PENANG: With the rising number of senior citizens in Malaysia, the need to address the issue of elderly care has become increasingly important.
According to the World Bank’s Malaysia Economic Monitor published in July, Malaysia officially became an ageing country this year, with 7.5% of the population aged 65 years old and above, and this is expected to hit 14% by 2044.
In order to help address the needs of the elderly, as well as to capture the untapped potential of senior living resorts, Penang-based property developer MTT Group of Companies, through its subsidiary Botanica Hills Sdn Bhd, has inked a joint venture agreement with Eden-On-The-Park Sdn Bhd to develop the first integrated senior living resort in Penang.
“The masterplan is now pending authority approval. We are confident that the construction work will start by next year,” Datuk Sri Kenny Ong, group executive chairman of MTT Group of Companies, told EdgeProp.my.
The integrated senior living resort, called Eden at Botanica.CT, is part of the 300-acre Botanica.CT township development located in Balik Pulau. The Botanica.CT township is now 50% completed with residential, commercial hub and an international school.
Eden at Botanica.CT. will be located on a 32-acre land, with phase 1 being at six-acres comprising a 100-bed nursing care residence and 290 active living apartment units.
Ong said senior living has always been part of Botanica.CT’s masterplan since the township was launched 15 years ago. The company has been searching for a right partner to work with locally and overseas and finally sealed the deal with Eden-On-The-Park from Sarawak early this year.
Eden-On-The-Park is a senior living and aged care facilities and service provider based in Kuching, Sarawak. The company built the country’s first active senior living resort on an 8-acre plot in Samarahan, comprising 104 units of luxury apartment suites and 14 senior-lifestyle bungalow villas.
Adjacent to the resort sits an aged care facility with 71 rooms and is fully staffed.
Eden at Botanica.CT is the first expansion of Eden-On-The-Park to Peninsula Malaysia. It will have a similar concept as Eden-On-The-Park in Sarawak, where it consists of aged care facility and an active living resort to cater to the different needs of retirees.
“We see a lot of potential in Penang as it is one of the world’s best destinations for retirement. Under this joint venture, we will be taking care of the operations while MTT is the builder,” said Eden-On-The-Park managing director Victor Fong.
It is not an old folk’s home
Fong stressed that the integrated senior living resort “is not an old folk’s home”.
“It is a place for retirees to enjoy their retirement life with a peace of mind. It is not something new in developed countries such as Australia, the US and New Zealand but Malaysia is still in its baby steps, there is a lot of education needed to be done,” Fong said.
Besides aged care facilities and the active living resort, which come with different built-up sizes and package for sale and rent, the integrated senior living resort also offers facilities such as a game room and outdoor park.
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