Friday, June 10, 2011
Rasah Kemayan My Haven
Thank you for visiting this post. There is a new development reported HERE that may be of interest to you.
Come this August my wife and I would have stayed in our little retirement home here in Rasah Kemayan for 12 years already. This would be the longest in any house we've stayed in, owned or rented, since the day after I graduated and started work in 1971, although the record was already broken several years back. I've lost count how many times I moved but I remembered the toils and troubles of packing, unpacking, arranging and getting adjusted to new routines and neighborhoods.
In May 1994 I bought a piece of land in RK with a dream of building my retirement house. It would be double storey detached house with 5 rooms, 4 baths, 3 halls, garage for 4 cars and compound where children can play, where I can plant 2-3 fruit trees at the back. Since 1971 I've (and later with my wife, and growing family) stayed in rented rooms, rented double storey houses, company bungalows, a rented bungalow, some with land, others without. The best we've stayed was during 1984-1988 in a manager's bungalow up on a small hill overlooking a reservoir. And then I resigned to start my own business and had to adjust to living in smaller abodes. My family suffered for awhile when my business tumbled initially but thank God we recovered. With that we moved from house to house, 3 times in fact, within the same town, until we landed in RK and I said to my wife, let's make this our last stop, a place we will live, retire and die in.
Why RK? I was and am a sucker for spacious and peaceful living. I think people who have worked as managers or assistants in the big plantation companies and given bungalows to stay in can attest to the benefits of living in big rooms and airy halls. And kitchen many housewives would die for. Those senior managers, especially British planters, would have drivers, gardeners and guards. I had the chance to stay in 2 such bungalows in my 13 years of working for a British owned plantation company and it has benchmarked what kind of house I'd like to live in in my old age.
In 1993 the property development in Seremban took a boost. A developer joined force with a land owner to develop the 790 acres rubber land into the so-called 1388 Rasah Kemayan Golf & Country Township. At that time it was supposedly THE elite place to be in. The promotion flyer tout RK as the place for green living. The tagline? Where the grass is always greener. Here is the centre-spread of the flyer distributed.
We were then staying in another housing estate, our own double storey house. It wasn't what I wanted. My dream kept bugging me. At that time my wife and I used to get up early and drive to this newly developed township for our walk. We liked the place, and the promise given, especially on the establishment of a fully fenced up community protected by 24 hours security (which unfortunately never materialized). We bought a piece of vacant land (6824 sq. ft.) and I let my imagination roam and did research on how to best design a house for the future, thinking about space for all my children to stay together and for grandchildren to run about. I bought a software while on a trip to the States to help me create 3D impressions of the house and rooms with furnitures. I even commissioned an architect to draw up building plans for submission to the authority. Then came the 1997-1998 Asian Financial Crisis that devalued our Malaysian Ringgit from RM2.50 per USD then to about RM4.50 (today it has strengthened to about RM3.05). It destroyed my financial planning which included provision for my children oversea education. Our money suddenly became valueless and I scrambled to revise my dream. The drawing plans did not see the daylight (I kept them for sentimental reasons) and I downsized my dream.
In our walks we peeked into abandoned houses, semi-finished houses and houses with FOR SALE signs put up at the garage walls. We decided it would be imprudent to build a house on our land that is quite isolated, although it is at the fringe of the 9-hole golf course, as nobody was building their bungalows on their lands at that time. I wouldn't want to live in a house where nobody can hear us shout in the event of an emergency. Finally we decided on a one and half storey bungalow house sited on a land that is 6125 sq. ft. in area. Since the build-up area is limited I spend some of my savings to extend a large dining hall (where my grandchildren now run freely), enlarge the kitchen and added in an utility room, my home office (my den) and an additional bathroom. All this were done in 1999, a year of flurried excitement that included 2 graduations and a marriage.
Our house isn't the fulfillment of my dream but close to it. I would like a larger house with high ceilings, bigger rooms and my own entertainment centre. But for now I am satisfied with the size and location although I still wish for a bigger house ...
In the years after we bought the house and stayed there the neighborhood under the Seremban 2 township grew faster and bigger under a more capable developer. Property value in Seremban 2 have increased significantly, encouraged by speculators. However, houses and lands inside RK remain second choice but to those who, like me, value quietness and country living, we appreciate it more except for the poorer security as compared to the newer Seremban 2 projects that are now gated.
In the coming year or so RK will be brought under the administration of Seremban City Hall (yes, Seremban will be a city soon!) and hopefully the township (frankly there is no town as the entire RK is residential) will undergo upgrading of basic infrastructure especially the roads and drainage. Presently, RK is quite private as the main thoroughfare does not lead to anywhere. But there are talks that a new link to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport through RK may be built. As a 'senior' resident here I seriously doubt the viability as another new town, Bandar Sri Sendayan, which encircles RK together with Seremban 2, will make better choice to link to the airport, bypassing RK.
With this confidence I can safely say that RK will remain a haven for people who want to escape from urban living. After all we are 45 minutes away from both the airport and Kuala Lumpur by road.