Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Cameron Highlands Resort is now open!

Cameron Highlands Resort Hotel (formerly known as Merlin Inn) located opposite the Golf Course is now open! It looks really good after its refurbishment and renovation. I just can't wait to visit it but I will have to satisfy with the pictures for now until my next plan trip to Cameron Highlands.

Cameron Highlands Resort Hotel is now managed by YTL Corporation. Just to give you an idea, if you have been to JW Marriot Hotel, Starhill and lot 10 shopping center in Kuala Lumpur famous Sungai Wang shopping area, these buildings all belong to YTL Corporation. YTL Corporation has a tendency to do things in a grand fashion. So I suppose the brand new hotel will have a price tag to go with it if you intend to stay there.

Francis Teoh, the current MD and owner of YTL not only do things big, he does it with much pomp and fanfair. I was fortunate enough to attend his Russel Watson concert and celebration last year, it was done in such a fabulous grandiose.

So we shall expect Cameron Highlands Resort to be similarly of high standard and quality.

Below is more write up and info about the new hotel.

Kuala Lumpur, 25 April 2006

On March 27th 1967, an American businessman disappeared during a visit to the Cameron Highlands. The famous Thai silk king, Jim Thompson, was on a holiday in the highlands with some friends when he went for a walk. The mystery remains to this day and Jim Thompson's name comes alive again in the Jim Thompson Tea Room, set in YTL Hotels & Properties's brand new 56-room boutique property in the Cameron Highlands: Cameron Highlands Resort.

Enjoy English afternoon tea in an elegant setting at the Jim Thompson Tea Room.At the Jim Thompson Tea Room, the time-honoured tradition of English afternoon tea may be enjoyed in an elegant setting for the leisurely savouring of finger sandwiches, light-as-air pastries and home baked scones as well as fresh Cameron strawberries. Complementing this delicious spread is a wide-ranging selection of exquisite Cameron Highlands teas.

YTL Hotels & Properties, a leading luxury hotel developer and operator in Malaysia, today opens the doors to its third luxury resort in Malaysia. Cameron Highlands Resort is conceived to complement the luxury collection of world-renowned resorts such as Pangkor Laut Resort and Tanjong Jara Resort.

Located in the state of Pahang, approximately 200 km north of Kuala Lumpur, Cameron Highlands Resort is one of Malaysia's cool and picturesque hill stations, 1,467 metres above sea level, stretching along a plateau set high above the river valley.

Discovered by British surveyor William Cameron on a mapping expedition in 1885, the fame of Cameron Highlands grew during the colonial era. British expatriates would frequent the highlands to relax and escape the lowland tropical heat, and British planters soon realised the potential of its fertile mountain slopes for growing tea, then a prized commodity.

Today, Cameron Highlands is still home to many tea plantations, as well as strawberry and vegetable farms, jungle trails, cascading waterfalls and rose gardens. Much of the highlands' character remains unchanged, exuding an old English charm.

Set on a lush hillock fronting the golf course, Cameron Highlands Resort, with the tagline Trails, Tales and Tradition, is surrounded by flourishing greenery and rolling hills. The property embodies the charm, the adventure and gentility of that old world practised in the colonial lifestyle during the '40s and '50s.

In addition to the luxurious amenities and a level of service that symbolises the rich fusion of traditional English manners and discreet Asian hospitality, distinctive attributes of the boutique hotel include classic restaurants, a unique Spa Village with signature treatments based on ancient tea rituals and of course, the adjacent 18-hole golf course.

Expect a four-poster bed and cosy settees in the luxurious room.Designed and conceptualised to complement its highland setting, the hotel's interior resembles a genteel English colonial home, with welcoming fireplaces in the Reading Room and Highlands Bar. Its 56 rooms and suites boast a distinctive sense for style and comfort and look out to panoramic, unobstructed views of Cameron Highlands. Standard features include four-poster beds, seating areas with comfortable settees and armchairs, and luxurious bathrooms.

An array of dining experiences are set to attract locals as well as out-of-town guests. The Dining Room, with vista windows overlooking the golf course and an outdoor terrace, offers creative all day dining menus prepared using the freshest ingredients and local herbs and spices.

Gonbei, a spin-off of the exquisite traditional Japanese restaurant made famous in the ritzy Starhill Gallery in Kuala Lumpur, is open for dinner and serves sashimi, soba, tempura and bento sets. For leisurely evening cocktails over a game of snooker or the traditional stengah, the Highlands Bar is a warm and comfortable venue.

Cameron Highlands Resort also features the third wellness centre of the award-winning Spa Village, with a wide range of sophisticated treatments and healing therapies inspired by the restorative properties of tea. Each guest luxuriates in a signature tea bath before every treatment. The Cameron Highlands Spa Village offers tranquil indoor and outdoor treatment rooms, tea bath rooms and a fully-equipped gymnasium.

The hotel's Grand Ballroom will provide for intimate and exclusive social and corporate gatherings in an elegant setting for up to 200 persons. Complementing this facility is a range of seven other functions rooms. Professional banqueting and meeting planners are at hand to work with every organiser to ensure successful events held here.

With its magical hilltop location and cool refreshing climate, the boutique Cameron Highlands Resort will be the picture-perfect setting for the sophisticated traveller looking to escape humdrum routine and experience a sense of intimate country-style living with attentive yet unobtrusive service.

For reservations and enquiries, please contact YTL Travel Centre at (603) 2145 9000 or e-mail For more information on the Resort, log on to

Source article:

Want to know more about Jim Thompson?
See also:
The Mysterious case of Jim Thompson
Jim Thompson House in Bangkok
Cameron Highlands Resort

Looking for a place to stay in Cameron Highlands?
Look up the Cameron Highlands hotels, resorts, accommodations and apartments list.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Crackdown on use of fake insecticides

Crackdown on use of fake insecticides
Sunday April 23, 2006

CAMERON HIGHLANDS: Enforcement will be stepped up to check the use of illegal or fake insecticides on crops as it would affect the country’s reputation in exporting quality agricultural produce.

(from right) Mah, McGilivray and vegetable growers association chairman Tan So Tiok visiting an agricultural produce exhibition in Cameron Highlands on Friday.

(from right) Mah, McGilivray and vegetable growers association chairman Tan So Tiok visiting an agricultural produce exhibition in Cameron Highlands on Friday.
Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Datuk Mah Siew Keong said poor quality produce due to the use of fake insecticides might even hinder the country’s plan to become one of the main global food exporters by 2010.

“The use of these fake agrochemicals destroys the crops. In order to tap into foreign markets like Japan, West Asia or Western countries, we need to ensure the quality and safety of our produce,” he said after launching a manual on Good Farming Practices and Agriculture Chemical Safety here on Friday.

Mah said farmers didn't know that although the fake insecticides saved them money, they might contain harmful additives.

“We are stepping up enforcement to eradicate this problem. Some of these fake chemicals are produced locally and distributed through syndicates and we have identified a few,” he added.

Syngenta Crop Protection Sdn Bhd general manager John McGilivray, who attended the launching, said the use of such fake products was one of the biggest problems faced by the local agricultural industry.

McGilivray said that 15% of the RM420mil total market value of insecticides accounted for the fake products and the figure was rising.

On an unrelated matter, Mah said the Government was reviewing a proposal forwarded by some 10,000 farmers who asked for subsidised diesel, like the one currently given to fishermen.

The Federation of Malaysian Vegetable Growers Association proposed last December that farmers be given a “preferential diesel card” to alleviate the escalating production costs following the fuel price rise.

“We sympathise with them but as this involves a substantial cost, we need time to review the matter,” said Mah.

Source: The Star

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Landslide Early Warning System?

Ministry seeks more money

KUALA LUMPUR: The Works Ministry will ask for more funds to install early warning systems that can detect earth movement on hill slopes near the main highways nationwide.

Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said his ministry had earlier requested for RM168mil for the purpose but received only a small allocation.

As landslides occurred quite often during the current rainy season, the ministry would seek more allocations from the Government, he told reporters after opening a seminar here yesterday.

Samy Vellu said the Public Works Department had identified several hilly areas near the main highways, including along the North-South Expressway, Kuala Lumpur-Karak-Kuantan Expressway and federal highways that were prone to landslides.

“The early warning system supplied by local experts, will be installed on the slopes and if there are landslides, early information can be issued quickly and accurately for further action,” he said.

He was commenting on a landslide along a new bypass to Genting Highlands, known as the New Chin Swee Bypass last Thursday. The road has been closed temporarily.

Samy Vellu said Resorts World Bhd, the operator of the Genting resort and theme park, would build three retaining walls to reinforce the slope around the landslide area.

He said the operator had also temporarily closed all the buildings, including a temple and restaurant on the slope.

On another matter, Samy Vellu said part of the existing Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) Complex in Johor Baru would have to be demolished to make way for a straight road to connect the complex to the Causeway.

He said the ministry’s engineers sent to Johor to identify the route for the “very straight connection” from the new CIQ complex to the causeway had come up with the suggestion.

“The only problem we face now is that the present CIQ complex is obstructing the construction of the proposed road,” he said, adding that the new suggestion would be presented to the Cabinet on Wednesday for approval. – Bernama

Source: The Star

Friday, April 14, 2006

Mudslide danger not over

Mudslide danger not over
Friday April 14, 2006

IPOH: Beware of mudslides when you use the Kampung Raja-Pos Slim road to the Cameron Highlands. Motorists are warned that the incident along the stretch on Tuesday could recur.

Perak Public Works Department director Datuk Wong Wai Ching said he could not rule out this possibility along the ungazetted stretch, as logs and rocks from the hilltop that caused the mudslide had not been completely cleared.

“We have cleared the mud and debris from the road but not the logs and rocks from the 300-metre hilltop,” he told reporters outside the Perak state assembly here yesterday.

Wong added that the department had requested the Works Ministry to set aside some funds for immediate remedial works along the stretch.

He said clearing the logs and rocks at the top of the hill was costly but, in the meantime, the department would carry out aerial surveillance on the slope and hilltop from a helicopter.

Tuesday’s mudslide, which covered 30 metres of the road, was triggered by water retention at the hilltop due to logs being stacked there.

State Infrastructure and Public Utilities committee chairman Datuk Ho Cheng Wang had confirmed that logs and felled trees left behind by loggers caused the retention of rainwater and mud on the hilltop.

Trader S. Nareshkumar, 21, was nearly buried inside his car during the incident.

Source: The Star

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Highlands Road Reopened

Highlands road reopened
Thursday April 13, 2006

One lane at Km13 of the Kampung Raja-Pos Slim road being cleared for traffic at 6am yesterday. A mudslide made the road impassable on Tuesday.
One lane at Km13 of the Kampung Raja-Pos Slim road being cleared for traffic at 6am yesterday. A mudslide made the road impassable on Tuesday.
CAMERON HIGHLANDS: One lane at Km13 of the Kampung Raja-Pos Slim road where a mudslide occurred on Tuesday afternoon has re-opened to traffic.

“Both lanes will only be open once the slope is certified safe by the Public Works Department,” State Infrastructure and Public Utilities Committee chairman Datuk Ho Cheng Wang said yesterday.

Ho said the mudslide covered 30m of the Pos Slim-Lojin road.

The area recorded 30mm of rain on Tuesday, and the mudslide was triggered by water retention at the hilltop, he said, adding that the state JKR had asked the Works Ministry to get the Rural and Regional Development Ministry to check it.

“This is because the hilltop is not under the jurisdiction of JKR. Loggers had placed logs on the hilltop which caused the water retention,” he said.

Source: The Star

Camerons Mudslide Survivor

Mudslide survivor hopes to shake off phobia soon
Thursday April 13, 2006

CAMERON HIGHLANDS: Trader S. Nareshkumar, who escaped unhurt during a mudslide near here, will be staying off the ungazetted Kampung Raja-Pos Slim road until he musters enough courage to use it again.

“I will be using the old road via Tapah for the time being.”

Nareshkumar, 21, said he has always been fearful of landslides whenever he travels on the highway.

Nareshkumar explaining how he escaped unhurt during the mudslide near Cameron Highlands on Tuesday.
Nareshkumar explaining how he escaped unhurt during the mudslide near Cameron Highlands on Tuesday.

“I would always speed past Gunung Pass as I was afraid that the earth would come tumbling down from the steep slopes,” he said.

“I did the same thing on Tuesday but did not expect the mudslide 10km away.”

On Tuesday, Nareshkumar was almost killed when a mudslide at the 13th kilometre of the highway nearly buried his car.

Relating the incident yesterday, Nareshkumar said he stopped his vehicle, which he had taken delivery of just a week ago, when he spotted a boulder on the road.

“I wanted to reverse my car but there was another car blocking my way.”

He said he felt his car moving sideways and dashed out of it immediately because he sensed that a landslide was happening.

“I just ran for my life and thought I was going to die,” he added.

After surviving his worst fear, Nareshkumar, his mother A. Ramayee, 44, father S. Subramaniam, 46, brother Muniandy, 28, and sister Ratha, 24, performed a special prayer at the Subramaniam Temple in Tanah Rata here yesterday.

Source: The Star

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Mudslide at Cameron Highlands

Narrow escape for trader b
By Chan Li Leen
Wednesday April 12, 2006

CAMERON HIGHLANDS: Trader S. Kumar can only thank his lucky stars that he escaped unhurt when a mudslide occurred while he was travelling along the Kampung Raja-Pos Slim road to Simpang Pulai near Ipoh.

The 21-year-old managed to brake just in time to avoid being swept into a ravine by the mudslide, which occurred at the 13th kilometre of the Kampung Raja-Pos Slim road at 4.30pm yesterday.

His car was, however, half-buried as the debris came gushing down onto the highway, covering almost 800m of the stretch.

Fortunately for him, the railing that stopped his car from crashing into the ravine did not give way under the weight of the debris of mud, tree trunks and rocks.

MUDDY TASK: Workers clearing the debris at the 13th kilometre of the Kampung Raja-Pos Slim road near Cameron Highlands after a mudslide occurred at the stretch.
MUDDY TASK: Workers clearing the debris at the 13th kilometre of the Kampung Raja-Pos Slim road near Cameron Highlands after a mudslide occurred at the stretch.

The trader, who was the only motorist on that stretch of the road at the time of the incident, spoke to the media via walkie-talkie as he was at the other end of the mudslide.

According to EEC Sdn Bhd resident engineer Yong Loy, who was one of the first at the scene, Kumar could only sit and wait until rescuers got him out of his damaged car some 90 minutes later.

Yong said other motorists had reported the incident to him at his office in Gunung Pass, about 10km away.

EEC is the consultant engineer of MTD Construction Sdn Bhd, which has been awarded the contract to construct the Kampung Raja-Pos Slim road from here to Ipoh.

“We immediately deployed our workers and machinery to the scene to start clearing the debris and fallen trees,” he said.

Yong said the mudslide was not due to an existing cut slope.

“We believe it occurred at a catchment area at the top of the hill slope,” he said.

Perak Public Works Department director Datuk Wong Wai Ching said it was the first time a mudslide of such a magnitude had occurred along the highway.

“It is the worst as the affected stretch has cut off traffic flow completely,” he said.

Source: The Star

Monday, April 10, 2006

Students Hurt in Crash

30 students injured in crash
Sunday April 9, 2006

IPOH: Thirty students of Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris were injured when a university bus overturned at the 12th kilometre of Jalan Simpang Pulai, Cameron Highlands, near here last night.

A police spokesman said the incident happened during heavy rains at 9.30pm.

However, there were no serious injuries, he said.

The bus was taking the students from Cameron Highlands to their campus in Tanjung Malim. – Bernama

TURNED TURTLE: The campus bus which overturned and landed in a ditch during the return journey from Cameron Highlands on Saturday.
TURNED TURTLE: The campus bus which overturned and landed in a ditch during the return journey from Cameron Highlands on Saturday.

30 hurt in terror ride leave hospital
Monday April 10, 2006

IPOH: All 30 Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris students who were injured when their bus overturned and landed in a ditch in Cameron Highlands have been discharged from the Ipoh Hospital.

A check at the hospital showed that they only suffered light injuries and were discharged yesterday morning.

The students were on a one-day trip to Cameron Highlands when the incident took place during heavy rain at 9.30pm on Saturday.

An injured passenger, who declined to be named, said they were part of a three-bus convoy that left the highlands at about 7pm to return to the university campus in Tanjung Malim.

“At about 9.30pm, we heard the bus driver shouting that the brakes were not working,” he said.

Moments later, the bus landed in the ditch, he said, adding that he and the other victims climbed out of the bus on their own before help arrived.

The incident occurred at the 12th kilometre of Jalan Simpang Pulai.

Source: The Star