Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Chombee Days

Upon returning home from England, I stayed with my uncle for some time in a place called Bukit Chombee in Penang. It used to house the Malayan Teachers’ College where my uncle worked in as a Lab technician.

His house was a nice, colonial (gasp!*) style bungalow atop a small hill overlooking the Straits of Penang. Very quaint place. Part brick and mortar and part wood, the house is rectangular in shape and had a long open air portion which links the stairs to the two other rooms and a huge bathroom right at the end; all of which is in the first floor of the two-storey house.

Sure do have some nice memories of the place especially a hair raising one where I answered a “Salam” uttered when there was no one around. Shudder!!!

Google the name today and you’ll get not much. I think in its place is the Minden Heights or something.

The word Minden is also familiar which I think refers to the portion where you drive in from the main road into MTC. It has been years since I visited the place ever since my uncle moved backed to Alor Setar.

Any developer worth his ilk in gold would surely salivate at the prospect of gaining hold of the location in fact. Ready infrastructure, green landscaping with serene cul-de-sac for open concept luxury bungalows, scenic views and, best yet, the right location for some good sales to be garnered.

Not so sure if this was exactly what happened to Bukit Chombee. This is something I need to get back to my uncle for more information.

The rush for good, prime location is not however something restricted to the Penang property market, but also that in the Klang Valley and to a lesser extent, Johor Bahru. Developers just continue building and building even when the strip of land is barely bigger than a kangkang King Kong (heh…always wanted to write that one!)

Alas, all this building seems to however target the rich and mighty. Scan through any advertisement of the three location these days and I dare say none is the so-termed “mampu milik” category.

I believe the pricing range of this to be in the +/-RM300K in the Klang Valley and Penang. Can’t get any landed properties at this range though so you have to settle for a high rise. Plenty of these in both areas, but at such price, they would be further away from the city centre.

Bukit Chombee. Fans of P Ramlee will recall the name to be the character played by the classically beautiful Zaiton in Ibu Mertuaku.

And just like the film, the name is now history.

PS:* Can I use this word nowadays with all the polemics about whether or not Tanah Melayu was a British colony? Sigh... Nasty Polemics when there are far serious things to discuss and focus on.

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