latest visit from authorities >>

Vandalism against residents have also increased in aggressiveness recently. All of our signages by the entrance gate were ripped out the very day it was installed. <<read about it here>> No words, no communication, just heavy handed bulldozing. What kind of civil society do we live in?


Conflicting Issues
Here is a summary of issues currently driving a wedge between Pantai Hill residents and resort operators:

1. Water
We collect spring water from a hill source, free for all to use. For 3-5 months in the year it is dry with little rain. Due to the gravity water system piping, resorts located at the top draws the already low volume of water, into their numerous water tanks during such periods of drought – depriving residents below of needed water. To further exacerbate the matter, several resorts have independently pulled their own private lines from the same spring source for themselves, depriving residents of this scarce resource. This ugly fight has become a free-for-all resource grabbing. Low water levels also promote higher bacteria presence in the water, being close to the sludge at the bottom of the main water tank, uncleaned for perhaps the last 15 years. A compromise for less visitors during this period was not negotiable (except **theDusun), no offered solutions, no communication and residents suffer at the expense of resort profit making. Despite this, resort expansion continues.

2. Noise & Big Groups
Several resorts have failed to control their noise emissions and have regularly affected their neighbours. Bookings of large groups to celebrate occasions have proven to be unsuitable for resorts operating from small land areas of 1 acre or with neighbours sharing a boundary. Parking spills over onto common roads, narrow roads become hazardous, narcotics and prostitution issues changes hill serenity. Unscrupulous resort operators continue their obnoxious and selfish behaviour. Meanwhile, resort expansion continues.

3. Wildlife & Environmental degradation
Rubbish – many bags strewn along the beautiful road leading up to the gates. Food wrappers and other accumulated construction material, thrashed everywhere by the entrance and road side. Toxic building materials dumped by the slopes of the river. Use of weed killers, food waste, noise and bright lights from over-lighting at night affects the surrounding natural habitat of wildlife, pollination and the earth we plant our food from. Meanwhile, resort expansion continues.

4. Safety
Open burning. Recent flash fires were a wakeup call. Still neighbours, construction workers and some resorts do not recognise this danger. Narrow roads leading up to the gates have increased in danger due to the heavier traffic created by resorts. Meanwhile, resort expansion continues.

5. Legality
The National land Code, the Sale & Purchase agreement on – non commercial use of agriculture land and size of structures have been contravened. The environmental act on noise, water & health have been compromised. State water and health department regulations broken. Unregulated resort operations and the careless degradation of our national forest reserves all add to drown this priceless venue. Meanwhile, resort expansion continues.

We have all seen this kind of business operations before. A popular tourist destination, destroyed by over eager businesses with selfish and short term visions. Eventually a beautiful venue and a national treasure, becomes over built, used and decimated – sucked dry with only a fraction of its wonder left to enjoy.

Residents have the right to protect – a comfortable and serene livelihood on Pantai Hills that is fair to all parties concerned. It is sad that we have to fight for it – tooth & nail in an environment of educated higher-middle class Malaysians. Scums, cheats, robbers, egos, profit and lack of empathy are stubborn and ugly traits some resort operators struggle with, in-fact we all do in our journey of life.

We have observed this phenomenon happen all over the world, in varying degrees. Not because its an inevitable human trait. But more so because of the system and the social & environmental influences we all grow up in. This heavily shapes our code of conduct and response to the outside world.


Potential Solution
We respect the ambitions of resort operators. So, in the hope that we can perhaps flourish together, lets consider this.

As the saying goes: “In every crisis, there is an opportunity”. The opportunity may present itself as a chance for the Malaysian or Negeri Sembilan state tourism to :

1. Show that they are concerned about correcting old tourism business models that leave a trail of destruction & depletion of our country’s natural resources.

2. Show that they are progressive, by supporting ‘real’ sustainable tourism models – making Pantai Hills a pilot project for sustainable tourism in Negeri Sembilan and eventually Malaysia.

3. Show that they understand the new generation of tourists and how an experiential/caring/inclusive business model works out better in the long-term. One that enriches all Malaysians and not only businesses.

4. Become a leader in sustainable tourism models that can then be replicated throughout Malaysia.

Meanwhile
Regulate resort operators on Pantai Hills and show Malaysians that the state of Negeri Sembilan proudly upholds state & national laws and runs a responsible & respectable administration for the benefit of civil society.

**The Dusun
thedusun.com.my
Operates on 13 acres of land. Maintains hill tranquility with small group bookings. Operates on sustainable principals respected by residents. Always willing to work with residents to solve shared infrastructure problems and community issues.

 

Fire on Pantai Hill Orchard Resort

Fire spreading on Pantai Hill Orchard

Fire spreading on Pantai Hill Orchard

January, February, March & April seem to be the dry and hot months on Pantai Hill. The lack of rain coupled with seasonal strong winds during this period has increased the risk of bush fires.

The recent bush fire at the entrance of Pantai Hill Orchard resort could be a result of indiscriminate disposal of cigarette butts or a flash bush fire from the intense heat on dry leaves.

Open burning is dangerous especially during this period. Some construction/general workers are still practicing open burning daily on Pantai Hill. Caution is paramount because fires can spread very quickly and can be out of control, even if workers are looking over it.

IMG_20160317_160812_HDR

Fire truck in action on Pantai Hill Orchard

 

Pesticide use on Pantai Hill Resort

We have been highlighting the extremely damaging effects of ‘Roundup’ the very popular weed killer from Monsanto. You can read them here and also from this posting: ‘Roundup, the ultimate killing Machine’.

We cannot say enough. The dangers to all on Pantai Hill, especially to small children and unborn babies. Please take some time to understand and voice out these concerns to your favourite resorts here on Pantai Hill.

Builders and contractors operating on Pantai Hill use pesticides to help clear land and for quick maintenance. If you see such opeartions in play, please help educate and stop them.

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A recent article in The Star, highlights a study published by the University of California Berkeley – linked organophosphate pesticide metabolites in the urine of children to decreased lung function. The magnitude of this decrease is similar to a child’s second hand smoke exposure from his/her mother. These new findings are about children who live in an agriculture area where organophosphates are used. These chemicals target the nervous system and then to the lung of healthy children.

 

Surprise Visit by Health Authorities to Pantai Hill Orchard Resort

Visit from NS Ministry of Health and Special water unit BKSA

Visit by Ministry of Health (NS) and BKSA (a licensing unit monitoring water usage from rivers)

Just when we thought the Malaysian rule of law was indeed a farce, these two governmental bodies turned up and caught us by surprise.

They requested to be shown our water source and pursued an investigation into water quality and water usage by all resorts and residents on Pantai Hill Orchard.

I guess the free and wild days of our spring water usage may be on its last legs, especially for resort operators. Other licensing issues and acts contravening land laws and penalties were highlighted. They have asked us to await their directive for the next steps forward.

We love this hill called Pantai Hill Orchard and we certainly hope that a little pain now will avert a catastrophic destruction later on.

Open Burning on Pantai Hill Orchard Resort

Serenity Sanctuary open burning during a bad haze

Serenity Sanctuary open burning during a bad haze

Open burning is an offense under the Malaysian Environmental Quality (Amendment)Act 2001

We the residents of Pantai Hill Orchard strongly discourage such actions especially during the haze periods.

Serenity Sanctuary recently angered neighbours in the midst of very bad haze conditions – when they chose to open burn what looks like… leftover construction material and garden rubbish.

When we burn most waste items, toxic and dangerous by-products are created. These are not subsequently destroyed by the fire and are emitted into the air we breathe. These pollutants can have profound long term health implications.

For example burning wood that is painted or treated with a preservative can be the cause of emitting very toxic fumes. The same is true when paper, which is plastic coated or contains certain inks, or glue used to bind pages together in book form, is burned.

Today, bleached paper, plastic packaging or plastic products, and printed materials with glues, plastic coatings and coloured inks make up a large portion of society’s waste. When these items are burned in low temperature fires like those that take place in a backyard burn, very high levels of toxic chemicals and fine particulate matter are released with the smoke. Many of these toxins don’t readily break down, leading to accumulation and persistence in the environment. – eartheasy.com

Pantai Hill Resort – Water Contamination

e-coli bacteria

e-coli bacteria

Ever since more residents and resorts arrived at Pantai Hill, water has become a scarce resource during the dry months. This year, weather has been rather wet and yet this ‘water shortage’ problem has reared its ugly head. We were quite surprised and have concluded the obvious, that more water is being used on the hill and the incoming source cannot cope with demand during these periods. This has become Pantai Hill’s annual water wars talked about in the previous article.

Adding more drama into the mix, Pantai Hill pioneer resort The Dusun – has tested the water from two sources – one from the jungle source and another from the water tank (Pantai Hill reservoir) and both have coliform bacteria levels that are unsafe to drink – according to the labs. Below is how The Dusun describes it:

For some time, David and I felt our water tasted “different”; not as good as before. So we had it tested – as it came out of the tap in Cee’s house on Lot 59. Water to Lot 59 comes from the Pantai Hill’s reservoir. The report from the BACFREE lab in Subang came back with a Coliform Count (Bacteria) of 20. The required coliform count for drinking water is zero; none whatever is allowed.

We have always filtered our drinking water – we have an RO system, which filters water from the pipe into water jars for drinking. This water comes from the Dusun water inlet in the jungle stream, not from the reservoir. So we sent water samples from before going into the filter and after it came out to Pathlab in Seremban. The results of both samples were the same. “Heavy growth of gram negative bacilli.” So both sources of water – from the reservoir and from the jungle stream – are contaminated.

20 parts per 100 milliliters is quite low. The standard for showers and swimming pools is less than 200. But for drinking water it should be zero.

Gram negative bacilli, coliform bacteria and e-coli bacteria mean much the same thing. The coliform count indicates the amount of fecal matter in the water. This can come from animal or human shit and even from plants and soil. The layer of mud in the reservoir could be one cause. Or animals and birds defecating in the stream which feeds it.

Scientists measure e-coli as an “indicator” for other more serious pathogens, also found in faeces, which are harder to test. According to the Business Dictionary (Google), “coliform bacteria are a group of gram negative bacteria (of which the most common is e-coli) found in the intestinal tract (and therefore in faeces) of humans and other animals. These rod-shaped microorganisms aid in digestion and are largely harmless. However, if ingested through contaminated food or water, they may cause bacterial or viral gastroenteritis, hepatitis A, typhoid fever or other complications.

The usual filter systems do not remove bacteria. The only solution is ultra violet or ozone treatment of the water. These devices, which kill all bacteria, can be bought in Seremban.

Since receiving this report The Dusun has stopped using Pantai Hill’s water for drinking. We buy 5 gallon bottles from an RO supplier in Seremban and each house has a water dispenser with a bottle on it. So this is SAINS water (treated) put through the reverse osmosis filters. It is hard work – we have to make several trips a week to change the bottles. Long term, we are hoping to get our water supply from SAINS.

Health dangers on Pantai Hill Resort – Roundup use by residents

Roundup Kills

We have highlighted this very concerning issue before and is detailed in our Environment section. Roundup’s active ingredient – Glyphosate has been implicated in many research findings, to be extremely toxic for humans. In short, it is especially dangerous to fetuses and young children causing birth-defects, cancer and the blocking of minerals and vitamins from plants.

Roundup -Glyphsate kills
We residents of Pantai Hill would like to issue out this warning – to concerned residents and resort operators – PLEASE STOP using Roundup as a quick and easy solution to weed killing. What we spray at the top of Pantai Hill eventually runs down to all fruit trees and vegetation below (that we consume) and into the river and water systems down stream.

Roundup kills on Panta Hill resort

Children who play in Pantai Hill grounds who are most vulnerable are exposed unknowingly.GMO roundup vegetabes
PLEASE all residents who read this PLEASE refrain and STOP! this irresponsible and ignorant behaviour –

PLEASE  start educating your workers and contractors against using Roundup on the hill.


Below are some research links that implicate and reveal the hidden monster Roundup is:
WHO Glyphosate Report Ends Thirty Year Cancer Cover Up
Following on from last week’s Word Health Organization (WHO) report on glyphosate, which confirmed the world’s most used herbicide probably causes cancer, Sustainable Pulse has discovered documents from 1991 that show how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) themselves were fully aware of glyphosate’s carcinogenic potential. <<read more>>

Monsanto’s Darkest Secret: Roundup’s Effect On The Fetus
In 2010, after a dramatic increase in reports of birth defects in Argentina (a four fold increase) since 2002, a lab study was performed that found low doses of the active ingredient in Roundup known as glyphosate, the most prevalent herbicide worldwide, causes birth defects in frog and chicken embryos. This study was followed by others demonstrating cardiac anomalies, embryonic death, and multifocal malformations suspected to be related to oxidized vitamin A toxicity caused by glyphosate.<<read more>>

Researcher Reveals Monsanto Has Known Since 1981 That Glyphosate Promotes Cancer
Glyphosate is patented as an antibiotic, and research shows Roundup damages your gut flora. In addition to chelating vitamins and minerals, glyphosate disrupts bacteria-manufacturing amino acids.<<read more>>
Watch the interview with DR.Samsel

Monsanto Knew of Glyphosate Cancer Link 35 Years Ago
According to evidence unearthed from the archives of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) in the United States, it has been established that Monsanto was fully aware of the potential of glyphosate to cause cancer in mammals as long ago as 1981.<<read more>>