A luxury we crave — ‘balik Medini’

Unfortunately, we are restricted once again in our travels until Covid-19 eases

pic by BLOOMBERG

FOR a brief period, we enjoyed travelling to local destinations during the easing of the Movement Control Order (MCO) in July and August.

What a treat it was, as we took weekend getaways to Melaka, Desaru in Johor, close by hilly resorts like Genting Highlands and off-the-track gems like Pulau Pemanggil, off Mersing.

Now, unfortunately, we are restricted once again in our travels until Covid-19 eases.

However, a recent article titled “Journey into Medini” reminded us what unique locations await us in the southern region.

Always mystified about names of locations, I was enthralled to find out that Medini is a Sanskrit word for earth, ground or soil.

It was natural for the southern-most tip of the continent to be called Ujong Tanah or Ujung Medini before.

As a true born and bred Johorean, there are a few places I visit religiously each time I am back home, namely the Puteri Harbour and Johor Premium Outlets.

Who wouldn’t love having a picnic by the waterfront while looking at the skyline of our neighbouring country, Singapore, over the Straits of Johor?

The scenic views of the ocean and the greeneries actually give me a great relief from the concrete jungle I live in at the moment.

It is amazing that Medini has more than 40 public parks, a fact that homeowners would appreciate.

A quick search online shows that the developers are actually engaging their community frequently via social media and gatherings at the parks with a multitude of activities ranging from talks on agriculture, healthcare, potting plants, plant adoption, recycling and more.

In these modern times, it is indeed a refreshing outlook. I can only dream about living at Medini as my feet are firmly planted in the Klang Valley for the time being.

Medini has more than 40 public parks, including Edible Park (source: theiskandarian.com)

Many cities have grown organically, with buildings appearing like mushrooms after rainfall. Medini’s development provides a holistic approach that takes into consideration sustainability.

In fact, early this year, I had taken the liberty to drive around Medini when my newlywed son expressed his wishes of moving to this place.

He told me that he came to the conclusion after looking at the all- rounder qualities that this township has, together with nearby Edu- City — a city of campuses.

Looking at the schools, colleges and universities there, I don’t think my future grandchildren would ever need to get out of town until they graduate!

He was briefed, too, about the Medini lease scheme (MLS) when they went house-hunting in this vicinity, which was also key to keeping pricing in the area affordable.

The article also mentioned that Medini is slated to become the icon of future city living with its smart city plans. What exactly is a smart city?

Apparently, it connects the community with the latest technology to have a more efficient way of operating in the city, connecting and paying heed to the quality of life and welfare of the citizens.

I never knew I’d live to the day to witness how the tides are appearing to change where the sentiments and user-centricity of a community would be a central part of a township’s development.

While back in the day, we chose property that is the current tren — and be thankful for it. This is a nice outlook for the future.

I mentioned earlier that an interesting aspect of the foundation of Medini is the MLS, a form of private lease scheme (PLS).

From what I understand, this allows individual ownership of a freehold land plot and the right to decide to sell the lease to their lands to parties interested to develop the said land, including housing developers.

I am sure there are many individual owners of ancestral land par- cels who could not afford to do anything with their plot of land, leaving them untouched for years.

This scheme opens the doors of opportunity for us to develop the land plot without having to part with ownership.

Perhaps, the PLS should be expanded throughout the country as an alternative approach to land development.

Imagine the benefits that this alternative approach offers to the vast numbers of “orang kampung” or those living on the fringes of urban areas who own ancestral land parcels, but have left these land parcels idle for lack of financial means.

In any case, together with the hidden gems that Medini has to offer, I believe it is an ideal place for elderly citizens like me, young couples and even foreign retirees.

As for the economic buzz, Medini has its own “Silicon Valley” with digital-related businesses booming at its location. They have a “blockchain village”, Huawei’s first Regional Data Hosting Centre, Brandt International’s business process outsourcing company, among other global powerhouses at Medini.

This, in the long run, would create a huge pool of local talent and jobs in multiple sectors, plus, it would attract more business giants to set up shop at this township. It is high time Johor gives Singapore a run for its money!

Meanwhile, I eagerly await these multiple phases of MCO to be lifted, to give me a chance to explore my home state and the other places mentioned like Kampung Sg Melayu, the highly-recommended Edible Park — what an interesting concept — and to add the best eco and nature activities, like bird-watching, to the list.

Until then, we can only dream of beautiful landscaped cities to explore — the best of the best in Malaysia, such as the multifaceted Medini.

  • Ismail Abdullah Kuala Lumpur
  • The views expressed are of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the stand of the newspaper’s owners and editorial board.