Felix Tee, 61, has a vision — to educate Malaysians on the eco-friendly lifestyle through Casabrina, his luxury getaway.
Almost everything in the resort has an eco-friendly element, from the custom-made wood furniture, made in his own factory to avoid wood wastage, to the farming of his own pesticide-free vegetables. Tee only uses third grade wood, which are smaller logs in diameter, from virgin forests that would be lumbered for land development.
As third grade wood are young trees, this will not contribute to deforestation. “I like to think out of the box,” he said, and that has certainly shown through his actions. The resort itself and its furniture are produced in his own factory, Cody Homes Sdn. Bhd.
According to him, each wood has a specific function as well. Heavy hard wood is used for outdoors, medium hard wood is used to make indoor furnitures and timber is used for the flooring of some areas on Casabrina.
He also makes sure that the wood are 100 percent utilised, any extra wood would be crushed to wood chips and saw dusts to be used as humus, a dark organic material containing many beneficial nutrients for the trees.
“It’s a method widely used in countries like Korea, Japan and Taiwan,” he mentioned. Tee also owns a fish and vegetable farm near Casabrina, providing a fresh supply of homegrown food to the resort. The farming process is completely free of harmful pesticides. Instead, they use neem oil to repel the pests and avoid pollution.
Enzymes are used instead of traditional chemical fertilisers to avoid polluting rivers and to ensure that consumers can eat healthily, as Tee said: “The key to being happy is to be healthy”.
In his opinion, these extra efforts are worth it when it comes to everyone’s health. Even in Cody Homes, his wood factory, skylights are used for natural lighting during the day.
Tee always switches off primary lightings from 11pm onwards while keeping the secondary lightings on until day break to conserve electricity as much as possible.
The resort itself has plenty of open windows which allows natural lighting into the rooms and encourages guests to avoid using the air conditioning during the day to protect the environment. The resort management also encourages guests to not harm the wild insects and animals.
“They are the true inhabitants of this place, we are just passers-by,” said Wendy Heng, the manager of Casabrina.
Even the pool in Casabrina is well equipped with eco-friendly technology, such as the Perma System. The Perma System is a system developed to imitate the ecosystem, running all day long in order to minimise the amount of chlorine. Such a way of running a resort is rarely heard of in Malaysia.
Tee hopes that in the long run, more people would be interested in knowing how to lead a greener lifestyle. “All our needs are actually at our doorsteps as long as we bother to look at them,” he said knowingly.
Tee is now expanding his container hotel project which is also eco-friendly but more affordable for students and families so more people of the public can have the Casabrina experience.