Uninformed Journalists promoting – The Shorea on Pantai Hills

Here is a recent article from the New Straits Times, titled: Social Media Lure – BY Hanna Hussein & Khairul Ashraf Kammed

Once again, uninformed journalists are promoting this disputed and troubled laden Pantai Hill Orchard Resort (developed for residential use)…as a commercial – “Amazing Jungle Retreat in Seremban”. (Read More : http://www.nst.com.my/news/2016/07/159751/social-media-lure)

Hanna & Khairul, when you do read this i hope you guys can issue a retraction about this jungle retreat in Seremban called Shorea. The entire business model of resorts in this area, is disputed and is an on-going conflict with residents. It is also currently under investigation by all relevant authorities. (please read this blog for more historical context)

Look below, links to a recent 4 page expose of Pantai Hills by the Malay Mail here:
>>http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/you-can-complain-all-you-want-…-watch-out
>>http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/nilai-hill-residents-resorts-in-water-feud
>>https://www.facebook.com/themalaymailnewspaper/posts/10154139254463088?comment_tracking=%7B%22tn%22%3A%22O%22%7D
>>https://sg.news.yahoo.com/nilai-hill-residents-resorts-water-feud-223800085.html

Update 01
Please also take a look at the latest 3 reviews on The Shorea – from Trip Advisor:

This 3rd review on Tripadvisor (just written 2 weeks ago) is worth mentioning here. I’ll post it in full below:

“Wish we could leave tonight itself!”
1 of 5 starsReviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

We decided to spend this Hari Raya holiday here in Shorea this year. What a mistake! For the price we paid.. we might have as well gone to Tanjung Jara. BTW, we forked out 10k for the whole villa. The pool was murky. Make sure the kids are no where near the shallow pool and its sharp edges. The wooden flooring which looked pristine in pictures, need serious repairing. On d 2nd floor, where single beds are placed against the windows.. the windows cannot be locked. If u or yr kids are rough sleepers.. plz pull d mattress to d floor. Bcoz of the steep stairs to the hotel from where u leave d car.. leave any handicapped family members at home. The nightmare got worse tonite as i write this.. place attacked by wasp.. a call to the management and the advice was- to off all the lights.
In d middle of the jungle and total darkness. Great..but it is also a smart way to save on electricity bill, no? Since already there is not a single air-condition and no tv .. fine since its marketed as eco-resort? But shouldn’t cleanliness at least also be impeccable? And oh, btw, by 1am, every single one of the staffers leaves the hotel ground for home. In case of an emergency.. they say they will come by.. hopefully soon enough to unlock the gates ( which btw u can enter from the sides) and get yr car outta there. There are no locks to d doors of d hotel and rooms that if someone breaks into the hotel ground we hope they would stop at our cars parked in d darkness downstairs. My nephew got stung just now.. when we called d staff who was preparing to go home, she said she had just attended to two other kids in Shorea Estate, next door who also suffered the same. For goodness sake d windows and d many many airholes should at least have nettings. Tonite, we sleep hearing em insects flying around and praying hard we dont get stung. Kids slept off crying in fear. I am thankful they are asleep by the time the lizards come out to occupy the ceiling above the bed. That explains d the litters on d bed netting. I wont dwell on the green mould by the poll for fear of sounding petty. All in all.. to me and my family-this place is a death trap. Other than Trip Advisor where comments are genuine.. a lot of what u read are praises. I’m beginning to think it’s d shorea owners themselves who wrote them simply because its impossible to feel that way if u had stayed here. By the way, be careful with yr back when u attempt to use the bidet after doing yr business as it is behind u and right at d bottom.
We spoke to the staff who all seem to be aware of all the problems we had with this place. The owners they said, had been told many times of guests’ feedback, especially of d existing dangers. But they seem not to be bothered, according to the staff. Not d locks, not security issues, d broken flooring, not d wasp problem. In case health security is huge to u.. u must know that d water supply is also sourced from d river. They have a filter though. Just not sure how it works for leptospirosis, if the threat is there. The so-called infinity pool which looks inviting in pictures-If yr kid pulls himself up, he falls right down from two floors. But hey! since they get full bookings half the time, why shud they bother bucking up right? Staffers say guests are never repeat customers.. most of them were like us who were floored by the reviews i believe are fake with the nice pictures with orange lighting and what not. To illustrate how they dont give a damn…d queen size bed btw has a round mosquito net above which if u try to use.. it covers u from d waist right up to yr face. Just how idiotic can they be. I see here Shorea apologising and promising guests the next time around it would be better. I read the one in Feb. This is July.. so u think? WE HATE THIS PLACE AND WISH WE COULD GET OUR MONEY BACK! We should have known when we arrived at the gate. This was supposed to be a time for us busy people to unwind. These pictures i attach are the real deal. Earlier today, we left d place to take a breather and saw this one sign.. it all makes sense now.

Stayed July 2016, travelled with family

Helpful?

4 Thank Farrah K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

 

 

 

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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.

 

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.

Kampung Pantai villages say – Reputation Matters

Last week, the Kampung Pantai community leaders and representatives met up to discuss issues affecting Kampung Pantai.

They cited Pantai Hill Orchard Resort as an ongoing concern needing attention. They are worried that resorts on Pantai Hill may be generating a ‘BAD’ name for Kampung Pantai at large.

Here are a list of their concerns:

1. Resorts and residents are: ‘Elites of Kampung Pantai’ integrating poorly with rest of the village

2. Resorts don’t have Muslims in mind as their operations are deemed non-halal in many areas

3. Resorts have been a venue for prostitution activities

4. Resorts have been a venue for drug parties

5. Ongoing battle between resorts and residents draws bad publicity and attention from local authorities