Locals welcome plan to transform abandoned rest house in Bukit Mertajam

THE plan to rejuvenate the Bukit Mertajam Rest House by the Penang government through Chief Minister Incorporated (CMI) has been well received by the locals.

Bukit Mertajam Rest House

The rest house, which is located near the Bukit Mertajam Hospital, has been abandoned for about 10 years.

The inside view of Bukit Mertajam Rest House

One of the locals, Siti Nur Aina Sarabuddin, 29, said she is happy to hear about plans to inject live in the area.

Siti Nur Aina Sarabuddin, 29.

“Being born and bred here, I really hope that this abandoned building can be transformed to benefit the local residents.


“Maybe they can transform it into a sports centre since there is an old basketball court around here but it looks abandoned too.


“And we also do not have any sports centre yet near Berapit. So, it will be a great place for youth to spend their leisure time if the state government can consider this idea,” she told Buletin Mutiara when approached today.


Another local resident, Onn Jaafar Aziz, 61, said if the building could be transformed into something useful, this could also prevent any immoral activities at the place.

Onn Jaafar Aziz, 61.

“I am worried if the place continues to be abandoned, it could be a haunt for drug addicts.


“Thus, this could tarnish the reputation of this place that used to be a comfortable place to visit and also could increase the social problems, especially among the young generation,” said Onn, who lives at Seri Pelangi Apartment in Berapit.


For university student Hong Kei Ling, 20, she welcomes the decision by CMI to revive the abandoned rest house.

Hong Kei Ling, 20.

“Perhaps, they can turn it to a library instead since this place is near to four schools. Moreover, there is no public library here as yet.


“I think this is a suggestion worth considering.


“It can be useful for students to gather and do group study or prepare for their examination and others,” said Hong, who also lives at Seri Pelangi Apartment in Berapit.


As for Muhamad Hilman Abdul Yusoff, 31, he said the abandoned rest house has a lot of potential to become a tourist attraction in Bukit Mertajam, especially in Berapit.

Muhamad Hilman Abdul Yusoff, 31.

“This is possible if they develop it properly. Maybe they can transform the building into a craft centre.


“With such a centre, the people can buy authentic local handicrafts that are only available in Bukit Mertajam and of course made by the local themselves,” said Muhamad Hilman, who works as a technician in a local company in Bukit Mertajam.


The concern over the abandoned rest house was raised by Berapit assemblyman Heng Lee Lee in the State Assembly sitting on Nov 30.


She believes the rest house could be developed to become one of the attractions in the area, as the Chief Minister Incorporated (CMI) has plans to utilise the open space.

Story by Riadz Akmal
Pix by Adleena Rahayu Ahmad Radzi