Friday, November 19, 2021




WHATSAPP: +60122036369

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Tourism post Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic will open up new market models while closing down many obsolete ones. All at once, the world is tightly connected to a singular issue 24/7. This has and will continue to open the eyes of many and therefore the minds to accepting other cultures and at the same time discerning.

Some of the most safest places previously, no longer hold the records, broken by the pandemic exposure. Many will be seeking 'safer' and 'healthier' places to spend their vacation or retirement years. The performance of each country's health systems during the Covid-19 episode will count in tourism and travel considerations. The respect for the local populace's adherence to measures countering the pandemic will also count.

While it is still too early to conclude the winners, clear losers are a-many. Some populations have proven themselves of their idiocies, racism and recalcitrances. And many others their resilience, obedience, respect and kindness. While this is being written, Malaysia has been climbing the charts in a good way with recovery rate of 59.32% and a reasonably good population behaviour record.

A lower death rate than many developed countries.

TRAVEL to respect and experience the mindfulness of foreign cultures may not come as a surprise in the near future once we get over the fear of inflight viruses. TRAVEL to stay for a period of time to absorb and live the positive local life nuances.

EXTENDED STAYS will be the new hot product for hotels in competition with AirBNB. Retirement Villages should break down the life lease model into term leases and allow a healthy global resident population mix. Multi-culturalism will be more accepted overall.

Quality of life prevails in the new era post Covid-19. Gracias.

Kenneth Tan is an advocate for better quality senior living projects development in Malaysia, the country already being a favourite retirement destination pre Covid-19; will be an even more attractive destination thereafter.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Who should design your Retirement Village or Care Home? Architect?

If you are planning to set up a senior living facility, you should speak with your architect about his or her hands-on knowledge on such facilities. Only when one who has dealt with a senior or care-need person, one would otherwise not become empathetic with the real needs.

Understanding the needs of the residents and users through the many years, some maybe up to 20 years of living in the same facility will provide the knowledge needed to build a first class facility.

So the question is not whether the architect should be the first designer of the project. The first person can be anyone with the necessary experience. It can be the care-givers, the operator, the resident, the architect or the owner. But never one who plans to design Form over Function.

Real knowledge is key.

A toilet ten steps too far away, a grab bar one cm too thick, isolated car parking spaces, the list goes on.

(writing in progress)

Wednesday, January 24, 2018


I envision that Retirement Villages in Malaysia, will be radically different than elsewhere in the world when the industry comes to blossom. One main reason for this is the extensive diversity existing here. Some RVs will be the most cosmopolitan while others may become culturally biased.

Furthermore the expected influx of permanent foreign retirees will add new dimensions to the already colourful scene.

When you decide to live in a retirement facility, all your personal yearnings, traits and inklings becomes prime concerns. Language, greenery, prayer, food, people and elsewise. Culture and religion become day-to-day matters. They can increase, not diminish. For others, the choice for diversity, multi-cultural aspects and globalism is uppermost.

The religious may want to live in a place that provide them easy access to their respective places of worship or to attend religious events. The green fingers will want to live in a community that appreciates nature so much more while writers and avid readers may want more quietness and soul at their RVs.

Therein lies a group that stands apart from all. The retired military brass. A retirement village for the retired armed forces officers ensures their professional dignity lingers on. It is can be never easy to transit from being a 5-star general to someone in the street. A military retirement village or partially, ensures the chats and after dinner stories are relevant to those around.

This strikes a very personal chord for me. Ten years ago, I visited a customer at his home and saw his bed-ridden father in the living room attended by a male nurse. The father was a retired army general. If it was a military RV, he would have been in a much more dignified position, accorded some 'salutations' to say the least. I am sure these men of service would have live many, many more active years healthily.

While every RV can have the same high standards of design, thought and build quality, each should pursue to be a different soul-space.
- Green & Eco
- Artistic
- Spiritual
- Mono religion  Muslim / Christian
- Western
- Chinese / Japanese
- Classic
- Contemporary
- etc

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy Newness!

Some people spend their lives building walls against floods. Eventually the flood comes and they say, "See, I told you so." Whereas, the enlightened ones have moved on to higher grounds years ago. Happy Newness everyone! I wish you all heightened awareness and not to be limited by our own beliefs. Do more. Live more. Love more. ~ Kenneth Tan

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Part 3 - Who Are The RV Customers in Malaysia.

There is still confusion among many Malaysians about living in a retirement village, most responses being neutral or towards hesitation. Those that have felt the need and have been exposed to the concept abroad clearly welcome the news of such facilities being created in Malaysia. Those that hesitated, some have confused this with nursing homes and aged care facilities, worst being the Malaysian old folks homes. These are all separate subjects but nevertheless linked chronologically.

While I have been understudying and growing with the industry throughout the last 8 years, I take clear cognizance that there is no singular answer to the many facets of this industry. Each and every retirement facility will cater to a different mindset of people.

The retirement facility is a lifestyle choice, whereas later on in life the aged-care facility may feature due to physiological or medical needs.

The people who will choose the RV lifestyle are (in no particular order) :

It is common among the upper and upper-middle class in Malaysia, to educate their children abroad. And many choose not to return to Malaysia after graduation for better career opportunities. This with the support of their parents.
> A retirement facility provides community and communal facilities for the parents.

The ones concerned fear they may be alone in their apartment should they require medical assistance or emergency help. Some have mentioned their fears of dying alone in their homes without anyone noticing. These are the ones who have few relatives or none. Most are retired professionals with very healthy retirement funds.
It is quite common talk among friends about jointly purchasing a piece of land and building a home to retire together. The problem starts when one by one, they fade in life. And subsequent ownership issues.
> A good landed retirement village may answer their needs clearly and immediately. The location matters then, as of now there is only one in Ipoh and the other in Kuching - Eden On The Park available. (I do know many developers are finally tuning in to this industry. But they must get their priorities right. This is a long term game. Not for immediate returns.)
> It will also be easier to liquidate one's ownership when one passes on.
> 24-hour emergency button and friendly neighbours are all important.

Big homes become just big houses to be maintained when the party's died down. Alarms, maids, driver, pet animals, 4 doors, 20 windows, garden, swimming pool, et cetera. A large house becomes a hassle without relevant use of the space.
> A high-end retirement facility may help improve the quality of life. In a gated & guarded environment, with just one key, the person/s can just lock up and fly off to vacation without worry.

An example profile is the typical Petaling Jaya bungalow owner from the 1970s. Purchased at below RM50,000, the land itself is now worth thirty times more (although leasehold). Some pensioners may not have sufficient funds set aside for renovations and upkeep, or to upgrade their lifestyles. They may have kept for their children or for medical needs later.
> Liquidating wisely and choosing a retirement facility at below 40% of their newly available funds may put them not just in better financial position, but also in a new refreshed environment. 
> In very near future, the knowledge and skills of RV residents will be tapped on and in return work opportunities become a new focus in life.

Retirement Villages that adopts the leased model are commercial business arrangements. Thus, the minimum price quota for foreign home purchase or RM1 million does not apply. However, the buyer need to apply for a resident visa or look into the MM2H program, of which there are many experts around. I am not one.
> This is good news for developers and land owners.
> Malaysia is consistently ranked The World's Top Five Retirement Destinations. Penang and Ipoh being favourites.
> Here are the reasons why: Favourable forex rate, Lower cost of living (high quality), English is widely used, Multi-language, Relative safety, Food-food-food, Universality, Cosmopolitan, Cultural, Asian, Friendliness, Transportation, Centrality, World class medical facilities and infrastructure.

Here are just 5 common profiles of the potential retirement living residents in Malaysia.

Kenneth Tan: I am an advocate of quality retirement lifestyles living in Malaysia. While all these seems to be focussed on the wealthy, it must be understood that the writings are geared towards understanding retirement living industry as a business. I choose to share the knowledge I have in the hope of fast-tracking those whose lives have just been opened up to the industry.