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1 UTAR NEW VILLAGE COMMUNITY PROJECT REPORT NAME OF THE NEW VILLAGE: RENGIT JOHOR Project carried out by: Student Name ID Number Course Year/Semester 1. Ng Cheng Xiang 14ADB05989 LI Year 3 Sem 2 DATE OF COMPLETION JULY 2016

2 RENGIT ABSTRACT Rengit was established in 1896 according to the record in the Rengit Chinese temple - Tow Boo Keng. It is located in the district of Batu Pahat in the state of Johor. Towns close to this new village are Batu Pahat and Pontian. The main attraction in Rengit is the second hand flea market. The flea market mainly sells the second hand furniture and electrical equipment imported from Singapore. Its main economic activity is agriculture including farming and fishing. 1

3 INTRODUCTION Rengit is located in Batu Pahat, Johor. There are two nearby towns which include: Batu Pahat which is 34 km away from Rengit. Pontian which is 38 km away from Rengit. RENGIT There is one river called Sungai Rengit flowing through the village. The fishermen go fishing via this river to Strait of Malacca. Unfortunately, the river is poluted with waste. Sungai Rengit According to the village head, the current population of Rengit is approximately 12,000 people. When the village was founded in 1896, it had a population of between 20 to 30 people. Over the years, the population is increasing. The increase is due to the fishes in Rengit that are fresh and they attract more and more people to Rengit to do fishery business. Rengit was founded in Atbthat time, Rengit was known as Cowboy Town because there wasn t any major economic activities then. Besides, in 1993, there were four fire incidents happened. The most serious case was on 29 th January of 1993, where a 2

4 total of 17 shops were levelled to the ground by the fire. The total of 17 shops means that almost half of the town were burned. But fortunately, no one injured during the incident. Rengit fire 3 RENGIT

5 ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES The main economic activity in Rengit is agriculture including farming and fishing. For farming, 80% of population in Rengit are farmers. Most of them plant oil palm and the agricultural products are mostly sold in Malaysia. The village head expects that the farming business trend will increase in the future because this business is stable. Oil palm For fishing, only 5% of population do the business. The fishes are normally sold to Johor Bahru and Singapore. This is because the fishes in Rengit are fresh and sufficient to send to other places. The village head expects that the fishing business trend looks gloomy in the future because fishing business is dangerous, that is why it will not increase in the future. 4 RENGIT

6 The value of land in Rengit is very expensive. One acre of land costs more than RM 300,000. There are currently about 2,000 houses in Rengit including those wooden houses owned by orang asli. There is a wet market in the village and its main selling product is fish. However, there isn t any supermarket in this village. The villagers have to travel to Benut for shopping. Wet market 5 RENGIT

7 SOCIAL, CULTURAL AND RELIGIOUS PRACTICES According to the village head, the Malay population accounts for 65% of villagers, followed by Chinese (30%), Indian (2.5%) and orang asli (2.5%). Due to the composition of its population, the main languages spoken are Bahasa Melayu, Mandarin and Hokkien. In general, the most commonly spoken language is Bahasa Melayu and Chinese. There are Buddhists, Muslims, Christians and Taoists in Rengit. Places of worship include 2 Chinese temples, 1 mosque and 1 church. Rengit has Tiong Hua Association which is to organize the religious, educational and cultural event for Chinese population, such as basketball competition, Chinese New Year celebration and so on. Tiong Hua Association RENGIT 6

8 Chinese temple Tin Leong Keng Chinese temple Tow Boo Keng RENGIT 7

9 Mosque Chinese New Year is a major festival in this village. Local associations often organize major events in conjunction with the Chinese New Year celebrations. Moreover, according to the traditional Chinese calendar, September 6 is when there will be flower parade on the main road of Rengit every year celebrating the Nine Emperor Gods Festival. Emperor Festival with flower parade Nine Gods RENGIT 8

10 EDUCATION Rengit has the following education institutions: Kindergarten There are a few kindergartens in this village. Some are private owned while others are run by local government schools. These kindergartens include both Chinese and Malay kindergartens. Many parents send their children to kindergartens because there isn t any nursery in Rengit. Junior Bintang Inovatif kindergarten Seri Maju Setia kindergarten 9 RENGIT

11 Primary School SJK(C) Chong Hwa is the only Chinese primary school in Rengit. This school was previously formed by four individual schools which are Yu Qun, Chen Guang, Yu Cai and Yu Hwa and renamed afterwards as Chong Hwa in At the very beginning after the school established, there were around 300 students as four schools were combined into one school. Those students were mostly from Senggarang, Benut and Rengit, with only one Chinese primary school in these three villages at that time. Over the years, the number of student in SJK(C) Chong Hwa does not increase and even decrease in some years because nowadays there are Chinese primary schools in Senggarang and Benut. Students from Senggarang and Benut will choose to study in their own village. The school has adequate facility and the main language is Chinese. SJK(C) Chong Hwa Other than Chinese primary school, there are also few Malay primary schools located in this village. 10

12 RENGIT Secondary School There are three secondary schools which are Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Tun Sardon, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Permata Jaya and S.B.R. Chong Hwa High School (private secondary school). The three secondary schools are well equipped with adequate facilities. The most famous secondary school in Rengit is S.B.R. Chong Hwa High School, because it has a history of 65 years already. S.B.R. Chong Hwa High School was established because villagers from Senggarang, Benut and Rengit requested the board of education of SJK(C) Chong Hwa to build a Chinese secondary school for students from these three villages in order for them to pursue further studies. S.B.R. Chong Hwa High School has a total of 530 students with around 30 teachers. The number of student is increasing every year and is expected to grow again in the next year. It is because there will be more and more hostels provided to students coming from other towns or states. The special thing about S.B.R. Chong Hwa High School is that the school owns 11 shoplots and rents all out in order to use the rental for development purpose. 11

13 S.B.R. Chong Hwa High School RENGIT Shoplots owned by S.B.R. Chong Hwa High School Students from S.B.R. Chong Hwa High School often organize activities or events for other villagers and youths to participate in. With the help of teaching staffs and local associations, students are able to learn how to get sponsorship from different associations and how to organize successful events. Besides that, S.B.R. Chong Hwa High School has many co-curricular activities for students to join after class. It is compulsory for every students to engage in co-curricular activities, but the main purpose is to improve students interpersonal skills. Unfortunately, Rengit does not have any colleges or universities for students to further their studies. Youths who wish to pursue tertiary education have to leave the village to other parts of the state or country. 12

14 RENGIT INFRASTRUCTURE AND FACILITIES There are medical facilities available in the village. This village has both private clinics and a government clinic. However, Rengit does not have any hospital. In case of medical emergencies, villagers have to travel to nearby towns such as Batu Pahat and Pontian. Klinik Rengit Other basic facilities available in Rengit include post office, fire station, police station, community hall, futsal field, wet market, bank and recreational park. All the facilities mentioned above are in a good condition and the public have easy access to these facilities. 13

15 Fire Station RENGIT Police Station 14

16 Futsal Field RENGIT Community Hall The community hall is government-owned and it requires certain fee to use the hall. It is open for events or activities such as badminton matches. However, this hall is not well maintained. Due to this reason, most organizers choose to hold events at the S.B.R. Chong Hwa High School hall instead. Security in the village needs improvement even though there is a police station. Robbery often takes place in this village. According to the village head, villagers are afraid of going out alone at night. He also mentioned that there are drug addicts in the village. The road system in Rengit is satisfactory. The main road in this village is big enough, considering the lower volume of the traffic. Moreover, most of the road dividers are not too long, it is easy for users to make a U-turn. The road has less pot holes compared to nearby towns, such as Senggarang and Benut. 15

17 RENGIT CHALLENGES The challenges faced by Rengit are as follows: a) Security issue The security level in Rengit needs further improvement. Robbery case is very often in this village. Villagers always try to avoid going out at night. Tourists are encouraged to be accompanied with local villagers, especially going to somewhere where people are less. b) Low level of telecommunication service The telecommunication service there is not good in overall, including internet and mobile service. Sometimes, villagers have to walk out from their house in order to connect to the service. The coverage of the service does not cover all areas of Rengit, most of the telecommunication services only cover the main area. c) Lack of employment opportunities Rengit has only light industries. This is probably one of the reasons why youths from Rengit tend to leave their hometown and migrate to urban areas to look for better employment opportunities. The authorities need to consider ways of encouraging businesses to invest in new or existing industries in Rengit. d) High turnover of teaching staff The high flow of teaching staff is a common problem in Rengit. Teaching staff comes and goes very frequent. Teaching staffs are not be able to receive a proper training due to the short service time. Thus, some teaching staffs might not be able to meet certain requirements. 16

18 e) No hospital Although there are total 4 clinics in Rengit, certain medical services still need to be available in this village. The ambulance needs to depart from nearby towns which are Batu Pahat or Pontian and it will take about 30 minutes to reach this village. This will reduce the chance of any possible rescue because of the delay. Without a hospital, the life of villagers are at stake should accident occur. f) Lack of public transport service Taxi service is not available in Rengit while bus only available travelling to nearby towns, but not travelling within Rengit town. The lack of public transport service will cause a major inconvenience to tourists and will affect the tourism value of Rengit. g) Outflow of Chinese villagers Rengit is facing the problems of population decline especially the Chinese villagers in the recent years. Chinese villagers prefer to live in a town or city where essential services are available. Chinese villagers in Rengit mostly move to Batu Pahat or even other cities to look for a better life. h) High price of land The price of land in Rengit is so expensive. One acre of land costs more than RM 300,000. This will affect the investment decision from investors, because investors have to spend so much money on land. Normally, the value of land will only go up rather than dropping down over years. Therefore, this is not a good sign for development of Rengit in the future. i) Many vacant houses There are around 2000 houses in Rengit. However, the vacant house in this village is so many. Many villagers including both elder and young villagers left the village to stay in Batu Pahat. The atmosphere in Rengit has been affected and this village is not lively as before. Tourism will get affected indirectly. 17

19 RENGIT RECOMMENDATIONS In relation to the opportunities in Rengit as well as its challenges, the following recommendations are made. a) Attract more investors Organizations or local business associations can propose potential investment opportunities in Rengit. These proposals could be submitted to the authorities for approval and/or assistance. b) Form a Rela team Villagers can cooperate with each other and form a Rela team to patrol around Rengit in the evening and night. The security concern will increase if there is a group of people patrolling on the road. c) A well-maintained community hall Rengit s community hall is not suitable for many major events because the surrounding area and inside of the community hall are not maintained well. In fact, the design of the community hall is great and is big enough inside. Villagers can arrange the duty to clean the community hall so that Rengit will have one more good hall to hold events. 18

20 RENGIT TOURISM VALUE Rengit does not have many attractive places to be tourism destination. However, outsiders normally go to Rengit to look for second hand goods in the second hand flea market. The second hand flea market is operated by orang asli. Those second hand goods are imported from Singapore and orang asli remanufacture the goods to make the goods look like a brand new item. The government gives permission to orang asli to allow them to import second hand goods from Singapore. There are many stalls in the second hand flea market and every stalls sell different second hand item. However, the common second hand items sold in the flea market are furniture, antique, electronic equipment. Besides that, sport equipment, baby cart, toy, bag and shoe are available in the second hand flea market as well. The price of the second hand goods is lower there compared to other markets. That is why visitors prefer to travel to Rengit in order to buy cheap and better quality of second hand goods. Second hand flea market second hand furniture Second hand flea market second hand electronic equipment 19

21 RENGIT Second hand flea market stalls The second hand flea market is like a night market, where tourists can go to the stalls one by one to compare prices. Moreover, quoting a price is allowed in this second hand flea market. According to the village head, it is better to have one local people to accompany the tourists to the flea market to prevent robbery especially in Kampung Orang Asli. Another tourist attraction in Rengit is Punggor beach. Punggor beach is a beach located between the junction of Rengit and Senggarang. Previously, this area was a mangrove forest. However, after the reconstruction of this area, it has become an artificial beach to be a new tourism spot in Rengit. Punggor beach is perfect for a family weekend picnic, outing and fishing. Unfortunately, the water at Punggor is not suitable for swimming. Punggor beach 20

22 RENGIT The beach is not usually crowded like other famous beaches. Therefore, Punggor beach offers the serenity and calmness that is good for anyone who seeks a quiet place to relax. Due to this reason, couples always come to Punggor beach to have dating and enjoy the wonderful scenery and the soft sea breeze. There are also few Malay food stalls selling different kind of foods in Punggor beach. And the special thing is that there is one karaoke stall available in Punggor beach. Visitors can come and sing a song with just only RM1. The temple in Rengit is also considered a famous tourist attraction. Elder Chinese people like to come and visit the Chinese temple, especially Tow Boo Keng. Tow Boo Keng has a very long history starting from Tow Boo Keng has now already become a famous tourist attraction in Rengit. Prayers from everywhere always come to Tow Boo Keng to revere Chinese gods. It also attracts prayers from east Malaysia, Singapore and even Thailand to come and visit. During September Chinese calendar month, Rengit will have increased visitors at Tow Boo Keng to celebrate the Nine Emperor Gods Festival. It is believed that the Tow Boo Keng is a temple that is the most popular among Senggarang, Benut and Rengit. Tow Boo Keng temple is located along the main road of Rengit, allowing easy access for tourists to visit and temple devotees to pray. And because of this, Tow Boo Keng has become a landmark of Rengit. Tow Boo Keng 21 RENGIT

23 Another reason that attracts tourist to travel to Rengit is the coffee. Coffee is very popular in Rengit. Rengit is famous for its own Malaysian local coffee bean which is big as compared to other countries. The taste is slightly bitter and is like black tea. There are many homemade cook of coffee in this village. Many outsiders especially from Senggarang and Batu Pahat like to travel to Rengit in order to just have a cup of coffee in the morning. Coffee has become a lifestyle of Rengit people and the brand is also called Rengit. Rengit coffee 22

24 RENGIT ENTREPRENEURSHIP OPPORTUNITIES According to the village head, Majlis Perbandaran Batu Pahat (MPBP) is planning to build a small industrial zone in Rengit. An industrial zone can definitely bring benefit to the Rengit s economy. It is also a good way to retain youth entrepreneur to avoid outflow of talent. Villagers can have better work opportunities and this will indirectly decrease the robbery case. Industrial zone can bring up other industries as well, such as logistics industry and so on. The development of Rengit can be increased through the development of heavy industry. Besides from the development of industrial zone, the famous coffee brand from Rengit, which is Rengit Coffee, can set up a few more cafes in the nearby town and in Rengit. According to the official website of Rengit Coffee, there are just 4 cafes setting up in Batu Pahat. It would be a better opportunity if there are more and more cafes setting up in different towns other than just Batu Pahat. This will introduce Rengit to the nearby towns and cities and those who like coffee can easily taste the real Rengit Coffee. Since Rengit s main economic activities include fishing, it would be best if there is any fish farm in this village. Fishermen can directly sell the fresh fish to the fish farm and the fish farm can supply the fish to different stalls. This can help manage the supply and demand of the fish in the market, and also stabilize the price of the fish in Rengit. Fishing industry will be able to grow as well because there is regular buyer of fish in the market. Rengit is not a small village compared to other Chinese new villages. Although the main area of Rengit is very small with all the infrastructures and facilities located in the area, there are still many areas having lack of development to be remote area. In fact, those remote areas in Rengit can be used to develop other basic services, such as supermarket, hospital and so on. Investors should look into the entrepreneurship opportunities of these areas and bring in more and more different kinds of service into Rengit. 23

25 RENGIT Furthermore, homestay programs should be arranged to develop tourism in Rengit. Although the number of tourists in this village is not so many per day, there is still demand for the homestay service. There are still people coming from other cities or towns to visit the second hand flea market and temple. Especially when there is any festival celebration, the number of tourists will increase and they may need to stay overnight. In this case, the homestay program can make the tourists travelling with no worries. In addition, the Rengit town council can invite more banks to open branches in this village. The existing banks in Rengit are small and are not able to accommodate larger volumes of customers. With more banks opening branches in Rengit, this village will have the potential to become a financial hub among Senggarang, Benut and Rengit these three villages. This can also lead to more investments in Rengit because loans can be easily made. The overall economy level will increase because more businesses will grow and expand. Furthermore, since there isn t any high rise building in this village, villagers can use the empty plots of land to start swiftlet farming business. Villagers can start the business in rural area which is far away from the main town. The process of doing this business is not difficult and it is a good investment, plus with high return. The bird s nest is a high value tonic, it is often demanded by elder people. Therefore, this business has the potential market in Rengit, and also the bird s nest can sell to nearby town such as Senggarang and Benut. Rengit is busy only at day time. At night, it is like a quiet town because there is no night life for villagers to enjoy. Perhaps, mamak stall or lok lok stall can be opened at the night time to make this village become more lively. This is a good entrepreneurship opportunity because currently there is no such stall in Rengit. 24

26 DISCLAIMER: Information contained in this report was compiled by the University s students on voluntary basis. Although every effort has been made to check the accuracy of the report, the University accepts no responsibility whatsoever for any errors or omissions, if any, the University reserves the right to make changes on the information at any time without prior notice. Should there be any queries regarding contents of the report, please contact: Department of Soft Skills Competency Tel: ext 8274, 8656, 8269 (Klang Valley Campus) ext 2297/2299/2300 (Perak Campus) 25