A Haven Not Yet Lost


Peter Chen’s desire to see progress is being suppressed by bad publicity and back-stabbing. There is an attempt, subtle though, to undermine his project…

One impression that impacts those wanting to make Ipoh their home is its economy. Many are cowed by the city’s seemingly lack of drive and initiative – perceived or otherwise. And coupled with the many promotional glitches by the authorities, this perception tends to cling on in the deep recesses of our minds.  Removing it is no mean task given the suspicion or more succinctly, animosity, Ipohites have towards those who want to bring changes.

Since the demise of the tin industry in the mid-80s, Ipoh has undergone a reverse transformation from a bustling town to an almost sleepy hollow, devoid of life and identity. The city’s youths, sensing the futility of this whole charade, left in droves to seek their fortunes elsewhere; some never to return. The trend continues till the onset of the new millennium when the infusion of ideas and capital has arrested the city’s steady decline –somewhat. Suburbs like Greentown, Kinta City, Sunway City, Section 18 and a plethora of similar developments have sprouted like mushrooms after a downpour. 

Despite the enormity of these structural changes, the diehards remain unperturbed. To them these are mere cosmetic touches, done to lull the citizens into a false sense of pride. Their beloved city does not deserve such attention and affection, they reason. Not from those whom they suspect. Some accept the transformation grudgingly but others are adamant that development is anathema. They are caught in a time warp and freeing them is not going to be easy.

Although many may doubt the sincerity of developers, believing them to be nothing but greedy businessmen, is to deny the role they play in nation building. The good ones are few and far between. The bad ones, the fly-by-night type, are aplenty.

Since land fragmentation is rife in Ipoh. Instant landowners become easy prey for these shady businessmen. Once a piece of land is acquired, the crooked developer builds a show house with tasty finishing and fixtures and opens up his housing scheme for sale. Buyers pay a down payment. The developer collects payment and vanishes into thin air. Buyers are left in the lurch without recourse for legal redress or sufficient funds to repay their loans. Even public-listed companies have failed to meet their obligations, what more the illegal ones. But should we treat all developers the same? There are those with impeccable track records. They should not be lumped together with the tainted ones.

Peter Chan of Superboom Projects Sdn Bhd is one such developer. Peter’s love for Ipoh is second to none, in spite of his foreign affiliations. He foresees a demand in luxury condominium although many have reservations as to its viability. Peter’s pet project, The Haven, superimposed against a backdrop of limestone hills and pristine jungles, is set to place Ipoh on the international map.

Someone has come up with a brilliant idea to forestall the declining fortunes of Ipoh. And he does so in style by building high-end apartments for sale, at an affordable price, to discerning buyers, local and foreign alike. Peter optimises nature and fine architecture as his selling points. But his desire to see progress is being suppressed by bad publicity and back-stabbing. There is an attempt, subtle though, to undermine his project by all ways possible so it will not take off.

It seems strange that a good deed is being repudiated by some very unhealthy tactics designed to deter someone passionate about bringing Ipoh “out of the ruts”.

Peter is determined to push through his project, notwithstanding the opposition. To further prove his commitment, he commissioned two very reputable contractors to complete his condominiums by the 2013 deadline. He invested RM26 million to upgrade areas fronting Haven and that includes an all-weather access road complete with traffic lights. That is indicative enough of his desire in proving his detractors wrong.

Ipohites, let us give this guy a chance to prove his worth. Peter’s Haven is not yet lost. 

Fathol Zaman Bukhari

9 thoughts on “A Haven Not Yet Lost

  1. Not to forget the stunning Banjaran.. we need more Sunway and Haven developers to bring some progress to the Ipoh city.. Not all Ipohites love landed properties..

  2. The distance from the billboard at Behrang , to Ipoh Toll is approx 105km(plus or minus 5km). It should take approx 1 hour(plus or minus 5 minutes )@ speed of 100 km/hr.

    This is an estimation of time and distance .

    There is no misrepresentation by the developer at all .

  3. Imagine they put misleading billboard along the North-South Highway just to make it sell.The billboard is about 3km towards Behrang Toll Plaza.It said Haven can be reached about 1 hr at a constant speed of 100km.For haven’s sake…!

  4. Well said Mariam, progress must be measured by intellect and attitudes. The “grandness” of schemes mean nothing without consideration of the environment. A tall “box” in the sky is good for speculators with herd mentality. As for the so called investors, good luck to them. Enjoy the space.

  5. “Develop Ipoh” implies that the flats in The Haven are large.

    If one studies the floor-plans of the various appartments in The Haven, one will see that the flats are rather small, one might even say pokey.

  6. The very same negative people that keep Ipoh from progressing are here preventing potential progress the City can make by bringing in people with higher per capita income to live here.

    When you attract people with larger incomes, they spend more one the local businesses, their friends visit them, they spend on the service industry, the list is endless.

    As far as I know the units facing the lake are no longer available from the 1st Block of Condominiums at the Haven, which means the project is selling well, the surrounding nature of the area has been preserved, it is going to be a lovely place to live.

    When foreign contractors arrive, local business around the area experience increased sales, plus one of the main contractors is bina puri, which is malaysian, it is a win win situation.

    Sure Ipohites who move to Singapore to make their money, make it, but many, many Ipohites do not have the privillege of moving due to various reasons, these Ipohites deserve a chance to work in a bustling city and increase their income.

    Thankfully people like this developer are helping making that a possibility.

    So many people seem content to keep Ipoh a sleepy town, progess is necessary, otherwise the town can become a ghost town instead of City.

  7. Unfortunately, when a developer pursues a fundamentally flawed idea, it does not matter how good one’s marketing and sales team is.

    It does not matter if the neighbouring cities state’s population have surplus money to speculate on the scheme.

    It does not matter if the Developer surrounds himself with highly qualified consultants with impeccable credentials.

    It does not matter if the developer unable to find local suppliers (who incidentally have done due diligence on Peter’s companies) and builders to build it and instead finds a mainland Chinese contractor.

    An idea is like rolling a snowball off a hill, if the direction is wrong, it accumulates into a mess at the bottom of the hill.

    Ipoh needs good developers who cater first and foremost to it’s people it does not need the creation of speculative schemes to wow city folks in the region to speculate. Highly Speculative developments do not create community, instead it destroys it.
    How the editor of the above article can even think that the idea of a highly speculative scheme can forestall a region’s fortunes is beyond me, especially after the many property boom and busts in the region and the mortgage crises affecting the developed world. This speaks of the deep ignorance of basic city planning issues in the Ipoh community.

    Ultimately, cities & civilizations are built on trust. A media outlet such as Ipoh Echo can can help enhance this trust level by having well researched, deep and well balanced articles that enhances the community’s understanding of city planning issues or it can write shallow one sided articles.

  8. The Haven is as good as lost!

    THere is a Malay saying which runs something like this….”When you cannot dance, don’t blame the floor” ie…if you have two left feet, then it is not the unevenness of the floor which has made you a bad dancer.

    Thus if the condominums cannot sell, do not blame poor sales on bad publicity and back-stabbing.

    It is suspicious that a business would highlight this (i.e. if it is true). Is it to get the sympathy vote?

    And if people were not aware of this (poor sales), they are now!

    How about attributing poor sales to design, size of units, location, feng-shui, cost…..

    Ipohites are not city-people, unlike Singaporeans.

    Ipohites treasure open spaces – the concept of being free.

    Ipohites are not convinced that the token solar panels qualify the whole as an environmentally friendly project.

    Ipohites cannot afford over-priced stacked-up boxes. Not even if they are beside pretty hills or a pool.

    Nature loving Ipohites value the flora and fauna of the surroundings, more than concrete. (They can go to Singapore for that).

    Thousands of IPohites may treat Singapore or other concrete cities a place where they make their money, but Ipoh and its green environs is and will always be home.

    Ipohites are a diserning lot – they will know what is good or bad.

    And best of all, most Ipohites have a peculiar psyche. We do not measure progress in how high one can reach up to the sky.

    Progress is measured in intellect and human & social capital.

    THe downside of this? We IPohites lack a strong capable leader who has true vision to lead us out of the doldrums. There are too many self-serving individuals cluttering the place.

    PS. I do not recall skyscrapers destroying the aesthetics of Guilin, so why should we have ours messed up?

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