Sunday, January 20, 2008

Of Port Dickson and public beaches


Just got back from Port Dickson for a workshop-cum-brainstorming session.

Everybody knows PD. And I’m sure everyone in the Kelang Valley must have been there for a vacation or, at the very least, for a day outing and a picnic with the family. After all, it is just about 70km away from KL.

Me, of course I had heard a lot about PD before. However, my first experience in PD is fairly recent. For that, I had to wait until I was transferred to work in KL from Alor Setar in 1997.

I must say it was just a so, so, experience, though. The quality of its beaches pale in comparison with those in Terengganu, for example. Why, they don’t even measure up against Teluk Batik in Perak, or Batu Ferringhi in Penang if you ask me.

But what really bothers me is that – despite boasting beaches totaling 18km in length – PD does not really have that many beaches for the general public. By this, I mean beaches where your typical Pakcik and Makcik from the kampong can have free and direct access – with their children in tow – to lay open their tikar mengkuang for a decent family picnic.

Sure, there is the good old Teluk Kemang, complete with public amenities and ample parking space. There are also a few smaller ones, but these are less provided for in terms of supporting amenities.

So, when people go to PD for recreation nowadays, what they really mean is that they are going to check into one of the hotels. For then, and only then, would you have access to the beaches fronting your hotel.

Now, isn’t that ironic?

Beaches are state land. The belong to the state, and by that virtue, to the people, the general public. The hotels DO NOT have private entitlement over the beaches.

The late 1990s saw PD going through a boom of hotels and resorts. In fact, many Singaporeans invested in holiday homes in and around PD back then. That period saw more and more beaches being ‘taken away’ from the public as hotels are built right on the very edge of beaches, and hotel operators prevented the public from using the beaches fronting their premises.

The public have rights to these beaches for recreational purposes!

The State government must set out (and enforce) clear policies as regards the use of state land. But ultimately, the local planning authority should plan for the creation of physical access to beaches and support these with relevant amenities.

May be it's a bit too late for PD. But a deliberate and concerted effort could spring up with a few pleasant surprises. Surely, we don’t want our own public to be deprived of their basic rights, and restricted to a shabby few beaches, which, even then, will most likely be over-crowded, and in unkempt condition.

5 comments:

JHaZKiTaRo said...

akum.. saje2 nak promote blog.. kalau rajin, meh aa singgah.. heh

nginapsrengenge said...

Saudara Azizi,

I totally agree with you . It seems that everything is meant for the riches and the famous. Do they think that the poor public are just haprak and should be left out like that ?

KotaStar said...

Sdr Azizi dan Pak Mat Isa,
Bukan macam tu. Hanya orang kita tak berani berjuang dan tuntut hak masing-masing. Orang hotel dan lain -lain pihak tau semua tu salah tapi buat juga sebab mereka YAKIN tak ada ada orang akan buat bising BERPANJANGAN. Lagi pun yg tau undang-undang bilnya terhad. Yang ramai termasuk kita tak tahu pun re bye-law etc . macam mana hendak buat bising. Kalau HINDRAF boleh, boleh jadi perlu ada satu lagi kumpulan yang .......
Macam mana hendak tubuh satu?

Pak Mat Isa awat hang diam la ni?
Aku hilang seorang kawan lamu Jumaat lalu. Azizi yr dad knew him too.
Azizi, Congratulation for being a modal parent, so concern with yr kids and family.I am proud of you. ( re yr last story)

Azizi Ahmad Termizi: said...

Assalamualaikum Pak Non dan Pak Cha

Memang betul la tu bila Pak Non kata kita ni "tak ada ada orang nak buat bising BERPANJANGAN". Tak da istiqamah. That's why other people just trample over us and get away with it.

Oh, btw, I'm not aiming to be a model parent. I'm just trying (struggling) to be a good parent for my children. Me, a model? Now that would be a laugh :-)

Anonymous said...

As'kum.
Saja nak mencelah..
Dulu masa bujang ada jugak turun ke PD dengan kenkawan dari KL. Lepak kat Telok Kemang, mandi2 main pelampung tayar lori. OK laa.. takat nak seronok2. Masa dah kawin pun ada bawak anak2 singgah sekejap bila dlm perjlnan balik dari Melaka. Sempat laa budak-budak mandi. Lagi sekali aku pi sana bila ofis buat hari keluarga, ramai2 kami menyewa apartment tepi laut. Boleh laa mandi laut dan mandi kolam sekali.
Tak tau laa.. hotel2 tu pun aku rasa banyak yang rugi sekarang ni sebab tak ader sangat attractionnya PD ni selain dari mandi laut. Namun untuk isu tanah tu, kita lihat ada jugak syarikat koporate yang ada resort untuk staff, macam TNB dan JKR. Ada makcik kat opis saya dulu pun ada tanah persendirian di sana. Buat rumah persinggahan. Kawan2 nak sewa pun boleh. Reasonable jugak la.
Dan untuk makluman juga disekitar hujung 70an lah muncul juga sekumpulan anak melayu yang memperjuangkan muzik blues, iaitu yang terkenal dengan lagu Apo Nak Di Kato..iaitu..Blues Gang. Sarang mereka jamming selalu adalah di Batu 8, Port Dickson.
Tu laa yang den kenal mengenai PD.
salam.