‘You can complain all you want ... watch out!’

The water war has left Rafi without enough water for his fruit tree. — Malay Mail pic
The water war has left Rafi without enough water for his fruit tree. — Malay Mail pic

NILAI, May 2 — What was supposed to be a dream retirement at Pantai Hills for Mohamed Rafi Abdul Kudus and wife Angela Mary Rafi has turned out to be a nightmare with water problems, wild parties and even threats.

The couple told Malay Mail that since several unlicensed resorts started being built in the area over the past two years they had been robbed of the peace and quiet they had sought.

“We moved here about five years ago after my retirement to get away from the city. We expected to be surrounded by nature and friendly neighbours,” said Rafi. 

“But we are now constantly facing trouble from these unlicensed resorts. First, it was the noise from the wild parties and now they have even taken our water.”

The 62-year-old said the resorts have almost drained a creek that a dozen households depended on for water.

“We all draw water from the same source. It was never a problem before as we have few people per household. But the resorts are taking in as many as 30 guests at one time,” he said.

While Rafi admitted neither he nor others had rights to extract water from the creek, he had approached the authorities for a link to the local water grid.

“I have asked in vain to get connected to the water grid. Yes, I get water from the creek but we are using this land as it is supposed to be used,” he said, pointing to his crop of passion fruit, durian and other fruit trees.

“The resorts are on agricultural land not commercial. They have even gone as far as stockpiling water for their guests in dozens of water tanks,” he said.

Rafi said he had no choice but to get water tanks of his own.

Some of the homesteads, he said, hid their act of water theft by painting their water tanks in bright colours to make them appear as decorative pieces.

Further, he said, these owners had tried to bury or hide pipes sucking water from the creek.

He also complained that the noise on weekends from the resorts was unbearable and the owners had continually expanded their buildings.

“The structures are so close to our property that we can clearly hear them partying. It is unbearable as they go on for the entire weekend,” he said. 

Resident Nikt Wong, 44, who moved into the area three years ago, said he was surprised at the lack of action by the authorities as the resorts were a safety and health hazard.

“Besides the brazen water theft, these resorts are death traps. They have no emergency fire exits and the water they provide for guests is raw from the creek,” he said. 

“I don’t think those staying there are aware that the water they are using is untreated.”

Wong claimed resort workers were also indiscriminately disposing of garbage on the hill slopes.

Another resident, who declined to be named, said he was threatened by a resort owner after confronting him over trash strewn on his property following a wild party.

“He challenged me to report the matter to the authorities, saying ‘this is a country without laws, you can complain all you want, nothing will be done … watch out!’’’

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