Monday, 18 May 2015

peninsular malaysia island


I'm writing this journal in Manglish/Malaysian English version for easy reading especially for those layman out there...This is not supposed to be a technical or rather an academic paper...but just an article/journal for the masses. I hope it's worth sharing.

What? Are you kidding....! No..I'm will be a reality soon...on paper or on the theoretical side of it ...yes it is..It's already an Island...

So please just continue reading this narrative journal.

The government of Thailand has already signed a MOA/Memorendum Of Agreement with a company from the People's Republic of China to develop a canal known as Ithumus of Kra Canal or what is termed as...Trans - Isthmian Route/TIR on the southern provinces of Thailand.

The agreement was officially signed on the 10th April 2015 which was about one month ago. If I'm not mistaken Malaysia has already proposed this canal a few years back but was turned down by the government of Thailand at that time....may be, that was due to the reasons as part of the agenda in the IMT-GT/Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand Growth Triangle treaty...

Historically, His Royal Highness, King Narai of Thailand used to come up with the idea of having this canal in 1677. He instructed a French engineer La Lamar to come up with a proposal to make his dream a reality but it was KIV/Keep In View, due to the technical incapabilities in proceeding with the idea. 

The proposed  TIR will involve 102km in distance with 400m width and 20m depth. This canal will shorten the travel distance for cargo, liners and other shipping vessel activities for 1200km...which they can avoid the travel using the Straits of Malacca in Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. This will also cut cost on fuel, transportation cost, time travel and also avoiding the pirate activities in the Straits of Malacca.

The components of the development will also include the Airport, Convention Centre/Trade and Exhibition Centre equivalent to MICE/Meeting, Incentive, Convention, Exhibition, as well as a hub for the production of NGV Bus on CKD/Completely Knock Down basis. Two industrial zone related activities were proposed, 42,000 acres on the western and another 80,000 acres on the eastern gate respectively. Areas for future expansion of the canal were also designated. A real iconic project for the southern provinces of Thailand...a history in the making.

The whole project will be financed by the China group with a total cost of USD27billion for the period of 10 year span. The actual commencement date is not yet announced by the party involved. According to sources, this  will be the biggest man made canal project in Asia.

The direct adversed effect and challenges on this project will be the neighbouring countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and of course Singapore. As we all know, the direct effect to the African countries was due to the presence of Suez Canal...same goes to this TIR project...

Those ports on the West Coast of Malaysia like Port of Tanjung Pelepas in Johor,  Port Klang in Selangor and Penang Port in Penang will be greatly affected on the business related to maritime, aviation and shipping activities.. I think Singapore will be having a nightmare because all this while Singapore Port is one of the most flourishing in term of maritime activities. In fact shipping related activity  has been one of the biggest economic activities and income earner for Singapore...

Well...we do not know what will surface after this..Singapore government is smart enough...may be they are already aware on the consequences about all these activities in Thailand and may be...well...may be they have already drafting the strategic or plan B on how to combat on the new development happening in Thailand recently.

For Malaysia...we have to think of something to compliment what Thailand is doing...We have a lot of intelligent economic strategist of our own...As a Town Planner I see this new phenomena as a challenge that's going to benefit us in some way or complimenting on the down stream activities...Since we are the closes to the project somehow or rather the ripples effect is of course will be to our advantage. I reckoned there will be a vast potential on the sprawl of activities on this so called project. Just open the eyes widely and place the blue ocean strategy on the right thinking cap.

In Town and Regional Planning aspect...this kind of mega development falls under the category of Regional Planning...part of discipline in Town Planning practice..We were taught on how to come up with strategies in making this Regional Planning as a tool in holistic approach in development by studying the opportunities and constraints as part of the value add criteria to the development.

One possible adverse effect that can be utilised is of course the locational advantage for the regions on the North and East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia...Areas in Perlis and Kedah which are in the vicinity of the development can compliment in the related fields that will be to our great concerns...The possible venture in Oil and Gas Hub, Tank Farms, IPP/Independent Power Plant and other related maritime activities can be considered as an ideal option.

On the other hand, Kelantan will be the biggest potential due to the locational advantage on the spill over effect on the development over Thailand...The possibilities of having a Distri Port, Oil and Gas Hub as well as other maritime based activities will score the highest point. Those countries on the Eastern Asian continent like Japan, China, Taiwan and Korea can have a direct link in business activities due to the distance related to economic and tourism sector.

The spin off effect on such a big scale development will prompt the East Coast States especially Kelantan to be an important Regional Growth Centre. Infact it can surpass Kuantan as the Regional Growth Centre based on the importance in the future contribution to the investment climate and economy of Malaysia. As it is, Kuantan was declared as the Regional Growth Centre for Eastern Corridor based on the growth hierarchy on Regional Planning perspective. 

With the proposed industrial site of 42,000 and 80,000 acres on both eastern and western  corridor respectively and the development of other physical structures, this project will spur or stimulate a huge economic booster to the southern provinces. The new airport will of course has an impact on the Malaysian aviation sector as well. 

In a way, in a socio-economic perspective, this will garner an effect on demographic structure on the  population distribution as the balancing act on the disparity of regions. This will of course encourage inter-migration from the densely populated northern corridor to the less populated southern corridor. On the present scenario, the southern provinces of Thailand are considered lacking in economic activity.  Injection dosage on the socio-economic related  need to be addressed and handled in a harmonic way. The southern provinces are muslim majority  and considered as the trouble waters of Thailand. Hopefully with the injection of economic booster, the trouble waters will be turned into a sweet dream instead of nightmare. 

It's some kind of blessing in disguised...We must remember that those provinces affected by the project are mainly of Malay ethnic which share the same norm and values that are so synonym with the people of Northern and Eastern States of Peninsular Malaysia. This is again acts as a contributing factor in complimenting to such development.

We hope that the opening of the canal will enrich the neighbours as well as the local do the people of Satun, Hatyai, Bangnara, Narathiwat...Just pray so that the project will becomes the economic booster to the people at large and hopefully the economic prosperity will be in line with the social and spiritual development on the people of the affected locality.

Apa orang kata....fakir itu sangat hampir kepada long as we know our roots...nothing can shake us.

Hopefully from today onwards our cendikiawan/scholars in the related fields can start thinking and cracking the heads in coming up with a practical and implementable blueprint for our beloved country. If it is already in the pipeline of doing so...thank God...

Thank you...hope this short and casual journal will be an eye opener for some interested party.

"Your environment largely shapes your future. Success means lots of discipline. When Rome stop disciplining, she started dying. The same holds for other 18 civilisations. If we don't continue discipline from within, it will be forced on us from outside. Our enemies' opinion of us is more accurate than our own...The best preparation for tomorrow is to do today's work supremely well."

cheers...till next episode...good night.

4.00 am.