Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Can a dying lake in Pahang be revived?

Can a dying lake in Pahang be revived?



The blues, greens, greys and fiery orange of the evening sky reflected off the waters of Tasik Chini, Pahang, the palette interrupted only by dots of sweet pink from the few blooming lotus flowers. Our boat of journalists whizzed across the water, surrounded by green hills that come down to the lake’s edge.

I had heard years ago that Tasik Chini has been ravaged by poorly planned “development” and that the orang asli here had likened the lake water to teh tarik.

But the Federal and State Governments are trying to rectify the ecological sins of the past.

Prior to this, lotus plants – the symbol of Tasik Chini – and lake fish had been dying, slowly succumbing to the pollution and siltation caused by uncontrolled logging and mining in the surrounding areas.

Improper agricultural practices also led to the leakage of fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides into the lake, affecting plant and animal life.

The hunting, gathering and fishing by the orang asli here (from the Jakun and Semai ethnic groups) had been jeopardised by the logging and mining, while their tourism income dwindled as fewer visitors came.

Even the possible sighting of “Naga Seri Gumum” (Malaysia’s version of the Loch Ness monster) and legends of an ancient sunken Khmer city were not enough to entice visitors.

Now, there is a concerted effort to revitalise the lake that is being undertaken by various government agencies. Spearheading these efforts are University Kebangsaan Malaysia’s (UKM) Tasik Chini Research Centre.



Orang asli from the Jakun tribe live along the shores of the lake.

A crucial part of the centre is the Tasik Chini Freshwater Laboratory Complex, which was launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak on Oct 15.

This complex, located on 4ha of land granted by the Pahang State Government, will monitor the lake’s water quality. It was built by the East Coast Economic Region Development Council. This is part of the Government’s Strategic Implementation Plan for Tasik Chini up to 2025.

The CEO of the Tasik Chini East Coast Economic Region Development Council, Datuk Seri Jeba-singam Issace John, said real-time monitoring is supposed to ensure that any threat to the lake’s water quality from siltation, logging, mining and agricultural activities will be detected immediately.

“Seven water quality monitoring stations (telemetry stations) located at the major feeder rivers surrounding Tasik Chini have been built,” he said adding that this was in addition to other efforts like slope stabilisation, a fish nursery and lake clean-ups.

He claimed that this work has improved the overall water quality to Class II – up from Class III in 2008 – allowing recreational activities to be safely conducted here again. The goal is to improve the water quality to Class I by 2018, which is safe to drink without additional treatment.

This will also enable Tasik Chini to maintain its Biosphere Reserve status granted by Unesco (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation). Only two lakes in Malaysia have been awarded this status: Tasik Chini and Tasik Bera, both in Pahang.

The Pahang State Government has mooted a Special Area Plan to monitor and enforce lake rehabilitation works. The aim is to re-establish Tasik Chini as a premier ecotourism destination in time for Visit Pahang Year 2017.

Responding to questions on how effective enforcement has been, John said there is a special Tasik Chini Enforcement, Conservation and Maintenance committee headed by the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry.

“Enforcement will be a key initiative,” he said.



Now that the lake’s water is Class II – it’s alright for skin contact – the kids from nearby Kampung Cendahan often go for evening swims.

Head of the freshwater laboratory complex Prof Datuk Dr Mushrifah Idris said the water quality improvement has been a catalyst for recovery.

“The lotus iconic to Tasik Chini, which was under threat, was reintroduced and has helped revive the lake’s natural ecosystem,” she said, adding that the diversity of fish in Tasik Chini has also flourished.

Other initiatives by UKM are efforts to reduce river bank erosion and control sedimentation.

The three management zones – the core, buffer and transition zones created in adherence to Unesco’s Biosphere Reserve framework – each has its own level of eco protection and permitted human activities to foster balanced development.

UKM Deputy Vice Chancellor (Student Affairs and Innovation) Prof Datuk Dr Mazlin Mokhtar said balancing environmental needs and development is not easy, and plans to rehabilitate Tasik Chini until it becomes a leading ecotourism destination will ultimately benefit locals through jobs and business opportunities.

“What we have today is borrowed from the future, and in our culture, when we borrow something we have to return it in similar or better condition,” he said.

Tasik Chini challenges

There are still many unanswered questions regarding Tasik Chini’s future, said Prof Dr Maketab Mohamed, a former Malaysian Nature Society president, when contacted for comment.

While current rehabilitation efforts are a good step, he wondered if they were enough to solve existing problems.

“There are so many hectares of plantations around the lake, which are sources of water carrying excess fertilisers and pesticides,” he said.

This polluting water is high in nutrients (phosphorus and nitrogen), resulting in infestations of exotic plants like ekor kuching (which is distinct from the local species) that choke the lake.

Yes, real-time monitoring of the water quality is good. But the East Coast Economic Region Develop-ment Council and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) do not have the authority to stop the development of surrounding land or enforce regulations, as this comes under the state government, said Prof Maketab.

He recalled that there were about 20 or more nearby low-grade iron ore mines that discharged their wastewater, full of sediment, right into the lake. This continued until as recently as a few years ago, when prices declined as demand from China fell.

“The wastewater from chalets and the national service camps were also not treated well until academicians and NGOs complained, and then it was improved,” added Maketab.

“All these problems have been raised since 2012. It’s been four years and a lot seems to have been done, but there is still scepticism among some of us (academicians and NGOs) over the will to resolve these issues,” he explained.

“We have discussed these issues many times with the State Government. The watershed of Tasik Chini MUST be protected from development and only the orang asli should be allowed to develop the area as they are the original occupants.”


v A traditional dugout boat being made at Kampung Cendahan, Tasik Chini.

UKM Deputy Vice Chancellor (Student Affairs and Innovation) Prof Datuk Dr Mazlin Mokhtar said that the orang asli, particularly those from the Jakun and Semai tribe, have been engaged in lake conservation efforts. An Orang Asli Cultural Village and Handicraft Centre has also been set up.
v Maketab added that the goal to clean the lake until it had Class I drinkable water is “wishful thinking” and that a more “achievable target” is Class IIB (which allows for skin contact and, thus, water activities).

Another issue is the barrage (small dam) which was built on Sungai Chini, the river that connects the lake to the mighty Sungai Pahang. This was built after then Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamed visited the lake and commented that the water level was too low and that it should be raised.

Maketab recalled that the barrage was built in the mid 1990s despite objections from the Department of Drainage and Irrigation.

“The barrage blocks the natural flushing of Tasik Chini when Sungai Pahang has high water levels twice a year. That flushing used to remove pollutants and safeguard water quality. That is the negative hydrological impact,” Maketab said.

In addition, the natural flushing also brings in fish from Sungai Pahang to Tasik Chini and vice versa. “Ask the orang asli when the officials are not around and they will tell you they want the barrage removed,” said Maketab. “They say that was the start of their problems.”

Head of the lake’s freshwater laboratory complex Prof Datuk Dr Mushrifah Idris said that research on the impact of the barrage is being carried out to address the issue of natural flushing.

She also noted that the fish nursery at the lab has successfully conserved and increased the population of indigenous fish species.

“Therefore, whether there is backflow (flushing) from Sungai Pahang during the storm season or not, the fish population will still be conserved,” she said.

In addition to this, flushing may not be so crucial as Tasik Chini is surrounded by natural wetlands which act as a natural cleanser.

~News courtesy of The Star~

Sunday, November 27, 2016

预算案通过计划 东海岸铁路文冬设站

廖中莱:预算案通过计划 东海岸铁路文冬设站

交通部长拿督斯里廖中莱指出,东海岸铁路(ECRL)应是沿着原定计划的路线,在文冬县设站,计划是从雪州鹅唛综合交通总站经过彭亨文冬再通往文德甲以及东海岸。

他也是文冬国会议员,他是于今午到选区内的文冬美律谷土展区拜访问贫穷的垦殖民后向记者这么指出。

他说,中央政府很早以前都已经计划兴建有关铁路,最初是没有文冬站,过后特别向首相争取后,就拟定整个计划,而这计划也在最近的财政预算案通过。

“州政府日前回答州议员的询问时,而没有文冬站,这是州政府没有更新最新的计划,这是较早的计划,所以在文冬设立文冬站是铁定的。”

访问贫穷垦殖民

他说,今日访问6个各族贫穷病患者家庭是要了解他们的需要,并会全力给予他们支持和协助,并会通过福利团体或政府部门给予他们协助。

部长也分发米粮以及奶粉给予所需要协助的家庭。

陪同部长拜访贫穷病患者有马华文冬区会主席拿督英迪拉何启文上议员、马华美律谷支会主席叶成林等人。

政府耗资550亿令吉打造全长600公里的东海岸铁路,路线途径巴生港口、鹅唛综合交通总站、文冬、文德甲、关丹、甘马挽、格底、瓜拉登嘉楼、哥打峇鲁,终点站是道北。

~以上新闻转自中国报~

Friday, November 11, 2016

首10月盈额730万 彭民宿业收入冠全国

副旅游部长:首10月盈额730万 彭民宿业收入冠全国



来自国内的民宿业者,前来「马来西亚民宿嘉年华会」参展。

旅游及文化部副部长拿督玛丝艾米雅蒂透露,尽管面对经济低迷,但全马民宿业发展仍不俗,彭亨民宿业收入高居榜首,今年首10个月盈额超过730万令吉,不过,柔佛创下最多民宿入住人次,超过4万6000人次。

她说,去年我国的民宿业总收入达1570万令吉,今年截至10月,就有超过1705万令吉收入,增加9.5%。

她指出,彭亨的金马仑高原最受游客喜爱,本地游客达8万6728人次、外国游客852人次,民宿业者收入高达731万4174令吉。

甲排第5

她说,彭亨的民宿业收入最高,接着是砂拉越、沙巴、雪兰莪,马六甲排第5。

玛丝艾米雅蒂昨晚为“马来西亚民宿嘉年华会”主持仪式时,这么指出。在场的包括甲州旅游、河流、海滩及岛屿发展事务副行政议员拿督卡查里等。

该嘉年华会首次举办,吸引180来自国内民宿业者参与,其中还售卖各地的传统美食。

玛丝艾米雅蒂说,在该部注册下的民宿共有193间,至于民宿合法问题,这是地方政府权限。

她说,民宿发展潜能非常大,而不只是限于提供住宿。 “真正的民宿含意是让住客体验乡村或甘榜生活,让游客品尝道地的传统美食,而不是住了就离开。”

她说,有些业者误解民宿用意,其实经营民宿不需要太大成本,只需加强周围现有的资源即可,善用资源,共同推动以社区为基础的旅游,就足以吸引旅客到来,了解当地人的本土风情。

~以上新闻转自中国报~

土产特色多‧旅业依旧旺 少了榴梿 魅力不减

土产特色多‧旅业依旧旺 少了榴梿 魅力不减



■文冬姜的特色具有强大的吸引力,游客来到文冬一定要购买。

榴梿季节虽过,但文冬特色众多,依然可吸引大批游客到来观光,带旺了文冬。

尽管没有猫山王榴梿,但文冬一:样能够吸引游客到来旅游,因为文冬姜、文冬豆腐卜、文冬云吞面和文冬雪糕,一样名气远播。

目前,文冬市区巴刹都看到不少旅客到来,旅客除了购买土产,也品尝文冬各种美食,特别是广西餐也受欢迎。

武吉丁宜姜,也就是游客所称的文冬姜,由于种植地方环境良好,出产的姜也够纯够辣,别;地区的姜也不能媲美,因此这也是吸引许多游客到来观光的原因。

文冬巴刹姜贩张志康说,榴梿季节时,每天都有好几辆巴士驶进市区,有摆卖榴梿的摊位也带动了附近的档口。

文冬姜手信首选

他补充,虽然榴梿季节过了,但文冬姜也是游客的首选手信之一,平时假日时也有许多游客到来。

“各人喜好不一样,游客能为猫山王慕名而来,也有些会被文冬姜的特色而吸引。文冬旅游业在目前大力推动下,不会因为缺少了某样特色,导致游客不会再来,而目前旅客没有榴梿季节那么踊跃,但生意也很好。”

水果摊小贩张志兴说,市场行情还尚可以,偶尔也会有数辆巴士载游客到来,生意还是不错的。

他说,文冬还有许多特色可吸引游客到来,榴梿季节过去了只是一个过渡期,也不太过影响到小贩的生意。

建筑物古早味浓

★陈金美(家庭主妇,来自霹雳州)

首次来到这里旅游,觉得文冬特色繁多,附近的建筑物也有古早味,非常值得来观光的景点。

虽然目前没有榴梿,但文冬很闻名,我们都要来走走,吃文冬的美食,并感到值得到来。

尝美食爱豆腐卜

★林志坚(退休人士,来自霹雳州)

经常听朋友说,文冬豆腐卜有特别之道,专程跟旅游团来文冬看看,也顺便尝试其他著名的特产。

我们品尝了不少文冬美食,豆腐卜也获团员们的喜欢,也有不少人购买回去烹饪。

~以上新闻转自中国报~

Monday, October 17, 2016

餐饮业把握观光年商机 推地方美食吸引饕客

餐饮业把握观光年商机 推地方美食吸引饕客



■聚满楼推出蒸气火锅,以蒸煮肉食和新鲜海鲜为主打菜式,能品尝食物的原汁原味。

文德甲餐饮业推出地方代表性美食,以及创造美食新品牌,为把握观光年带来的商机,做好准备。


文德甲龙乡茶阁东主董则坤说,淡马鲁被喻为“巴丁鱼之城”,因此在这盛产巴丁鱼的地方,推出巴丁鱼相关食品,相信可吸引更多旅客慕名而来。


他受访时说,该店推出“龙乡巴丁黄金粥”,则采用巴丁鱼及金瓜熬粥,另外再配搭炸巴丁鱼、油条、江鱼仔、花生等小菜,健康且美味,希望能成为地方代表性食品。


董则坤也是淡属贩商同业公会主席,他呼吁区内小贩商家注重对待消费者的态度,本着“以客为先”理念,以及关注摊档或商店的卫生,以打造良好的旅游形象。


打造新品牌


文德甲聚满楼酒家业者郭启汶指出,为配合明年观光年,该店推出健康蒸气火锅及手打鱼丸、鱼滑为新配套,以打造独特美食新品牌。


“蒸气火锅以蒸煮肉食和新鲜海鲜为主打菜式,健康且能品尝食物的原汁原味,而手打鱼丸及鱼滑则是天然制作,绝无化学成分或防腐剂,是食客追求新鲜及健康饮食的好选择。”


郭启汶认为,在经济不景气时刻,彭州政府推介观光年,将为各行各业带来新商机,因此他将全力配合观光年的到来,把握时机作最大的冲刺。


拟增飞槟梳邦航班


关丹苏丹阿末沙机场管理层正与飞荧航空(Firefly),洽谈增加关丹直飞槟城航班次数,及增加关丹飞梳邦机场的航班。


机场经理祖基菲指出,他们目前正与飞荧航空洽谈,一切还未有定案。


“目前,飞荧航空的关丹直飞槟城,每周只有3趟,此外,还有马航的关丹直飞吉隆坡,每天各有3趟。”


祖基菲说,国际航班方面,目前只有关丹直飞台北及关丹直飞新加坡的航班。


他说,该机场于2014年展开装修及扩建工程,并于去年12月31日竣工。


“我们每年接待130万乘客人次,明年的彭亨观光年,在接待飞机乘客方面,相信不成问题。”


配合中国旅行社推广文冬景点


文冬县的旅游社及特产公司已开始提升各方面设施,以吸引更多游客到来文冬观光及消费。


文冬金航假日旅游旅行社负责人彭城葳指出,文冬的特色文化和美食土产的名气,已扬名海外,他也与中国的旅游社互相配合,以及推广文冬旅游景点。


“文冬特色卖点众多,包括有众多会馆、百年老庙以及各种道地美食,这也是游客来观光的首选旅游地区。”


彭城葳也希望文冬县旅游局及市议会,全面配合开发更多的特色景点为旅游区,游客逗留时间长了,自会增加消费能力。


他说,文冬特产包括蜂蜜、生态屋燕窝及灵芝系列等。


“其中文冬姜最畅销,我也尝试把文冬姜带出海外寻找商机,希望能把文冬特色推广出去。”


他说,因为文冬姜的名气,每逢假日时也吸引了许多游客的光顾。


此外,文冬Tras Mutiara酒店负责人黎小姐说,酒店有意组成专业团队,到文冬其他各景点拍摄照片制作成海报,展示在酒店内,也会寻找一些关于文冬旧街面貌照片,让游客们知道各景点的特色,同时回顾文冬的历史。


“希望到来住宿的游客,能够更加方便和清楚知道关于文冬过去的历史,和较少为人知的其他景点。”


黎小姐说,近几年文冬已经成为旅客热爱的旅游胜地,现在每个周末,酒店都会爆满,游客都是提前上网预定房间。


“特别是每逢周六晚的文化街,都是游客来到文冬必到地。”


~以上新闻转自中国报~

业者做好准备迎接游客 盼观光年 带旺彭亨

业者做好准备迎接游客 盼观光年 带旺彭亨



■阿南弗拉出动专业沙滩垃圾清理机,到关丹直落尖不叻海边展开清理工作,保持海滩的卫生。

2017年彭亨州观光年将至,各旅游业者已做好准备,等待旅游年开跑,以期从如今的淡市创出佳绩。

马来西亚导游理事会公关潘于涣说,彭州旅游业者包括导游、餐饮业者、交通业者及酒店业者等,已做好准备工作,并张开双臂欢迎游客到来。

据他了解,州政府上半年配合私人旅游业者,带着大批中国旅游代理到彭亨州,并取得不俗成果,吸引大批中国游客到来。

培训吉隆坡导游

“从今年底开始,中国游客将陆续来彭,我们的旅游配套中,有4天是在关丹旅游。”

潘于涣说,关丹市拥有很多卖点,包括林明彩虹瀑布、班珍山、关丹市区、直落尖不叻海边、黑沙滩、北根博物馆、珍尼湖、芝拉汀海边及海龟保育中心等。

“我们已培训不少吉隆坡导游,彭州目前有108名导游,如果届时不够应付,吉隆坡导游可伸出援手。”

较早前,彭州文化及旅游委员会主席拿督斯里莫哈末沙卡指出,彭州明年推行2017观光年,今年已办超过60项推动旅游的大小活动。

“去年,州政府从旅游业赚取1050万令吉的收入,政府将马不停蹄推广旅游业,以在明年达至赚取1500万令吉收入的目标。”

他说,旅游业促进地方经济,带动各行各业如酒店、餐馆、土产、纪念品商店等的发展,除了需政府大力推动,国民也应高度配合。

“国民倘若时时保持环境卫生、改善待人态度等,将给予外国游客良好的印象,并为我国塑造美好旅游形象及口碑。”

土产业者冀生意回升

如今行情不好,土产店营业额下跌介于20%至50%,业者期盼明年彭亨州观光年到来,并期望带动业绩。

关丹直落尖不叻海边一间土产店女员工迪娜(49岁)指出,近年来因行情不好,加上附近一家酒店暂关闭进行装修,使到营业额大跌,跌幅高达50%,希望观光年的到来可扭转局势。

她说,目前距离明年不到两个月,她们已经引颈长盼。

她也说,以过去的情况来看,其店所售,印有直落尖不叻字眼的锁匙圈,最受游客的欢迎。

“除了锁匙圈,其他手信如峇迪服装、手工艺术品及一些土产等,都受游客的欢迎。”

天皇海产女东主汤爱婷指出,其店目前的顾客,以本地熟客居多,游客生意只占30%,并多是国内游客。

“目前经济不景气,生意大受影响,比往年下滑了20%,希望观光年的到来冲激营业额,吸引更多外国游客到来。”

她说,一般上,游客来到关丹,多是选购咸鱼及江鱼仔,这些都是本地最著名的土产。

“咸鱼则以红鱼梅香(大眼鸡),最受游客欢迎。”

汤爱婷说,为方便游客带着手信回乡,其店提供真空包装及装箱包裹服务,让游客满载而归。

“以过去的经验来看,每位游客平均在我店消费约300令吉。”

提升公厕卫生留好印象

关丹市议会将努力打造卫生及美丽的关丹市,尤其是公共厕所,以期让游客留下好印象。

市议会主席拿督法兹拉于今年5月召开的常月会议说,市议会将做好整体的规划,打造更亮眼的关丹,除了市容环境,所有重点旅游区也须提升。

他说,尤其是公厕,扮演的角色相当重要,不能让外人留下坏印象,清洁程度必须受到重视。

酒店业提升设备培训员工

劳勿县酒店业者为明年彭州观光年做好准备了,包括提升设备及让员工接受专业培训,以更礼貌、友善及亲切的态度,迎接来自国内外各地的游客。

劳勿SEVENDAYSHOTEL少东刘俊靖(31岁)说,该酒店刚投入服务2年,3间3层的店屋共有39间套房,全部设备都很新颖,随时欢迎国内外游客入住。

他说,该酒店员工都受过专业培训,待人接物彬彬有礼。欣闻明年是彭亨旅游年,将提醒全体员工,以客为尊,为顾客提供更好的服务,吸引更多国内外游客到来住宿,游玩及消费,把钱留在劳勿。

该酒店一名员工说,过去2年,每逢榴梿盛产的季节,都有不少来自中国、台湾、新加坡及澳洲的游客,到来留宿数天,享用猫山王及游山玩水。

劳勿大旅店负责人陈先生(30岁)指出,该酒店位于大路边,泊车方便,加上接受网上订房服务,是许多国内外游客的首选,希望明年有更多游客到来,带动州内旅游业发展。

劳勿星光客栈董事主席徐志良(52岁)指出,该酒店及属下3间民宿,共有55间套房,价格公道,泊车位足,随时欢迎游客住宿。

他说,为了迎接彭亨观光年到来,他准备提升现有的设备,包括装修,使游客宾至如归,住得更舒适。

徐志良说,劳勿有很多大自然美景,包括白叶山瀑布及每年举办国际观鸟赛的福隆港。也有很多美食,包括手炒南乳咸香花生、猫山王及咖哩鱼头等,都是吸引国内外游客的特点,相信在州政府致力推动下,明年的州级旅游年将办得有声有色。

~以上新闻转自中国报~