Now that the national spotlight is on Port Dickson, I hope the government, in particular the Negeri Sembilan state government in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism will seriously focus on its development as a haven for local and foreign tourists. Its proximity to Kuala Lumpur, Melaka and even Singapore makes Port Dickson an ideal location for tourists seeking a quick weekend getaway and for those wishing to have a longer seaside holiday.
Looking at PD’s potential as a popular tourist destination, one wonders why the state government did not have the foresight to augment its development in a better-planned way. One wonders why they did not realise that in order to woo the market of holiday seekers, a beach resort needs more than economy hotels and cheap apartments scattered along the Teluk Kemang beach front. In fact, some of these developments are so badly designed they have become architectural eyesores alongside the environmental pollution of the area’s beaches and waters. At the top of the agenda must be the completion or replacement of these projects with more credible ones and the springcleaning of Port Dickson.
Sadly, outstanding buildings like the rambling government guest houses tucked into the coves and lagoons have been demolished and along with it the state’s history and legacy. Ru Lodge, the VVIP guest house with its sprawling grounds and bridge connecting it to an off-shore gazebo, once hosted the country’s rulers, leaders and visitors. When the tasteful colonial structure should have been restored and preserved for posterity, it has been torn down and replaced by an uninspiring modern development.

The Blue Lagoon and the fifth mile stretch in front of the army camp once boasted clear waters and clean sands and were the haunt of holidaymakers and picknickers who received an extra bonus in the amazing view of the horizon and glowing sunset. Quaint motels like the Si Rusa Inn with its friendly water sports and vendors selling mengkuang hats have been replaced by the heavily commercialised larger hotels and craft markets.

When a national site like Port Dickson has been blessed with so much scenic landscape, the efforts to develop it for modern life and its amenities must be done with the utmost care and attention. The development of infrastructure must be planned and streamlined tastefully, not in the haphazard way that PD has endured in the last 25 years.     
Let’s hope that with the promised reinstatement of Isa Samad as ADUN of Bagan Pinang, Port Dickson will enjoy the status it deserves as an attractive tourist destination equipped with the best facilities for a fulfilling beach holiday.

Let’s hope that what he was not able to achieve for PD in his 23 years as Menteri Besar will be executed in a concerted way after the by-election! The state and the nation are all ears and eyes to see that Isa delivers what he promises!

3 Responses to “”

  1. 1 a linggian and a georgian
    October 14, 2009 at 1:02 am

    I grew up in PD and i too lament the haphazard development of its beach-front. Witness the abandoned projects along the coastal road. I would rate Isa Samad 23 years of being MB as wasted years and opportunity lost. Our family home in Bukit Tuan Sheikh, PD which has had water woes right from 1970 until 2008 (about 40 years) was suddenly resolved the moment PKR captured Teluk Kemang. A mere coincidence?

    when we first moved back to PD from Butterworth in 1969, as a wide eyed boy of nine I just could not believe how clear the waters were and how sandy and pristine the beach is. Heaven is going to school by the sea, of which my school (GEPS) is situated. How things have changed for the worse, the sea now being reclaimed for some hare-brained project in the 80s.

    I would like to laud you on your articles reminiscing the past especially during the period when your father was the MB. Hopefully you may want to consider publishing them in book form. It will be a great addition to the signed copy of the “Memoirs of a Mentri Besar” given by Dr. Said to my grandfather, which I treasure very much.

    when your father retired as MB, your parents used to come over to our house in PD quite often to buy orchids. I would listen, albeit from afar, craning my neck to hear the two bugis gentlemen talking about integrity and their profuse hatred of corruption.I have to say that your father have, in no small way, imbued in me my aversion to politics (he being a reluctant politician) and corruption.

    By the way, I don’t think Mat Hassan or Isa Samad are remotely bugis. Even if they are, they are not from Linggi.


  2. 2 ninitalk
    October 14, 2009 at 4:15 am

    You must be Pak Cik Aman’s grandson! And a Georgian at that! So you and I share not only our Linggi heritage but our alma mater as well!

    Yes – my parents often visited Pak Cik Aman and his wife and so did my older siblings especially my oldest sister Maznah and her husband Farid. They must know your parents too.

    And yes – the PD that we all remember was so clean and inviting especially the weekly Pekan Sari with the best putu piring, tapai and popia in the country, as well as the beautifully woven mengkuang tudung saji, tikar and bakul.

    The same site has become another frenzied pasar malam like those scattered all over the country, selling not authentic Malaysian craft but a hotch potch of ugly products from the neighbouring countries.

    It has always my dream to have a cottage by the sea and to write in the sands of time! Who knows it may come true!

  3. 3 a linggian and a georgian
    October 17, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    Indeed I am. Salam to kak Maznah and abang Farid. Have to say that we (me and the significant other, another linggian and georgian no less) enjoy your blog very much.

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