Monday, March 28, 2011

Kemayan City, The Other Twin Of Pacific Mall

Kemayan City haunted?
I did not believe My relative who visited Me in the middle of last year.
She stays in Australia and had heard about it, many years before 2010.
I'm in JB and had just hear about it... from her.

But when her ex-neighbour, a JB resident too, agreed to her story, it seems that I am the last resident to hear about it.
The ex-neighbour laughed at me as she said, the story had even been published in Metro daily.


One of the story, not in Metro, but New Straits Times is here 

Why Ghost Stories Excite 
Jassmine Shadiqe 

EVERYONE has a ghost story to tell. In fact looking for haunted places and ghosts can actually generate a modest income for some.

Today, there are reality shows, TV programmes and dedicated websites just on ghosts and haunted houses, and some associations calling themselves ghost hunters, seekers or finders are sharing their experiences.

I stumbled upon a website that charges a fee to teach people how to take pictures of ghosts and haunted houses.

What is this crazy attraction we have for the unexplained? Well, I can't explain either.
Recently, my colleagues and I, who had often heard numerous alleged ghost appearances at an abandoned shopping complex in Jalan Skudai, Johor Baru, decided to visit the place.

We met up about 11pm, armed with torch-lights, we drove to the abandoned shopping complex that is known as Kemayan City Shopping Mall.

First, we explored the complex compound on foot.

The mall was planned to be Johor Baru's single biggest integrated shopping and commercial development which was due to be open in June 1998.

The RM400 million complex, with 64,800 sq m of retail space, is spread over a 4.8ha site in Tampoi.

The property is a project by Capital Dynasty Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of public-listed Parit Perak Holdings Bhd, and is managed by Kemayan Management Services Sdn Bhd, a member of the Kemayan Group.

Though the actual reason on why the project was not completed is not available, it is learnt that the developers wanted to add additional floors to the building but it was not approved.

As the management waited to reapply for the necessary approvals, then came the recession.

About four years later, it was still uncompleted. The building became a den for addicts and there were numerous reports of vandalism. They stripped off metal trimmings, pipes, and anything that could be sold to scrap metal operators.

At one time, it is believed to have been a haunt for lovers.

Then, there were reports of illegal immigrants, beggars and the homeless making the complex their home.

Fights broke out among the "residents" of the building and they accused one another of stealing.

Some people said some of them did not survive the fights and died, some of old age, sickness and also drug overdose.

Since they did not have family members, their bodies were just buried in the complex or left to rot on the upper floors of the complex.

I also heard a story of a pregnant woman (an illegal immigrant) living on one of the floors of the multi-storey shopping complex.

It is said that she was in labour and while making her way to the ground floor, she fell and landed on the jutting metal steel cemented to the floor.

She did not die on the spot and was said to have screamed in pain for about an hour and pleaded with them to help her, before she went quiet. The occupants did not think much of it and buried her at the site.

However, they started seeing a toddler running around, followed by scary screams and that spooked them, prompting them to leave.

There are other stories too, and some say people who practiced black magic, used the complex as their training ground.

Some say that people who were possessed by evil spirits, got exorcised and had "locked" the spirits in the complex.

There are also several people, who claimed they got involved in accidents in the area, as they spotted huge black shadowy figures and lost control of their vehicles.

I do not know if any of the stories told are true, but what I know is when we were walking around, we felt as though someone was watching us, or maybe we were just being paranoid.

Maybe, we would not have felt the same way if we had not heard of these stories prior to our visit or if we had decided to visit Kemayan City during the day.

I cannot say for sure if the place is haunted, but it could be a tourist attraction.

There are several ghost towns and haunted buildings in the world that are tourist attractions. Among them are Tombstone, Arizona; Jerome, Arizona; Oatman, Arizona; Bannack, Montana; Kolmanskop; and Elizabeth Bay.

These places attract tourists by the millions. There are books written, movies-made and photographs taken of these places.

Kemayan City would be a perfect site for an Alfred Hitchcock's movie or even for the directors of Jangan Pandang Belakang, Congkak, Santau and Jangan Tegur.

Source: New Straits Times - Wednesday, February 16, 2010


Kemayan City, property of  Capital Dynasty Sdn Bhd is now famous not for its best shopping experience, but for its mysterious ghostly accounts.
Especially to residents in the area of Tampoi, Skudai and Johor Bahru.
And in countries like Australia too.

Various accounts of ghostly sightings and mysterious cases had occurred.
A number of passersby who pass by Kemayan City, or stopping at the nearby traffic light saw the place abuzz with activities.
Others saw it adorned with nice flower decorations.
The sight of a burnt man with dangling burnt skin staggering, had also been seen.

Several residence of nearby Taman Bukit Mewah had seen the sudden brightly lit abandoned Kemayan City in the middle of the night.
Some realised the pattern of eerie sound of dogs howling after midnight rain.

But the most famous is the experience of a Singaporean family, who saw the complex which supposedly abandoned earlier was decorated glamorously with colourful lights.
Crowd was entering the shopping mall.
It seems something grand was going on.
They stopped by the mall.

True enough, the complex was finally open for business.
A grand opening ceremony was in place with entertainment and sales.
After shopping, they stopped by at their relative's house in Kampung Pasir, a few minute's drive from Kemayan.
The family then told their relatives about the grand opening, ongoing sales and showed them their purchases.

A surprising moment indeed, to see that their purchases disappeared. 
But dried leaves were aplenty.
Their relatives assured them that the mall had been left empty for many years.
And it was never open for business till now.
How true the claim is?
Anybody's guess.
The abandoned building of Kemayan City Mall is still a mystery.


Various haunting experiences had been told and shared by locals and from other cities too.
Many were 'tricked' by mysterious events.
I do not know how true the stories are, told by My relative in Australia, her ex-neighbour and My other friends.
The once beautiful mammoth structure of Kemayan City is a reminder of the 90s recession.
The seemed completed building from far fell into despair and abandonment just within the span of a few months.

Without hesitance, vandals quickly moved in to break all the windows and lay and they didn't stop until all the glass were broken.
Window frames, and drain covers went missing.
Those who stay nearby or use the small road at the side of the building can see men getting away with cables on their head. 
In short, everything and anything seem valuable, which they could lay their hands, fingers and legs on were not spared.
It soon became haven for drug addicts.


We used to pass by Kemayan City, My Husband and I.

He did not talk about ghost story.
But He never fails to relate depressive stories of one after another investor, whenever the massive gloomy building appeared in front of Our eyes, when We pass by that massive building.

******       ******      ******

Buyers In A Quandary Over Stalled Project

JOHOR BARU: A businessman who purchased two shop units as an investment for his children never thought his decision could burden them.
Loh Ah Wah, who bought the RM1mil property in the abandoned Kemayan City Mall off Jalan Skudai here, said he had been repaying the loan since 1998.
“I took a 10-year loan but am still repaying it as I could not afford the RM4,000 monthly repayments,” he said.
“My children who have started working are helping me with the loan,” said the father of five.
Loh, who represents the Kemayan City Owners and Vendors Association as chairman, said that many investors had proposed to buy the building but the bank which owned it rejected the offers as too low.
“The latest investor offered 22% of the amount we paid per unit, the highest so far, but most of us were not satisfied.
“The sum is not even enough to cover the interest on our loans,” he said, adding that the amount was RM1.2bil for the whole building.
He said that only 40% of the units were sold, adding that 200 of the 600 buyers recently attended a briefing by the project’s liquidator.
Loh said the majority of the owners were against selling their units at the proposed price.
He added that 428 of the 551 retail units and 201 of the 1,026 office units were sold.
Loh pointed out that, according to the liquidator, the approval of 75% of the owners was needed for the transaction.
Another meeting between the liquidator and the buyers was expected to be fixed in a month.
“Construction of Kemayan City commenced at the end of 1994 and the project was completed in 2000 after three years of delay.
“Since then, the building was abandoned and vandalised. It is now a shelter for drug addicts,” he said.
Johor probably has the highest number of abandoned buildings in the country with no fewer than 15 projects shelved since the mid-90s.

Source: The Star - Wednesday, October 8, 2010


That is just one of the almost similar stories told by My Husband.
And there were many more of other investors' woes that I could hardly digest in the same and other abandoned buildings.

As if to add salt to the wound, go through this.
A real attack to the already feeble hearts and pockets.

Not In The Best Interest Of All Parties

I REFER to your report "Council waiting to be paid RM15m" (NST, June 16) and the statement by the Housing and Local Government Committee chairman Datuk Halimah Sadique that the Johor government is placing a caveat on 52 abandoned buildings. It is most disappointing that the state government considers taxing the 52 buildings that are abandoned.
Firstly, it is shocking to know that there are so many abandoned buildings in Johor Baru.
Secondly, the state government should facilitate the rehabilitation of these buildings by waiving the assessment on buildings that can't be used.
Thirdly, there was no attempt by politicians to look into this problem. There is also no legal protection for buyers of commercial space unlike residential properties.
At a time when the government is promoting the Iskandar Development Region (Iskandar), it should make it its priority that abandoned buildings such as Kemayan City, Pacific Mall, Lot 1, Castle Inn, etc, be completed and occupied.
What would potential investors think of Iskandar if they see so many abandoned buildings stripped of all the cables and metal parts?
About RM10 million was needed to build Pacific Mall and in 1999, it was abandoned. Today, the entire 25 storey-building's copper and steel fittings have been stripped, including the escalators.
It would take RM55 million to restore the building.
Its location near the traffic police station did not deter thieves and this has been going on for nine years.
The government should consider compensating the owners for their losses.
Chairman Pacific Mall Buyers Committee Johor Baru. 

Source: New Straits Times - Jun 22, 2007


Rid The Country Of Dirty Image

I could not agree more with Jim McNeil’s views as expressed in his letter “Beauty of country marred by litter problem” (The Star, April 22).
While I applaud Malaysia’s bold ambition to attain developed nation status by 2020, the sad reality is that Malaysia has a serious littering problem which should be solved immediately.
Take my beloved hometown Johor Baru as an example. Most parts of the city are not only riddled with litter, but are also smothered by unsightly advertisements of loan sharks everywhere – on traffic lights, telephone booths and even road signs and very often blocking the all-important road names!
Dilapidated buildings of defunct shopping malls such as Pacific Mall, Waterfront City and the infamous Kemayan City (whose construction was aborted halfway) have provided eyesores for city dwellers and visitors for many years now.
Whenever I drive by these monstrosities, I cannot help but shake my head in utter disbelief and frustration as I ponder how much longer the authority will allow these unsightliness to prevail.
And imagine the inevitable contrast between dirty Johor Baru and squeaky-clean Singapore!
While driving on the roads, it is fairly common to see people unscrupulously disposing of garbage from their vehicles. I sincerely hope that the relevant authority would seriously look into enforcing anti-littering regulation just as rigorously as they have been enforcing the compulsory backseat safety belt rule.
Johor Baru, just like many cities in Malaysia, needs to seriously look at the litter problem on top of the escalating crime rate and security issues so that this city does not deteriorate. Otherwise, it is meaningless to boast world-class developments such as Iskandar Malaysia with the tagline “The World In One City”.
Johor Baru.

Source: The Star - Friday, April 23, 2010


Kemayan City, sits on a 12.4acre site along Jalan Skudai, is the largest abandoned project in JB.

It is with great hope that the abandoned building will be refurbished and redeveloped.

It was reported here, management of Kemayan City had changed hand.
It had since being taken over by Blackstone Eight Sdn. Bhd., and work on it had since started since September last year...


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