Gurney Wharf project

Post-election Malaysia

Well, I more or less ceased blogging until the new government repealed the fake news legislation.

And since then I have been too busy.

elephant festival

I was away for a trip to Sri Lanka, my third trip there.  It’s a short inexpensive flight from KL.  There we saw the amazing elephant festival in Kandy, visited the highlands to benefit our bodies with some cold weather and clean air, and see tea plantations, and bought some Ayurvedic oils.

Later I was on an end-of-season trip to the Perhentian Islands.  We were last there in April, and it was (even) more relaxed in early September. And from the islands you could see the mainland, so the air was clearer.

the mainland from Perhentian

So, what’s been happening here in Penang?  I haven’t been here to notice too much, but the Gurney Wharf project is progressing.  A lot of sand (?) has been spread on the reclaimed land, and more of the bay has been reclaimed.

The 6% GST was abolished, as promised by the government, but at the beginning of this month, a 6% SST was imposed.  This makes some things the same price as before, although it’s supposed to be imposed at wholesale level.  My Starbucks coffee went from RM7 with GST, to RM6.50 without GST to RM 6.90 with SST.  Restaurants are charging the full 6% on the bills.  However, some retail shops have signs up saying that prices won’t rise after the SST.

The rainy season again started early this year, and it’s been cool.  This has been the trend for the last few years, generally getting cooler and cooler each year.  This is nice, actually.  If, but really when, an ice age starts, obviously the tropics is the place to be.

In the years of trying to grow papaya at the back I’ve only ever managed to harvest one papaya.  Although it’s very easy to grow the trees – just save some seeds from a store-bought papaya and sow them where you want your trees – somehow the ants conspired to kill or weaken them and I got no fruit.  I decided to grow some trees in my roof garden, not in pots as I never got fruit from potted papaya, and now I have lots of papaya fruit growing, and I’ve already harvested and eaten some.

so many papayas

ready to eat

Other things keeping me busy are working on setting up an e-business and trying to work out how to export this blog to tropicalexpat.com, having bought the domain.  The WordPress export function didn’t work properly, and only moved a small fraction of posts.

Since Grab and Uber merged I notice that now fares are about 25% higher, and discounts almost non-existent. And the other day we were out when everyone else also was, and had to pay surge fares – over double the normal.  However, it was still preferable to driving, as the traffic jams were monumental, and parking presumably very difficult.

This time of year there are many public holidays, so sometimes it’s a bit hard to get things done.

Gurney Wharf Project progress photos No. 22, April, 2018 – (Countdown: 16)

I think progress is rather good.  Now the land has been created and filled in about as far as Pemenang Street – about two-thirds the way along Gurney Drive, with the exception of a channel of water between Gurney Drive and the new land.  On other parts they have dumped big piles of rocks – for the retaining wall? and big piles of sand or soil.

The plan shows that the area yet to be done is quite a bit wider and requires more in-filling. Still, it seems to be going well.  Here are a few photos:

looking out from Bali Hai

Looking towards Tanjung Bungah

looking out

looking towards George Town

Opposite Pemenang Road – more or less as far aas they have come

Opposite Pemenang Road – more or less as far aa they have come

 

Gurney Wharf Project progress photos No. 21, 24th March, 2018

Great progress has been made, with the land being reclaimed as far as Pemenang Street – so about two-thirds of the way along Gurney Drive.  Here are some photos from different parts of Gurney Drive, taken over the past few days.

the last part to fill in

from the Tanjung Tokong end of Gurney Drive in the evening

soil to spread

Gurney Wharf Project progress photos No. 19, 25th January, 2018

This project started in February 2016, and for a long time I have been trying to find out more information – no one I asked could tell me anything, or could tell me who to ask for further information.

E & O Visitor Centre, Straits Quays

A few days ago I was strolling around Straits Quays and came across the E & O Visitor Centre. Since I had heard or read years ago that E & O was the company doing the actual land reclamation, I went in and asked some of my usual questions.  Of course, no one knew anything, as usual.  However, I was given a web site – and this was major progress.  It answers many of my questions and gives much detail about the project.  Perhaps for the moment the most interesting is that the reclamation is due to be finished during the second half of this year.

While at Straits Quays I took some photos of the island they are creating offshore, with Gurney drive in the background of a few.

Meanwhile, back on Gurney Drive, the land is reclaimed up to opposite the Evergreen Hotel, now.

more or less reclaimed level with the Evergreen Hotel

taken from the middle of Gurney Drive, at Bali Hai restaurant – at low tide

And finally, a couple of postcards I scanned on an artist’s impression of a completed project:

The next morning – pumping in the sand / seawater mix – near Evergreen Hotel:

Gurney Wharf Project progress photos No. 18, 9th January, 2018

The Gurney Wharf project started at the end of February, 2016, which so far is manifested as putting a fence along Gurney Drive, and now dumping gravel. So I will photograph progress from the same standpoint – in front of Bali Hai, which is around the middle of Gurney Drive.

They were pumping mud again this morning so as to fill in between the barriers they placed.  Here are the photos taken from along Gurney Drive – towards the George Town end from Bali Hai.  I see them working at low tide, but not at high tide. They have now filled in as far as level with Gurney Hotel.

at work pumping

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Gurney Wharf Project progress photos No. 17, 4th January, 2018

The Gurney Wharf project started at the end of February, 2016, which so far is manifested as putting a fence along Gurney Drive, and now dumping gravel. So I will photograph progress from the same standpoint – in front of Bali Hai, which is around the middle of Gurney Drive.

Well, I’m delighted to report that I actually saw some work in progress this morning as I went for a walk.  They seemed to be pumping mud so as to fill in between the barriers they placed.  Here are the photos taken from along Gurney Drive – towards the George Town end from Bali Hai.