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Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Report on Technical Visit to Coastal Protection Sites in Port Dickson on 18.10.2008

Jointly organized by Kuala Lumpur Bar’s Environmental Law Committee and the Water Resources Technical Division, Institution of Engineers (“IEM”), Malaysia

The technical visit was conducted by En. Nor Hisham Mohd Ghazali, Head of Planning, Coastal Protection, Jabatan Parit dan Saliran and was well attended by 7 members of Kuala Lumpur Bar and 2 registered non-members, together with 8 members of IEM. We departed by coach from IEM building in Petaling Jaya at 8.30 a.m. and completed the visit by 4 p.m.

A.Bagan Pinang Beach

We had an introduction and briefing session by En. Nor Hisham upon arrival at Bagan Pinang beach at 10.00 a.m.

This is a beach fronting a food court and a dive shop with Avilion Hotel and Resort to the south (opposite Straits Malacca Hotel).

Bagan Pinang suffered from erosion as a result of wave attack, i.e. the movement of material seawards, beginning from the dive shop and the food court to the chalets at Avilion Hotel & Resort.

Measures to solve the problem of erosion were building of seawalls and gabions[1], yet these had failed due to a combination of poor construction of seawalls, scouring[2] and undermining[3].

Beach Renourishment

Beach renourishment was then introduced spanning the areas from Bagan Pinang to Pantai Saujana by importing sand from the offshore beach thereby “deepening” the shorefront and resulting in the creation of a “new beach” which is 60 metres wide.

Backshore Drainage

Drainage outfall[4] from the dive shop and food court was constructed to contain backshore run-off[5], channeling the outfall into the underground drains and thereafter discharged at the chosen outfall. This way, beach erosion was contained.

As a result of systematic approach to beach renourishment, using offshore sands to add to its berm[6] width and carefully discharging the run-off into underground drains, Avilion Hotel & Resort benefited from the scheme and the beach is now clean.


The landscaping was a recent introduction to the beach nourishment project and has twofold objectives – by planting selected trees and grass turfing at the backshore of nourished area this will help in preserving the sand and limiting its transport by wind and extreme wave seawards.

The landscape also provides shade for local beachgoers preferring shady areas to lay their mats, unlike the western counterparts who prefer to “bathe” in the sun.

An assortment of coastal species such as Jambu Laut plants and palm trees were planted, less for aesthetic value but more for making the area seem natural and blend in with the surrounding.

B.The Mini-marina

At 10.30 a.m., we arrived at the mini-marina.

This is an area behind Pulau Burong, which is a small mangrove is let[7] and it is built by JPS to enable fishermen to berth their boats.

This mini-marina is circular in shape and possibly the first of its kind in the country.

The shape allows for greater space to the local fishermen numbering 30 for the purpose of berthing and also for security reasons.

Furthermore, the location of the mini-marina, behind Pulau Burong provides an additional shelter to the fishermen from strong waves.

By containing the boats within the mini-marina, problems of haphazard berthing along the channel by the fishermen, as well as the competing usages of the nourished beach with beachgoers was solved all at once.

Breakwaters[8] were also built to protect against storm waves.

C. Saujana Beach, Fourth mile

At 11.00 a.m., we arrived at Saujana Beach.

This is the straightest shoreline and was filled with casuarinas trees. It was first renourished in 1994 and again in 2004 by adding 60 metres of berm length.

It is a “mature” beach and turfing grass was planted to lessen the impact of beach erosion.

Underground drainage was built to contain the effluent and sullage[9] discharges from nearby shoplots by directing them to Sungai Sri Rusa while the surface run-off was collected in gravel drains underneath the backshore and discharged sideways at the end point of the beach.

D. Sri Cahaya Beach (Pulau Sri Rusa)

At 11.20 a.m., we arrived at Sri Cahaya Beach.

Artificial headland was built in 1991 (by creating an “arch”) and has the effect of slowing the impact of strong waves thereby creating a calm area opposite the small islet (Pulau Sri Rusa).

The headland connects to a small islet which forms a “Y” shape. The islet is a small mangrove area, popular with anglers.

Low revetment[10] was also built, using granite stones which creates roughness to break the incoming waves and slowing the impact of materials moving seawards.

E. Selesa Hotel Beach/Beach Management System

At noon, we arrived at Selesa Hotel beach.

This is the site for the first successful Beach Management System (“BMS”) on the west coast. BMS works on the principle that an unsaturated/drained beach was less susceptible to erosion, and it is being described as “a drainage system underneath the beach”.

Underneath the beach lies some porous[11] pipes wrapped in geotextile[12]. Geotextile acts as a filter/separator keeping the sand and rocks in the sea in place.

Beach water and its residue were drained into a “collector” point using the automatic submersible pump. They were channeled by gravity to a sump[13]. These automatic pumps were activated by sensors when the water level reaches a pre-set level.

It was designed for the pumps to function alternately to prevent overworking.

The effect of BMS was that sands from the sea were transported to the shoreline making it clean and unadulterated, at the same time, filtering the other residues from underneath the beach.

As a result of BMS, Selesa Hotel had benefited from the clean beach.

Report dated 14h November 2008 was prepared by Maria Mohd Haris for Kuala Lumpur Bar’s Environmental Law Committee
[1] Gabions are cylindrical wicker or metal basket for filing with earth or stones
[2] Scouring – clearing out by flushing through with a pipe, channel, etc.
[3] Undermining – wearing away the base or foundation (of river, etc)
[4] Outfall is the mouth of the drain, where it empties into the sea.
[5] Run-off is an amount of water that is carried off an area by streams and rivers.
[6] Berm is an artificial ridge or embankment
[7] Islet is a small island
[8] Breakwaters are barriers built into the sea to break the force of waves.
[9] Sullage is filth, refuse, sewage
[10] Revetment is a retaining wall or facing of masonry etc.
[11] Porous – letting through water
[12] Geotextile – Woven clothes/mesh used for strengthening the porous pipe.
[13] Sump –pit, hole, well


Richard Wee said...

Well done to the Environmental Committee. Please keep up the good work.

Members should take heed of the Environmental issues around our Country. We should take all steps to ensure the Environment stays as healthy as possible.

Iftar Andrew said...

Whilst I applaud the good effort of KL Bar for having this blog and now opening it for comments, I cannot help but notice that this report is exactly a month late.

Blogging is about real time reporting/discussion. The IT Committee should look into this aspect too.

Richard Wee said...

Thanks Andrew for your comments. We will try to keep the Blog as updated as possible