Wednesday, December 31, 2008

When mascots come out to play

When mascots come out to play
Wednesday December 31, 2008
By Jade Chang

CAMERAS clicked and flashbulbs popped as the “stars”, accompanied by a school band, posed and walked down the red carpet for the Genting Giant Mascot Party 2008 at the Genting Outdoor Theme Park.

The fun-filled event, themed The Wonderful World of Balloons, was hosted by Genting Theme Park’s own adorable mascots Tabby and Friends.

Larger than life: (From right) Captain Charlie, Abbie and Toby from Star Cruises, and Kimo were among the mascots featured at the event.
Larger than life: (From right) Captain Charlie, Abbie and Toby from Star Cruises, and Kimo were among the mascots featured at the event.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Malaysian food -- Pineapple Tarts

Malaysian favourite
Sunday December 14, 2008
By Faridah Begum

Sinful they may be but pineapple tarts are irresistible to us.

THERE is nothing more decadent than popping pineapple tarts into your mouth, one at a time. Imagine biting into buttery and crumbly pastry only to hit a soft centre of fibrous sweetness.

Pineapple tarts are certainly an all-time Malaysian favourite.

All year round, name any festival, and pineapple tarts is sure to be on hand or at least part of the baking plan.

How the cookie crumbles: Good pineapple tarts taste divine.
How the cookie crumbles: Good pineapple tarts taste divine.

It is difficult to imagine a festive table devoid of these luscious and absolutely sinful morsels of delight. No good host or hostess would be caught dead without them, either homemade or store-bought.

The origins of pineapple tarts is said to be truly Malaysian while the art of making the dough look like pineapples is something the Baba Nyonya have perfected.

Very popular in Malacca as a tourist must-have, it is next to impossible to miss the trays or containers of pineapple tarts on Jonker Street.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

About tea, Boh tea and tea tasting job

Care for a Cameron cuppa?
Saturday December 13, 2008
By Louisa Lim

Mention ‘tea’ and images of prettily dressed ladies sitting around a plate of dainty sandwiches spring to mind. But one company shows how tea is as manly as it gets.

It’s only 2pm but the sun is struggling to shine in Cameron Highlands. Shrouded in swirling fog, everything looks the same as it did several years ago, and yet it is different enough to make Jim Thompson turn in his unmarked grave.

For one, the highlands have been taken over by flies, which are having a good time hovering tirelessly over humans and food. Heaps of rubbish lay carelessly around, from the hills to the rivers to the roads.

The old, mould-encrusted buildings, meanwhile, look even older, but lack the rustic charm of age.

Nevertheless, there is still something special in that faux-English atmosphere which makes Cameron Highlands a favourite hideaway among city dwellers. They are, after all, willing to risk the stomach-churning ascent time and again in a bid to do nothing more than laze around over a cup of tea and scones.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Be alert on hillslopes

Be alert on hillslopes
Wednesday December 10, 2008
By Simon Khoo

KUANTAN: Residents living near hillslopes should alert local authorities if they spot any earth movements, says state Health, Local Government and Environment Committee chairman Datuk Hoh Khai Mun.

He said, due to a shortage in manpower, the local councils could not carry out regular inspections at all hilly areas.

“Due to the current rainy season, I urge all residents in hilly areas to be more vigilant as they are exposed to the danger of landslides.

“If there are any reports of earth movements, we will send in an inspection team and take the necessary action promptly,” he said in an interview.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Landslides in Malaysia this year

Landslides in Malaysia this year
Saturday, 6/Dec/2008

Dec 4 - 300 people were forced to evacuate two buildings when a landslide caused part of the retaining wall of a car park to collapse in Jalan Semantan, Kuala Lumpur.

Nov 30 - Two sisters were buried alive when a landslide hit their bungalow in Ulu Yam Perdana near Kuala Kubu Baru, Selangor.

Oct 22 - Tonnes of earth came crashing down a hill onto the grounds of the Taman Terubong Jaya apartments in Butterworth where over 1,000 residents were staying.

Oct 19 - Four families evacuated from houses along the banks of Sungai Kayu Ara in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, after landslide there.

Oct 17 - Two Indonesians were killed after they were buried alive by tonnes of sand in a landslide in Ganesan Quarry, Hulu Langat near Kajang, Selangor.

Oct 15 - A landslide after a downpour at Pinggir Bukit Segar, Cheras, Selangor caused a family to move out as they feared for their safety.

Sept 6 - Roads from the George Town to Teluk Bahang and Balik Pulau in Penang were cut off due to landslides and fallen trees.

Jan 17 - Two foreign workers were killed after they were buried in a landslide while working at a plantation in Cameron Highlands. -- The Star.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Hurdlers heading to the hills

Hurdlers heading to the hills
By Ng Wei Loon
Thursday December 4, 2008

AFTER a week-long break, the junior hurdlers under former Olympian Ishtiaq Mobarak are beginning to increase their workload in training over the year-end school holidays as they build up to face new challenges next season.

They will be heading to Cameron Highlands for a 10-day training stint on Dec 11 to go through the paces under more conducive weather.

Ishtiaq said they were aiming to complete 30 units of training over the period.

“They missed out on the outing last year but they are prepared and look forward to undergoing tougher sessions. We will be pushing them hard and they will have adequate time to recover during the Christmas and New Year break.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Taman Negara Eco-Challenge via Cameron Highlands

New route spurs sportsmen
By Nik Naizi Husin
Tuesday December 2, 2008

THE Banjaran Titiwangsa hilly crag from Cameron Highlands that narrows down to Kuala Medang was explored recently in the Taman Negara Eco-Challenge.

Spurred by the theme Trans-Titiwangsa, 56 participants from 14 teams and 20 others, including four women representing local and foreign media, found that their skills were put to the test in what was deemed the toughest race of the eco-challenge since its inception.

The event, organised by the Pahang Tourism Action Council (MTPN) and Temerloh Outdoor Sport Management and Service, was supported by Pahang Tourism Malaysia, state tourism agency Bukit Fraser Development Corpo­ration, Kuantan Municipal Council, Lipis District Council and Cameron Highlands District Council.

Uphill task: Singaporeans pariticipants running through the Boh Tea Plantation in Habu, Cameron Highlands, in the Taman Negara Eco-Challenge 2008 recently.
Uphill task: Singaporeans pariticipants running through the Boh Tea Plantation in Habu, Cameron Highlands, in the Taman Negara Eco-Challenge 2008 recently.

The challenge, an effort to promote Taman Negara’s popular flora and fauna in Pahang’s forestry areas, was in its third year.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Wild orchid found in Cameron Highlands

Wild orchid found in Cameron Highlands
By Christina Koh
Monday December 1, 2008

IPOH: The rare flowering of a mountain “leafless orchid” has sparked excitement among a group of friends who spotted it in the Cameron Highlands jungle of Gu­­nung Jasar, Tanah Rata.

Local environmentalist and or­­chid enthusiast Embi Abdullah, 60, said it had been five years since he had seen the Aphyllorchis montana or­­chid blooming in the area.

Commonly known as the “leafless orchid”, the plant only reveals itself when it flowers, producing a 1.2m tall stem of butter-yellow or­­chids with brown specks, he said.

“It is very difficult to find them because this mountain species usually flowers once every two or three years,” said Embi.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Medical college’s Class of 1958 gather in Cameron Highlands

Medical college’s Class of 1958 gather in Cameron Highlands
Thursday November 27, 2008

IN October 1952, over a hundred undergraduates enrolled to study medicine at the King Edward VII Medical College at the University of Malaya in Singapore.

It was a milestone for the university as it was the single largest batch of undergraduates thus far to enrol at the Faculty of Medicine.

Among them were 10 female freshmen (again the biggest number to date) and also for the first time a freshman from Terengganu and Sabah.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Boy falls off bus during field trip

Boy falls off bus during field trip
Sunday November 16, 2008

PUTRAJAYA: A 12-year-old boy was badly injured after falling off a bus when the emergency door accidentally opened during a field trip.

In the 9am incident yesterday, Hwo Hsien Hwang is believed to be leaning against the door at the back of the schoolbus.

Hsien Hwang, who recently sat for the UPSR exam at SRJK (C) Chin Ming in Tangkak, Johor, was thrown on the road as the door opened at Precinct 12. The bus driver stopped after the other children alerted him.

An ambulance took Hsien Hwang to Putrajaya Hospital where he was warded in the Intensive Care Unit. It is learnt that he broke both his arms and legs.

Hsien Hwang was with 78 students and seven teachers in two buses visiting Kuala Lumpur, Pulau Pangkor, Cameron Highlands and Genting Highlands.

Bus driver Mohd Isa Moh said he believed that Hsien Hwang was playing with the emergency door as the safety latch was unlocked. --- The Star News

Remains of RAF crew airlifted from jungle

Remains of RAF crew airlifted from jungle
By Ian McIntyre
Sunday November 16, 2008

KOTA BARU: The skeletal remains of 12 crew members of the British Royal Air Force flight KN630 who died in an air crash 58 years ago were removed from their jungle grave in Gua Musang late Friday.

The remains were exhumed on Thursday, placed in boxes and airlifted by a Nuri helicopter to the Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia forensic unit here.

Authorities are hoping the remains would belong to nine British military personnel and three Malaysians who perished during the height of the communist insurgency.

Awaiting identification: Army museum officer Kapt Zuraimi Abdul Ghani carrying the skeletal remains of the crew members Saturday.

The hospital will perform DNA testing and the results are expected to be ready in a month.

High adventure in Pahang

High adventure in Pahang
Sunday November 16, 2008

From the sandy white beaches to the highest peak in the peninsula, Pahang offers more than just a holiday. It gives an opportunity to be one with nature and to learn about the environment besides appreciating the natural heritage.


Long stretches of white sandy beaches on which one can just laze around and do nothing but enjoy and drink in the beauty of the sea. With turquoise blue waters and nice green hills across the horizons, it is a beautiful place to be to enjoy peace or alternatively to ride the rolling waves.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Tanah Rata assemblyman may join the Opposition

Tanah Rata assemblyman may join the Opposition
Friday November 14, 2008

CAMERON HIGHLANDS: Tanah Rata assemblyman Ho Yip Kap will join the Opposition if his application to rejoin the MCA is not approved in three weeks.

Ho, who contested the March general election as an independent in a three-cornered fight, said he could serve the people better under the MCA and Barisan Nasional.

“However, there has been no favourable response (to the application since April).

“I am tired of waiting and within the next three weeks, I will announce my decision.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Genting Trailblazer: one tough adventure race

One tough adventure race
By Stuart Michael
Wednesday November 12, 2008

TRIATHLETE Eugene Chan, who made his debut in the Genting Trailblazer at Awana Genting Highlands Golf and Country Resort (AGHGCR) last weekend, felt the competition was tougher than the triathlon.

Chan, an active triathlete for the past 10 years, said the trailblazer was more of an adventure race.

“It may be tough for the triathletes but fun for those who love nature and don’t mind getting wet and dirty,” he said.

Green the earth: Struys (centre) with Sieh (left) and Mohamed Amin Osman planting a tree just before the race was flagged off at Awana Genting Highlands.
Green the earth: Struys (centre) with Sieh (left) and Mohamed Amin Osman planting a tree just before the race was flagged off at Awana Genting Highlands.

The participants went through a series of obstacles to finish the race and in the process, they had to brave through muddy terrains and hill-climbing.

“The toughest part for me was to climb the waterfall because my shoes were filled with mud and it was slippery. Running was not a problem but the high altitude made it difficult to breathe,’’ said Chan.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Plan needed to sustain tourism spots

Plan needed to sustain tourism spots
Friday November 7, 2008

CAMERON HIGHLANDS: A master plan is needed to ensure that tourism projects are run without sacrificing the environment.

The Tengku Mahkota of Pahang, Tengku Abdullah Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah, said it would be a waste of money and efforts if tourism plans end up destroying the environment.

Tengku Abdullah cited as an example the tourist-popular Cameron Highlands in Pahang which is known for its cool temperature but is facing destruction because of too much development.

“Tourists come here (Cameron Highlands) for its natural environment and if there is too much development and high-rise buildings, sooner or later it will affect the environment. In time to come, fewer visitors will come here,” he said after flagging-off the participants in the Pahang National Park Eco-Challenge here yesterday.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Family in seventh heaven with contest win

Family in seventh heaven with contest win
Sunday November 2, 2008

TAMPIN: Seven proved to be a lucky number for a family here.

The seven put their heads together and came up with seven winning entries for the seventh week of The Star 8 Wonders “Rank and Win” contest.

Retiree Soon Poh Suan, 55, said the winners, who include her husband Lim Eng Kian, 54, son Eu Jern, 20, daughter, Pei Shen, 28, sister, Poh Lean, 49, brother, Seong Khim, 39, and her daughter’s boyfriend Heng Aik Jong, 28, decided they would stand a greater chance of winning if they worked together on the entries.

“We brainstormed and agreed upon a common solution before sending out our entries. We’ve been at it since Week One,” said the former teacher.

“We felt there was no point in splitting up the entries or giving different answers and true enough our decision has paid off.”

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Kuala Kubu Baru Flyingrhino Guest House Ecotours

Bliss in Kuala Kubu Baru
By Rose Yasmin Karim
Saturday November 1, 2008

Close to Kuala Lumpur and closer still to some white water action, Kuala Kubu Baru is a place to play hard and rest well.

There are some things that Kuala Lumpur, for all its attractions, cannot compete with Kuala Kubu Baru — namely, the air that’s noticeably fresher, quiet waterfalls and the absence of a single chain café.

Testament to the outdoor possibilities of this small town are the number of SUVs with offroad bicycles strapped to the roof that make a beeline here.

Larry and Anna co-own The Flyingrhino Guest House & Ecotours in Kuala Kubu Baru.
Larry and Anna co-own The Flyingrhino Guest House & Ecotours in Kuala Kubu Baru.

Living their dream in this beautiful place is Larry Swccato, 37, and Anna Pierrot, 27. Free-spirited in the way you wish your friends were, the European couple are the co-owners of The Flyingrhino Guest House & Ecotours.

“It’s a full house today. There’s a funeral going on next door and some of our neighbour’s relatives and friends are staying over,” said Larry, ushering me into the double storey, pre-WWII shophouse painted a bright orange.

Tacked to the door are red scrolls, a Chinese tradition that carry messages of luck and prosperity.

“These were given to me by the lion dancers during the official opening ceremony of the guesthouse. It looks very nice, so I’m keeping it there for awhile,” said the Mandarin-speaking Italian, who had lived in China for a decade.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Bario Highlands: Kelabits want access

Kelabits want access
By Stephen Then
Friday October 31, 2008

MIRI: The minority Kelabit community in the Bario highlands of northern Sarawak will ensure that the building of a 300km mountain-logging road will not destroy the terrain’s ecosystem, said the Kelabit National Association.

Part of the Bario highlands, located near the Sarawak-Kalimantan border, had been alienated for selective logging, said association president Gerawat Gala.

He said the logging project had the blessings of his community members who lived all over the highlands.

They had given approval to timber giant Samling Corporation to manage this long, winding logging road from the summit of Bario to Miri, said Gala.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Borneo Highlands Resort Bird Watching

Bird watchers enthralled by exotic species at mini bird race event
By Sharon Ling
Photos by Rapee Kawi
Tuesday October 28, 2008

BIRD lovers flocked to the Borneo Highlands Resort near here recently to take part in an inaugural bird watching competition.

Dubbed the “Mini Bird Race”, the event was organised by the resort and the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) to promote bird watching and bird conservation in Sarawak.

Look at that: Participants at the bird watching event at Borneo Highland Resort.
Look at that: Participants at the bird watching event at Borneo Highland Resort.

Sixteen teams of two people each participated in the race, which took place on the jungle and mountain trails around the resort.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The best thing of Smokehouse Hotel and Restaurant

The best thing
By Clara Chooi
Saturday October 25, 2008

You can get a taste of ye olde England in Cameron Highland’s colonial-styled Smokehouse Hotel.

IT is not often that I am rendered speechless, least of all by a tourist destination in my own country, but the words failed me when I stepped into the Smokehouse Hotel.

I wondered if I had just stepped back in time.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Genting Highlands Safari Discotheque

Genting Highlands - City of Entertainment
Friday October 24, 2008

KL-ites looking for a change from the usual KL party scene can opt for a short trip up to Genting - City Of Entertainment as the hilltop resort is revived with the Hip Hop and R&B sounds of one of KL’s hottest, DJ Augie! Best known in the party circuit for integrating the energy of hip-hop and reggaetton, interweaved with the soulful depth of R&B. He will be spinning his brand of music at Genting Hotel’s Safari Discothèque together with resident deejay - DJ Komodo, nightly. Safari Discotheque is open from 9pm - 3am on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. On Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Eve of Public Holidays the discotheque closes at 4am. Admission on weekdays are RM25 (House Guest) / RM30 (Walk-In Guest. Ladies get in free. Admission on Saturday are RM30 (House Guest) / RM35 (Walk-In Guest) with free entry for ladies until midnight. For inquiries, contact the resort’s general line at 603 6101 1118 or visit --- The Star

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

British RAF Douglas Dakota KM630 crashed 1950

Police trying to trace kin of trio killed in 1950 crash
By Ian McIntyre and C.A. Zulkifle
Wednesday October 22, 2008

GUA MUSANG: Police are seeking the help of Malaysians to trace the next-of-kin of three citizens who perished when a British Royal Air Force (RAF) Douglas Dakota KM630 crashed in 1950.

The military aircraft, which crashed in the Kuala Betis-Cameron Highlands area, was on a mission to identify communist hideouts.

The information obtained by the police museum division has been sketchy and incomplete, hampering efforts to trace the surviving relatives of the three Malaysians, killed alongside eight British air force and army officers.

The three were Royal Federation of Malaya police constable Mohamad Abdul Lalil @ Jalil, service number 9364; an unnamed orang asli; and a civilian Yaakup Mamat, who was an officer with the Kelantan government.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Malaysian travel style

Malaysian travel style
Saturday October 18, 2008

Online accommodation website discovers that Malaysian travellers are sociable and adventurous.

Malaysian travellers don’t like to skimp on accommodation, love pampering and want to explore new places when they travel, according’s survey of more than 200 respondents.

According to Malaysian manager, Rani Vaithlingim, “Malaysians are keen travellers and increasingly book their accommodation through, so we wanted to find out exactly what they look for when they travel.

“It was great to see how adventurous and easy-going most respondents are and encouraging to note their pride in Malaysia and keenness to explore their own country,” she added.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Big search for military aircraft downed in 1950

Big search for military aircraft downed in 1950
Thursday October 16, 2008

KOTA BARU: History will be made in Gua Musang several weeks from now when a joint search and recovery effort is launched to retrieve the bodies of the crew and wreckage of a downed military aircraft, which crashed near the Kuala Betis-Cameron Highlands in 1950.

The Royal Air Force (RAF) Douglas Dakota KM630 aircraft had crashed at the height of the communist insurgency and records from the British and Malaysian military, indicate that there were 12 crew members on board.

The 12 comprised three RAF pilots, six British army officers, one Royal Malaysian police constable, one orang asli and a Kelantan Development Corporation civilian officer.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Rubbish all over highlands during holidays

Rubbish all over highlands during holidays
Wednesday October 8, 2008

OVER the recent Hari Raya festive season, Cameron Highlands, which is among the favourite holiday destinations, was swarmed with tourists.

We welcome tourists as directly or indirectly, the majority of the people here are involved in the tourist business.

Tourists bring in the money but at the same time they bring us a lot of headache too. One of their very bad habits is throwing rubbish everywhere.

You can see rubbish by the road side, gardens and staircases. Some even leave their bags of rubbish along the corridors of apartments. You can even see them throw rubbish out of their car windows while driving around.

The other irritating thing is creating havoc at the apartments such as making loud noises till very late into the night and having a BBQ along the corridors and having the smoke enter into neighbouring units.

I would like to appeal to all visitors to please help keep Cameron Highlands clean by not throwing rubbish around.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Globetrotter Wildlife Guidebook Malaysia

Guide to our natural gems
Saturday October 4, 2008
By Leong Siok Hui

The latest guidebook to hit our bookshelves showcases Malaysia’s stunning wildlife reserves and natural heritage.

Taman Negara and Kinabalu Park aside, most Malaysians and foreign tourists have never set foot on some of Malaysia’s most astounding natural treasures, like Sabah’s Maliau Basin, Perak’s Royal Belum State Park, and Sarawak’s Batang Ai National Park.

Nine out of 10 people I’ve spoken to have never even heard of the smaller but equally intriguing parks like Sarawak’s Lambir Hills National Park or Sabah’s Tabin Wildlife Reserve. But thanks to Wildlife Guide Malaysia, we now have a good overview of what the country has to offer in terms of natural heritage.

Detailed description: The latest guidebook to hit our bookshelves, Wildlife Guide Malaysia features 19 national parks scattered around the country, highlights their unique attractions and spectacular flora and fauna.
Detailed description: The latest guidebook to hit our bookshelves, Wildlife Guide Malaysia features 19 national parks scattered around the country, highlights their unique attractions and spectacular flora and fauna.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Tea Time at YTL Cameron Highlands Resort

It's 3.30 pm in the Cameron Highlands, which rise some 5000 ft above sea level and are reached by a vertiginous four-hour drive winding up through the jungle from the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur. The landscape up here seems otherworldly; with high ridges as far as the eye can see covered in strangely vivid, clipped bushes which at first resemble either a vast art installation by the likes of sculptor-in-nature Andy Goldsworthy or maybe a place J.R.R. Tolkien might have imagined for his orcs and elves.

Then the eye is drawn to a different silhouette atop one of the bright green slopes, which, as one gets closer, is revealed to be a table shaded by a vast parasol. Beneath it stands a waiter in a starched white uniform. Laid out on a damask cloth are bone china cups along with finger sandwiches and home-baked scones; all in all a spread that would not look out of place at the London Ritz. Behold the "afternoon tea picnic" prepared by YTL's the Cameron Highlands Resort Hotel and served on a working tea plantation. The hotel also offers tea planter guided walks and, before every treatment on its spa menu, a detoxifying, skin-softening bath in cold tea.

High Tea in Malaysia: Tea tourism attracts travelers to the Cameron Highlands Resort, where classic tea service is provided right on the plantation grounds.
High Tea in Malaysia: Tea tourism attracts travelers to the Cameron Highlands Resort, where classic tea service is provided right on the plantation grounds.

Tea Tourism is a growing niche, confirms Caroline Grayburn, of Tim Best Travel, a London-based travel agent known for planning unusual, bespoke trips. "An interest in tea can take you to the exceptionally beautiful Darjeeling in the northeast of India, or to Kerala in the south, or even to Uganda and Malawi in Africa. Our clients are keen to get beneath the surface of a country and see how it works and of course being served afternoon tea in ravishingly lovely hill country, well, what could be more glorious?" she adds.

Joe Simrany, president of The Tea Council of the USA, who has also stayed on breathtaking tea plantations in China and Sri Lanka, agrees. "There's nothing like waking up at the top of the world, with only the noise of birds and monkeys."

Those who love tea are fortunate that the camellia sinensis, the plant from which all tea — whether black, green, white or Oolong — is derived (except of course peppermint, chamomile or fruit teas, which are not strictly teas at all) is inherently picturesque; especially when viewed from a cane armchair on a shady veranda.

As for the round-the-world rituals of tea, the precision of tea making is fascinating to observe — from the Chinese style to the wonders of Japanese tea ceremony. Even English-style Afternoon Tea — accompanied by finger sandwiches and freshly-baked scones — is enjoying a considerable revival. In modern Britain where workers sup their afternoon "cuppa" on the go, the tea break may be a thing of the past, yet going out for afternoon tea has, perversely, never been more popular. At Fortnum & Mason, the Piccadilly store which started selling loose leaf tea in 1707, the instore restaurants alone brew 40 kilos a week; that's 3,600 pots or about 7,200 cups.

"There's a certain ceremony to tea," says Simon Burdess, Fortnum & Msaon's trading director. "It's the absolute opposite to the morning shot of espresso. It has its protocols, it's about slowing down and taking a moment from the hustle of the modern world, which, these days, seems the ultimate luxury."

The French took to tea in 1636, eight years before it arrived in England and what were then Britannia's colonies in the Americas. Afternoon tea, French style, (accompanied by macaroons or madeleines, but never with milk) has been enjoying a considerable renaissance too, which some attribute to Sofia Coppola's 2006 movie, "Marie Antoinette", where the Queen and her friends taking tea was portrayed as an 18th century equivalent of the Carrie Bradshaw and the girls with their Cosmopolitans.

In India, the source of much of the world's tea, the ceremony of afternoon tea used to be considered a throwback to the Raj, "yet recently, my girlfriends and I have rediscovered The Willingdon Club in Mumbai for the full afternoon tea," says Sheetal Mafatlal, the president of Mafatlal Luxury, which has the Valentino franchise in India.

Afternoon Tea Picnic: An employee of the Cameron Highlands Resort prepares a table for classic high tea service. The hotel also offers guided walks of the plantation and a includes a cold tea bath as part of its spa menu.
Afternoon Tea Picnic: An employee of the Cameron Highlands Resort prepares a table for classic high tea service. The hotel also offers guided walks of the plantation and a includes a cold tea bath as part of its spa menu.

Such fashionability makes it tempting to call tea the new coffee, although this would be ridiculous from a historical perspective, given that an emperor in ancient China (or more likely, his servant) first threw boiling water onto plucked leaves some 3,000 years before Arabian traders decided to boil up the coffee beans they had gotten from Ethiopia. Worldwide, tea is far more popular than coffee (except in the US, where it also trails behind soft drinks, beer and milk). Yet while Arabica certainly has its aficionados and people all over the globe are now familiar with the "Tall, Grande, Vente" lingo of Starbucks, "there are literally thousands of different types of tea to discover, according to the Tea Council's Simrany.

The taste of the four main types of tea varies according to how the leaf is treated before it is dried: hence white tea, which comes from the tips, tastes different from black tea, where the leaves have been wilted, rolled and fermented and which is again different from Oolong, where the fermenting process is arrested half way through. Green tea leaves are dried fresh from picking. Add to this first and second flush, which refers to when the leaves were picked; then geographical origin from robust, malty Assam in India to light, bright Dimbula Ceylon, from Sri Lanka. There is leaf size to consider too and here, the term "Orange Pekoe" has nothing to do with oranges, but instead denotes whether the leaf is a bud, even the very tip of a bud.

Good tea, like fine wine, carries the character of the land where it is grown. The world's top traders employ tasters, who are rather like perfumers, except they must juggle with flavor as well as aroma to mix extraordinary blends. "We have two people here who can identify tea virtually to the hillside on which it was grown", says Fortnum & Mason's Burdess, "and that simply isn't possible with coffee where so much of the flavor comes from the roasting."

Time Magazine. September 15, 2008 issue

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Taiwanese Voluntary Work in Cameron Highlands

Taiwanese come to Malaysia to do voluntary work
Saturday September 6, 2008

IT WAS a meaninful trip for 12 Taiwanese students and their teachers, who came to Malaysia to take part in some community services.

The students, who were members of the International Community Service Team from the Chinese Culture University in Taipei, were in the country for 12 days recently meeting local social workers and lending their service.

Social worker Wendy Yap introduced them to several orphanages and old folks homes in Kajang before bringing them to Cameron Highlands, where they mingled with the orang asli and delivered food items.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Traders in Brinchang has no cause for concern

No cause for concern
Thursday September 4, 2008
By Clara Chooi

TRADERS at the Brinchang market in Cameron Highlands can be rest assured that their business licences will not be revoked.

Cameron Highlands District Council secretary Mohd Pauzi Abu Hussaini said the council had never made any plans to revoke their trading licences.

“We received a letter from their lawyer telling us they are upset that their licences will be revoked and that they have nowhere to go,” he said.

He said the claims were unfoun-ded and the council had never brought up the matter.

Mohd Pauzi said he had no idea why the traders were suddenly plagued with such a wor- ry.

More than 20 traders there had alleged that the council planned to revoke their temporary trading licences once the row of shop units in front of the market was completed.

Market trader Ridhuan Lai Ab-dullah, 29, said without the licen-ces, he and other traders had now-here to go.

“We heard that once the buil-ding is ready, we have to move out. We also heard that the shop units will be rented out to other traders and we won’t have the first option to lease it,” he add- ed.

He claimed that the move was unfair as many of them had been operating there for more than 20 years.

The traders are also worried that the main road passing through Brinchang will be turned into a one-way street.

The council had changed the traffic flow for four months last year but reverted it back to its original route shortly before the general election in March.

“Now, we are worried that they may change the route again,” Ri-dhuan said.

He said that should the one-way street be re-imposed, those heading towards Brinchang from Ringlet would not even pass through the town market.

He said when the council chan-ged the traffic flow previously, their business had suffered about 40%.

Mohd Pauzi said the council had no plans to reintroduce the traffic system. -- The Star Metro.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Enduring Charm of Fraser's Hill

Enduring charm
Wednesday September 3, 2008
Over a Cuppa by Hoo Ban Khee

Fraser’s Hill has managed to retain its character over the years.

MANY travel brochures describe Fraser’s Hill as the “Little England” of Malaysia. It is an idyllic and tranquil resort perched on top of the Titiwangsa mountain range some 1,500 metres above sea level.

There are scores of colonial-style stone houses scattered in the lush tropical forests of the seven hills that form the mountain resort.

Of course, a few century-old Tudor-style stone houses perched on hilltops are not enough to justify that claim – even if the weather up there is pleasantly cool and crisp.

Nonetheless, all these years, Fraser’s Hill has managed to retain its character and remains a pristine hill resort, an ideal escape from the sweltering heat and hustle and bustle of the city life in Kuala Lumpur.

Along the same mountain range, Cameron Highlands has been ravaged by over-development and Genting Highlands has become even more commercialised, but Fraser’s Hill remains a balm for tired souls.

Admittedly, there is nothing much one can do in Fraser’s Hill except rest and enjoy the peace and quiet. Here there is no pressure to look for the best restaurant or the best shopping arcade or even the hottest discotheque.

Unless you are a golf enthusiast, a keen bird-watcher or enjoy jungle-trekking, there is nothing much you can do except to spend quality time with your family which many busy parents have missed doing.

Fraser’s Hill is about two hours’ drive south of Kuala Lumpur – an hour to Kuala Kubu Baru at the foothill and another 40 minutes or less to the hilltop. It’s not too far for a holiday and it used to be very popular with the locals – and Singaporeans – before Genting Highlands came into the picture.

If you are from the Klang Valley, it is closer than Cameron Highlands. Because of its accessibility, many are regular visitors as accommodation is affordable.

To stay in one of those colonial-style bungalows is quite an experience as most of them have fantastic views overlooking deep valleys.

My recent holiday there was like a trip down memory lane. Many old timers have good memories of the restaurant at the Rest House at the Gap, a half-way stop before reaching the peak.

The restaurant was once run by a Hainanese family and in true tradition, they served excellent Western cuisine. From the Gap, one can either take the winding road to the hilltop or continue the journey to Bentong and Kuala Lipis in Pahang.

Before the new road up the hilltop was built, cars had to line up and wait for their turn to go up as the old road was too narrow for two-way traffic. Cars going uphill could do so during odd hours and those coming down travelled during even hours.

While waiting, most tourists took the opportunity to have their meals at the Gap and freshen up after the long drive.

Years ago, there were one or two coffee-shops operating opposite the Rest House further down the road. They served local fare and their curry laksa was one of the best.

My recent trip was quite a disappointment. The Rest House was boarded up for renovation and the old coffee-shops were gone.

I was told that the new road had been closed for a year or so because of a major landslide and would take a while to reopen.

And so we had to go uphill using the old road. A long queue of cars was waiting and there was not much one could do. A burger stall by the guardhouse did roaring business as stomachs growled. It had a captive market.

When we arrived at the hilltop, we realised that except for the private hotels and resorts, almost the whole town comprising a few shops and eateries was under renovation.

It was quite empty and so we drove round the area searching for interesting places to visit.

To our dismay, we found that most bungalows at the best locations are now owned by big corporations or utility companies.

Where once visitors came and enjoyed the breathtaking views, these bungalows are now out of bounds to the public. Big signs at the gate warn against trespassing.

Unless you have booked into one of those hotels or resort apartments, all that is left for you to enjoy is a little playground where visitors were having some fun with their children.

Still, we enjoyed the cool weather and tranquillity.

Fraser’s Hill was named after Louis James Fraser, a Scottish whose original idea was to explore for gold. Instead, he found tin and made a fortune mining tin using Chinese coolies.

It was only in 1922 that the town was named after him. At that time what is now Ye Olde Smokehouse was used as a Red Cross convalescent centre for injured British soldiers. Those days mules were the only means of transportation.

Fraser disappeared mysteriously after making all his money.

Fraser’s Hill still retains its old name although many towns and cities have their names changed to reflect a more nationalistic character.

Fraser’s Hill is an established name and a strong brand. It has a personality and let’s hope it will stays that way. -- The Star Lifestyle.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Check fertiliser and pesticide prices, Government urged

Check fertiliser and pesticide prices, Government urged
Tuesday September 2, 2008

KUANTAN: While welcoming the abolishment of import duty on fertiliser and pesticides as an-nounced in Budget 2009, Cameron Highlands vegetable farmers urged the Government to monitor prices of the products.

Cameron Highlands Malay Far-mers Association chairman Syed Abdul Rahman Syed Abdul Rashid said he was worried that importers benefiting from the incentive would continue selling the items at high prices.

He said the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry should monitor prices of imported fertiliser and pesticides and the association was willing to help.

The association wants fertigation fertiliser for tomatoes and strawberries to be reduced in view of the drop in fuel prices to ease the burden of farmers affected by high input and production costs, he said.

Syed Abdul Rahman, who is also Federation of Cameron Hig-hlands Farmers Associations secretary, said the price of cabbage had gone up to 95 sen per kg from 67 sen after the fuel price rise.

“We have been selling cabbage at a loss to wholesalers at 80 sen per kg,” he said.

Federation of Malaysia Vege-table Growers Associations secretary-general Chay Ee Mong said, besides ensuring prices of fertiliser and pesticides were lowered, the Government should provide incentives such as fertiliser and diesel subsidies to increase productivity.

“After 15 years, the Government listened to us and abolished the import duty on fertiliser and pesticides. We are grateful,” he said. - Bernama

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Farmers: Give out incentives fairly

Farmers: Give out incentives fairly
Saturday August 30, 2008

THE RM5.6bil provided under the National Food Security Policy for incentives to help agriculture entrepreneurs is good news to the Federation of Vegetable Sellers Associations.

However, its adviser Datuk Yeoh Chip Tong said in George Town yesterday that the incentives must be distributed fairly to all who genuinely deserve it regardless of race.

The incentives are meant to encourage higher agriculture output among agriculture entrepreneurs. More than 1,300ha of abandoned land has been identified for padi, fruits, vegetables and livestock.

About 350,000 vegetable and fruit growers, as well as aquaculture and livestock breeders, will benefit.

Yeoh said consumers would reap the most benefit with the introduction of such incentives.

With the incentives, Yeoh said he hoped to see more participation from various races in the sector as currently there are still segregated groups in the sector with the Chinese growing fruits and vegetables and the Malays growing padi.

On the RM1bil allocation which will assist 220,000 padi farmers, Yeoh said it was insufficient compared to other sectors which had secured a bigger slice in the 2009 Budget.

The move to abolish import duties on fertilisers and pesticides has met with mixed reaction from farmers in Cameron Highlands.

Federation of Malaysia Vegetable Growers Association secretary-general Chay Ee Mong said in Ipoh that any measure to reduce the operating cost of farmers was most welcome.

While the import duties for fertilisers and pesticides varied, Chay said farmers would be saving RM100 for every metric tonne of fertiliser costing RM2,000 if its import duty had been at 5%.

However, Cameron Highlands Flower Floriculture Association chairman Lee Peng Fo said that taking away the import duty translated to nothing.

“Instead, the Government should control the price of fertilisers and pesticides because importers are buying them cheap but selling to us dear,” he said.

Lee also said that farmers would have been happier if the Government had offered them help in the form of subsidies.

“In the last Budget, the Government had brought down our electricity charges. This time there is nothing for us.” -- The Star

Monday, August 25, 2008

Fun in the hills (for seniors)

Fun in the hills
Monday August 25, 2008
By George Lee

Life can be lived with gusto, even in one’s senior years.

WHO says seniors have to sit in one corner alone and stare at the “lost” horizon day in, day out, and miss out on all the fun? Given the opportunity, we love to get around and socialise.

I look forward to the weekly fellowship on Saturdays. Seniors with cars often bring one or two new friends along. Those without transport wait for the van – driven by volunteers – to pick them up.

The tea plantations of Cameron Highlands are a big draw for tourists.
The tea plantations of Cameron Highlands are a big draw for tourists.

After a breakfast, we socialise, exercise, sing and dance or do whatever it takes to get the old self ticking again.

All too soon, it’s time for lunch, which is about 12.30pm, and then it’s “bye till we meet again next week”.

Those who are active and mobile look forward to outdoor activities and visits. Then there are much-awaited yearly trips to Cameron Highlands to savour the cool outdoors and enjoy the scrumptious seafood.

Our last trip there a few months ago was a huge success. We had fun sightseeing, playing games, shopping and feasting.

With the new highway, it was not necessary to leave Penang late in the night and spend hours travelling uphill from the Tapah exit. Now it’s an early start at 6am from Penang Island. We headed to Butterworth for breakfast, and had lunch later along the way.

Have your pick of fresh strawberries from the farm.
Have your pick of fresh strawberries from the farm.

Shortly after Ipoh, we took the Simpang Pulai exit and headed for the hills. From there the drive up was smooth and pleasant. The road is less winding and wider than the old route from Tapah.

The half-way stop provided the opportunity to stretch our legs and, for some, the much-needed toilet break and tea. That’s the beauty of it. Organised by seniors for seniors, all our needs were looked into.

We had a great time together. The weather was pleasantly cool. We did lots of shopping, too. Seniors may be slow in some things but when it comes to shopping and getting the best bargains, we are at our most active. During that time, nothing else matters. One nearly missed the bus home.

One is never too old to learn new things. We visited a tea plantation and saw how tea was harvested, processed and packed, and we were served tea with cakes and scones.

We sampled the honey from the bee farm, and bought freshly harvested vegetables and strawberries from the farms that we visited.

Life can be as interesting as we make of it. There’s really no time to sit and mope at home. If you’re feeling bored and lonely, you are most welcome to our weekly fellowship.

Senior is a fortnightly page dedicated to senior citizens. We welcome real-life stories happy, sad, inspiring, heartwarming from readers who are 55 and above. E-mail them to -- The Star.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Highway realigned to help small towns

Highway realigned to help small towns
Friday August 15, 2008

KUALA TERENGGANU: The several realignments made to the East Coast Highway were to benefit the smaller towns, the state assembly was told yesterday.

The state government did not want to see the smaller towns, especially Kuala Berang, turn into sleepy hollows, said Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said.

“We don’t want the same situation that hit Temerloh and Maran (in Pahang) to recur here, and the state government therefore constantly consulted the Federal Government to review the alignments,” he said in reply to a written question by Mohd Zawawi Ismail (BN – Kuala Berang).

He said, with the new alignments, towns like Kuala Berang would still be lively, as the interchange would be situated only five minutes from the town.

Ahmad said the highway link to Kuala Berang was also complemented by a new connection to Cameron Highlands and Ipoh via Aring and Gua Musang in Kelantan.

He said with the road connection to Perak, the state government would also enhance infrastructure and develop more shophouses in Kuala Berang.

Meanwhile, the assembly was also told that the state received RM510.76mil in investment from foreign and local investors between January and May.

State Industrial, Commerce and Environmental committee chairman Toh Chin Yaw said foreign investors invested RM38.26mil in Kerteh and Telok Kalong Industrial estate in Kemaman.

Toh, replying to a question by Datuk Tengku Hassan Tengku Omar (PAS – Ladang), said the state government would revive the less popular industrial estates, like in Batu Rakit here, to attract more investors.

State Agriculture and Agro-based Industry committee chairman Rozi Mamat said plans were afoot to expand the Bumi Hijau agro programme to selected schools. The state government had allocated RM20,000 for this purpose.

The Bumi Hijau programme was mooted to encourage the people to cultivate vegetables in their backyard for their own consumption to defray the escalating cost of living. -- The Star.

Comment: So look like in future there will be another new route from East Coast Highway.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

No greens from Highlands on Saturdays

No greens from Highlands on Saturdays
Wednesday August 6, 2008
By Clara Chooi

VEGETABLES from Cameron Highlands are no longer available at the Selayang wholesale market on Saturdays.

This is because the Cameron Highlands Vegetable Transport Association has temporarily stopped transporting vegetables to the market since mid-July.

Other smaller markets in Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore are also affected by the move.

“Saturday has always been considered our only day off in the week.

“Despite that, we still transported the vegetables from Cameron Highlands every Saturday in the past,” association president Lau Sai Hoong said recently.

He added that members of the association were finding it hard to cope with the additional costs since the fuel price increase two months ago.

“We have been trying to negotiate with the Kuala Lumpur Vegetable Wholesalers Association for a higher payment but we were unable to come to an agreement,” Lau said.

In comparison, wholesalers in Ipoh and Singapore had already accepted the new prices charged by the transporters and agreed to the Saturday off-day, he said.

Lau said previously, the transportation cost for vegetables sent to the Selayang market was 10sen per kg of vegetables, while that for vegetables sent to Ipoh and Singapore was six sen and 22 sen respectively.

“Now, wholesalers in Ipoh have agreed to pay 10 sen per kg and those in Singapore, 30 sen,” he said, adding that they had been trying to negotiate with the KL association for a price of 15 sen per kg but the latter had only agreed to 13 sen.

Lau said there were about 40 members in his association, each of whom owned between two and seven lorries.

He said on average, 5,000kg of vegetables were transported from Cameron Highlands daily.

“From Sundays to Fridays, about 50 lorries will transport the vegetables and on Saturdays, about 20 lorries would hit the roads in the past.

“Now, however, we will only transport the vegetables from Sundays to Fridays. Saturday is our off-day,” said Lau.

He added that market-goers should avoid buying vegetables from the Selayang market on Saturdays, as the prices would definitely be higher.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Pahang to have a hospital in each district

Pahang to have a hospital in each district
Tuesday August 5, 2008

CAMERON HIGHLANDS: Two more hospitals will be built in Pahang this year to ensure all its districts have one each, Health Minister Datuk Liow Tong Lai said.

Liow said the last two would be built in Rompin and Bera districts after the completion of hospitals in Cameron Highlands, Pekan and Temerloh.

He said the Sultan Hajjah Kalsom Hospital in Cameron Highlands was the latest to be completed.

Royal touch: Sultan Ahmad Shah (right) pampering day-old baby girl named Kalsom carried by Sultanah Kalsom while Liow looks on at the hosital in Cameron Highlands recently.
Royal touch: Sultan Ahmad Shah (right) pampering day-old baby girl named Kalsom carried by Sultanah Kalsom while Liow looks on at the hosital in Cameron Highlands recently.

“The Federal Government’s commitment to providing facilities for healthcare is shown with the availability of the hospitals and health clinics in most villages.

“Sultanah Hajjah Kalsom Hospital built at a cost of RM112mil will replace the community hospital and benefit patients from Ipoh in Perak.

“In the 9th Malaysia Plan, apart from the hospitals in Rompin and Bera which are under construction, there are 22 health clinics, 16 community clinics, 19 upgraded hospitals and 20 staff quarters, while a project to upgrade a health clinic has been approved,” Liow said in his speech during the official opening and renaming of the hospital here recently.

The Cameron Highlands Hos–pital was renamed after Sultan Pahang Sultan Ahmad Shah’s wife Sultanah Kalsom.

Sultan Ahmad Shah officiated at the ceremony while Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob and wife Datin Seri Junaini Kassim and other state dignitaries were present.

Liow said the hospital, which had been operational from January, had 76 beds and could provide outpatient and in-patient, operation theatre and physiotherapy services.

“The hospital will be served by visiting specialists from Ipoh Hospital for children, obstetric, gynaecology and psychiatric services, while surgeons will come later.

“We provide shuttle services from Tanah Rata to the hospital, which is quite a distance from the town,” he said.

Liow said some critical cases were previously referred to Ipoh Hospital, however, patients from Perak who lived near here could seek treatment at the hospital.

Meanwhile, Sultan Ahmad Shah said, with the increase tourists, it was timely for the highland destination to have a hospital.

“I advise people to keep having programmes to promote healthy living, take healthy food and participate in healthy activities.

“We need to keep reminding people to care for their health as prevention is better than cure,” Sultan Ahmad Shah said. -- The Star.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Cameron’s blooms to cost

Cameron’s blooms to cost
Thursday July 31, 2008

IPOH: The price of Cameron Highland flowers will go up by 10% from Aug 8.

Flower Floriculture Association chairman Lee Peng Fo said the increase was inevitable as the price of raw materials such as fertiliser and petrol had been increasing.

“The last time we increased the price of flowers was in December 2004,” he told a press conference here yesterday.

“We have no choice. If we do not increase the price, some of us may be forced to turn to vegetable farming,” he added.

Lee noted that the price of raw materials had increased by between 40% and 50% since last year.

The flowers produced at Cameron Highlands are mostly sold in Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Johor Baru, he said. -- The Star.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Impressed by the food and people

Impressed by the food and people
Friday July 25, 2008

LAST week four of us returned to New Zealand after spending two glorious weeks holidaying in Malaysia.

After crossing over from Singapore, we picked up a rental vehicle from Johor Baru and departed for the east coast. Here we took one week to sink ourselves into the remoteness of your pristine beaches, amazing countryside, beautiful people and very tasty makan.

From Kota Baru, we motored across to Ipoh through some of the most beautiful views ever, sighting many wild animals along our way. From Ipoh, we surrounded ourselves with fresh strawberries and Boh tea as we wandered around Cameron Highlands.

Kuala Lumpur beckoned as we once again hit the roads, at times taking the minor highways over the expressways, driving through so many kampungs and enjoying fresh fruit from the many road-side stalls.

Our holiday ended with a couple of nights in historical Malacca, followed by a sumptuous seafood lunch over the waters at Kukup prior to returning to Johor Baru.

There is so much I could write about our holiday in your amazing country but there are two things I must comment on.

Firstly the IPRAC car-hire people we dealt with in Johor Baru and secondly the staff at Traders Hotel in Kuala Lumpur. Both of them offered an extremely high level of service, exceptional professionalism, competency and a friendly personal service.

We left Malaysia with two great impressions. Firstly, the exquisite food and secondly the people who were always so friendly and helpful, laughing with us and not at us as we clumsily attempted to speak Malay. Terima Kasih.

New Zealand.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Fraser’s Hill or Fraser Hill?

Fraser’s Hill or Fraser Hill?
Wednesday July 23, 2008

I MUST thank Captain P.J. Rivers for his response (July 4) to my article on eponyms. He wondered what I could make of Cameron Highlands. Well, the place could conceivably have been called the Cameron highlands although highlands it was not, because it was man-made.

Malaysia, beginning with Malacca in 1511, came under three colonial masters; and they left, amongst other things, a legacy of place names, e.g. the Portuguese Jalan Tranquerah, the Dutch Jalan Heeren and Jalan Jonker, and the British Province Wellesley.

These names have been changed to Jalan Tengkera, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Jalan Hang Jebat, and Seberang Perai, respectively.

Future waves of national fervour may change many more of the place names with a colonial flavour. But name change was not the drift of my article. I posed the question whether the hill in question should have been called Fraser’s Hill or Fraser Hill. Since the English language seems to have as many exceptions as there are rules, I merely wished to know which is the rule (Fraser’s, the eponymous possessive) and which the exception (Fraser, the eponymous modifier), or vice versa.

– Dr Lim Chin Lam, Penang

Friday, July 04, 2008

There’s also Cameron Highlands

There’s also Cameron Highlands
Friday July 4, 2008

DR Lim Chin Lam has rightly made a distinction between the British usages of Maxwell Hill and Fraser’s Hill (June 13).

Just as Mount Swettenham took its name from a colonial administrator, so was Bukit Larut renamed after Sir William Maxwell when as Assistant Resident he built a government bungalow there. I’m not sure that Louis James Fraser actually owned his eponymous hill but he certainly mined it for tin.

I wonder what Dr Lim can make of Cameron Highlands, which takes its name from an obscure surveyor who first reported a “tableland” in that mountainous area.

Although William Cameron never actually reached the site, several parties were sent to look for Cameron’s “plateau”. As it never actually existed, earthfill from the road that was eventually cut and a valley was levelled named Tanah Rata – “Flat Land”.

So over time, the title of Cameron’s plateau was replaced with Cameron’s highlands to now become Cameron Highlands.

– Captain P.J. Rivers, Cameron Highlands

What the dickens is eponym?
By Dr Lim Chin Lam
Friday June 13, 2008

Why is it, in British colonial Malaya, we had (and still have) Maxwell Hill and Fraser’s Hill? Why the two styles of naming? I have this nagging feeling that Maxwell Hill was named after Maxwell whereas Fraser’s Hill must have been owned by Fraser!

“Oh, Why can’t the English, Why can’t the English” – recited to the patter song in My Fair Lady – “set a good example and make up their minds: Is it Fraser’s Hill or Fraser Hill?”

Chicken manure shortage, farmers turning to compost

Chicken manure shortage, farmers turning to compost
Friday July 4, 2008

Following a shortage of chicken manure, hard-pressed Cameron Highlands farmers are turning to compost as fertiliser.

China Press reported yesterday that there was an acute shortage of chicken manure on the highlands now.

Farmers blame the shortage of chicken manure to the skyrocketing price of non-organic fertilisers worldwide, forcing oil palm estates to also use chicken manure.

The shortage was also due to farmers rearing fewer chickens because of low profit margins.

A farmer told the daily that during Chinese New Year, a packet of chicken manure cost RM4.

“Now the price has increased to RM6.50 and there are signs of it going up further,” he said.

The farmer added that previously he could get his order of chicken manure delivered within two days.

“Now I am lucky if I can get the manure in a week. Sometimes I have to wait for a month.”

Sin Chew Daily reported that following the fuel price increase, traders had recorded a drop in business of between 10% and 20%.

> Petroleum Dealers’ Association of Malaysia president Wahid Bidin was quoted as saying that petrol sales had dropped between 10% and 20%.

He explained that motorists, in a bid to save petrol, had turned to using motorcycles.

Federation of Sundry Goods Merchant Associations of Malaysia president Lean Hing Chuan told the daily that members had reported a 5% drop in business.

The fuel price increase had forced consumers to practice smart consumerism, he said.

“While consumers continue to buy daily necessities such as cooking oil and other foodstuff, they have cut down on unnecessary items,” he said, adding that the people were also turning to cheaper alternatives.

Federation of Hawkers and Petty Traders Associations president Datuk Chai Soo Min told the daily that hawkers had complained of business dropping by 20%.

“People are cutting down on eating out, choosing to cook at home instead,” he said.
-- Compiled news from Star

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Farm owner promises to halt soil erosion at Brinchang slope

Farm owner promises to halt soil erosion at Brinchang slope
Wednesday June 11, 2008
By Clara Chooi

CAMERON HIGHLANDS: The landowner responsible for the hill cutting in Brinchang will take immediate remedial measures to prevent soil erosion.

Big Red Strawberry farm owner S. Kumar said he had fitted two outlets to the silt trap ponds, and covered up several dangerous slopes with tarpaulin.

He would be working closely with the Department of Environment and the Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) to ensure that extension work on the family farm would not harm the environment or pose a danger to those in the surrounding areas.

“We are willing to adhere to the guidelines imposed, and we had no intention of causing danger during the land clearing,” he said yesterday after officers from the two departments and the Pahang Forestry Department visited his farm following reports of hill cutting at the site.

Remedial measure: Big Red Strawberry Farm has prepared silt trap ponds to prevent soil erosion at the farm in Brinchang, Cameron Highlands.
Remedial measure: Big Red Strawberry Farm has prepared silt trap ponds to prevent soil erosion at the farm in Brinchang, Cameron Highlands.

“We built silt traps, but they were not enough. We also take responsibility for mistakenly cutting the slopes too steep, past the 25° gradient,” he said. “To remedy that, we will terrace the hill,” he said.

He added that a 3m buffer zone had been allocated along the perimeter of the affected hill and that the steep slopes would soon be re-turfed to prevent soil erosion.

Kumar, however, cried foul over allegations that land clearing works covered more than 10ha and had damaged a primary forest.

“We only applied to clear 0.8ha of the land to expand our farm and not 10ha as claimed.”

Kumar noted that the family had held a Temporary Occupational Licence on the 4ha site for 40 years now. His family had only used 1.6ha of the 4ha site and had only decided to expand the farm recently.

“Everything we did was legal and we have no reason to want to damage the environment in any way,” he said.

A Forestry Department officer confirmed that the cleared land was not part of a primary forest.

“It is a secondary forest,” he said. -- The Star.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Land clearing outrage in Brinchang

Land clearing outrage in Brinchang
Saturday June 7, 2008
By Christina Koh

CAMERON HIGHLANDS: It is a hill, which has suffered at least three landslides in the last two years, but this has not stopped a contractor from stripping its summit bare.

Environmentalists in Brinchang are outraged after spotting land-clearing work for what is believed to be a strawberry farm.

They claimed that 10ha of the summit has already been cleared and was looming dangerously close the Cactus Valley nursery, just 200m below it.

Stripped bare: A view of the land clearing works in Brinchang, Cameron Highlands, from the nearby Strawberry Park Resorts.Stripped bare: A view of the land clearing works in Brinchang, Cameron Highlands, from the nearby Strawberry Park Resorts.

The Department of Environment (DOE) last week recommended to the district office that work be stopped after finding that the contractor had violated several conditions.

Orchid enthusiast Embi Abdullah accused the developer of being an “environmental outlaw”.

“This is dangerous because there are people in homes and businesses further down the slope. What happens if there is another landslide?” he asked.

Environmentalist N. Madi said it was distressing that a primary virgin forest with rare orchids, ginger plants, cinnamon trees and medicinal plants was being destroyed. The area was also home to Imperial pigeons, serow (endangered mountain goats), civets, bear cats and migratory birds, he said.

“Once they’re driven out of their habitat, you will see cases of these animals dying because they’re unable to adapt and find food. I’ve seen it happen,” he added.

A check on the hill last month, which is part of the Ulu Bertam water catchment area, found six backhoes and other heavy machinery working on the summit.

Further down, there were signs of severe land erosion and previous landslides just 300m from the worksite.

The land clearing has since stopped, pending a site investigation site by DOE on Tuesday.

Cameron Highlands district officer Datuk Mohamad Noor Abdul Rani said the project is supposed to cover only 0.8ha and he would investigate the matter.

Guidelines for highland development projects on slopes with less than a 25-degree gradient did not need an environmental impact assessment provided the contractor fulfilled conditions such as placing silt traps, proper and environmentally-friendly drainage and avoiding use of heavy machinery.

A DOE officer said the contractor was found to have cut into the slope beyond a 25-degree gradient, violating a condition imposed by the department.

The contractor also failed to preserve a buffer zone along the edge of the summit and had apparently dumped loose soil on the slope itself.

It is learnt the contractor had only been engaged to clear 0.8ha of land for a farmer but had instead cleared more trees to make way for an access road. -- The Star.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Pahang strict in Malaysia My 2nd Home vetting

Pahang strict in MM2H vetting
Friday June 6, 2008

KUANTAN: Pahang received 39 applications for the Malaysia My Second Home programme last year and 32 this year although it has yet to officially launch it, said Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob.

“We have strict regulations pertaining to processing the applications and to date, none of them have been approved.

“The programme is not for just anybody. The state wants to attract genuinely rich people,” he said here.

Adnan also said that the applications were for properties in Kuantan, Bentong, Cameron Highlands, Kuala Lipis and Pekan.

Topping the list was Kuantan with 17 for 2007 and 15 this year, he added.

The applicants were from Singapore, the United States, South Korea, India, Britain, China, Pakistan, Fiji, Sweden, the Netherlands, Japan, Thailand, Oman and Indonesia, he said.

“Successful applicants will be able to enjoy several privileges such as their children being allowed to attend school, college or university in the country and tax exemption for the purchase of vehicles assembled locally,” he added.

On another matter, the mentri besar said the number of tourists who visited Taman Negara last year was 80,890 and they spent more than RM53.8mil during their stay.

Adnan also said that the number of foreign tourists was 42,076 which was higher than domestic visitors, recorded at 38,814.

The state government and Tourism Malaysia would continue to hold various programmes to highlight the national park, including having familiarisation trips for the media, organising events such as the Taman Negara Eco-Challenge and promoting the place at exhibitions in the country and abroad, he added. -- The Star.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Adventure for 41 special Scouts

Adventure for 41 special Scouts
Wednesday June 4, 2008
By Looi Sue-Chern

FORTY-ONE special Scouts from four organisations had a field day during an outing to Taiping Zoo and Cameron Highlands in Perak in conjunction with the third Penang Cheshire Agoonoree last weekend.

The special Scouts from Penang Cheshire Home, Penang Cerebral Palsy (Spastic) Children’s Association, Penang Handicapped Children’s Centre and Sekolah Pendidikan Khas Alma were accompanied by 59 volunteers and Scouts.

While on Cameron Highlands, they toured Cactus Point in Brinchang, were treated to a dinner at SK Convent in Tanah Rata and visited a night market on their first night on Saturday.

The following day saw the special youngsters having fun with art and craft before spending a great time outdoors and playing games. Their day ended with a campfire,

Tan (right) and Khoo (behind Tan) greeting some of the special scouts as they prepare to leave for Cameron Highlands.Tan (right) and Khoo (behind Tan) greeting some of the special scouts as they prepare to leave for Cameron Highlands.

Penang Cheshire Home president Datuk Seri Khoo Keat Siew said Agoonoree had been a great success following the first two Agoonorees held at the Penang Water Sports Centre in 2006 and 2007

“This (enthusiasm) has encouraged the organisers to have this year’s Agoonoree in Cameron Highlands,” he said during the opening ceremony at Penang Cheshire Home at Babington Avenue on Saturday.

Khoo added that Penang Cheshire Home’s Scouts were also planning to climb Mount Kinabalu in the future and he was confident the Scouts would fulfil their dream

Penang Municipal Councillor Tan Hun Wooi, who represented Health, Welfare and Caring Society Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh , urged the special Scouts live up to the ideals of Scouting: to do their best and always be prepared.-- The Star

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

New variant of rare flower found in Camerons

New variant of rare flower found in Camerons
By Christina Koh
Wednesday May 14, 2008

CAMERON HIGHLANDS: It is a plant with an awful stench but its beauty is enough to stop nature-lovers in their tracks.

The Amorphophallus bufo, a rare species found in tropical and sub-tropical areas, sparked interest when news of its discovery here broke last year.

<br />Unusual bloom: Madi posing with one of the reddish flowers in the jungles of Gunung Jasar, Tanah Rata, in an undated handout photo.
Unusual bloom: Madi posing with one of the reddish flowers in the jungles of Gunung Jasar, Tanah Rata, in an undated handout photo.

But there is fresh excitement now with the sighting of a new variant with reddish and pinkish flowers.

Local environmentalist and orchid enthusiast Embi Abdullah, 60, said he and his friend N. Madi were trekking when they spotted the reddish bloom in the jungles of Gunung Jasar, Tanah Rata, here.

Most Amorphophallus bufo flowers were brown with white spots, he said.

Within just a week, Embi and several others came across a colony of more than 10 of the plants, five of them in bloom.

“You only get to see these flowers once every five or six years,” Embi said in Brinchang here.

He added that the highlands Amorphophallus bufo, measuring about 1.5m in height, was unusually tall and dwarfed other Amorphophallus species.

“The Amorphophallus is also a plant found in warmer lowlands, so the Cameron Highlands species is even more unique,” he added.

Embi said a group of them planned to approach the district officer or the state forestry department with a proposal to set up an Amorphophallus conservatory.

“The Amorphophallus might have some medicinal value and the conservatory could be used for research and maybe tourism purposes.

“In India, the tuber of one Amorphophallus species has even been used as food,” he added.

The group also hoped to consult fellow environmentalist Datuk Seri Lim Chong Keat, who recently led a group of scientists in finding another variety of the plant during a Forest Research Institute of Malaysia expedition.--The Star.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Pahang to have two more food production and consolidation centres

Pahang to have two more food production and consolidation centres
By Simon Khoo
Monday May 12, 2008

KUANTAN: Malaysian Agrifood Corporation Bhd (MAFC), Khazanah Nasional Bhd’s wholly-owned food supply chain subsidiary, will build two more integrated food production and consolidation centres in Pahang.

To be located at Bertam Valley in the Cameron Highlands and Lanchang, the centres are among the 19 consolidation, processing and packaging centres and consolidation marketing centres planned under the East Coast Economic Region (ECER).

They will join MAFC’s existing facility in Bukit Raja in the Cameron Highlands.

Fresh: Malaysian Agrifood Corporation Berhad's papaya crop at its Lanchang food supply centre.
Fresh: Malaysian Agrifood Corporation Berhad's papaya crop at its Lanchang food supply centre.

The three food centres will collect, consolidate, process, sort, grade, package and distribute food produce for better safety, quality and sustainability.

MAFC chief executive officer Azizi Meor Ngah said with the establishment of the centres, it aimed to transform the nation’s food supply chain management and distribution to ensure that the industry is well positioned to succeed in key markets.

“The food supply hubs will provide us with an efficient platform to manage our business as well as ensure reliable and timely delivery of fresh produce to customers,” he said.

“The value-added centres will operate in compliance with food safety standards such as Malaysia Farm Accreditation Scheme, the Hazards Analysis Critical Control Point and Global GAP,” he added.

Azizi said the main focus now was to revitalise the agri-food sector through an integrated value-added programme that would give priority to maintaining a sustainable balance between commercial agriculture and social objectives.

“Our business strategy is to build an efficient fresh produce supply chain pipeline so that our consumers get to enjoy safe and quality food for healthier lives,” he explained.

“By working in collaboration with government agencies and industry players to develop a comprehensive supply chain management system, we seek to guarantee year round supply, fixed season prices, unbroken cold chain integrity, timely deliveries, fair trade terms and promotional input, as well as meet quality specifications.”

Currently, MAFC is focused on crops in demand, such as capsicum and tomatoes, lettuce, cabbages and other leafy vegetables, chillies as well as such fruits as papaya, pineapple, melons and star fruit.

Malaysia exports more than 70,000 tonnes of vegetables worth some RM190mil annually, the bulk coming from the country’s green bowls of Johor and Cameron Highlands.

Statistics in 2005 showed the agriculture sector accounted for about 16% of the ECER’s gross domestic product and 22.9% of employment. -- The Star News.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Cool Highlands Getaways in Malaysia

Cool getaways
by Faridah Begum
Sunday May 11, 2008

Gunung Tahan, Pahang

Gunung Tahan

Nestled within the National Park, the highest mountain in the peninsula offers the toughest trek to its peak, a journey to be undertaken only by the tough and strong-willed. It takes seven days to do a return trip on the classic Kuala Tahan trail while the other trails are through Merapoh and via the Kelantan entrance to the national park.

Gunung Ledang or Mount Ophir, Johor

Gunung Ledang

One of the most frequently climbed mountains and with the highest fatalities in the Southeast Asia, Gunung Ledang has clearly marked trails leading to the peak and mesmerizing waterfalls along the way. It is a place shrouded in mystical legends and folklore. There is a very nice resort at the base of the mountain for those wanting to stay overnight.

Mount Stong State Park, Kelantan

Mount Stong State Park

One of the main attractions at the park is Gunung Stong (1,422m), a dome-shaped granite complex more than 500 million years old. Here, the seven-tiered Stong Waterfalls, reputed to be the highest in Southeast Asia, drops from a height of about 990m. Reaching the peak of the falls takes two hours of trekking for about one kilometer on steep inclines.

Kinabalu Mountain, Sabah

Established as a national park in 1964, Kinabalu Park was designated as Malaysia’s first World Heritage Site by UNESCO in December 2000. The park is said to be a rich biological site where a great number of flora and fauna found in the four climate zones flourish. The park is also home to many species of orchids and carnivorous plants.

Cameron Highlands, Pahang

Cameron Highlands

Tucked away amidst the clouds at 1,829m above sea level is Pahang’s premier hill resort, Cameron Highlands. The area is regarded as the ‘Green Bowl’ of the country, supplying its produce to major cities in Malaysia, as well as to Singapore. The cool and fresh air in the highlands offers an attractive retreat for city dwellers. One of its attractions is a time tunnel near Brinchang where old photographs can be viewed.

Mount Jerai, Kedah

Believe it or not, this mountain straddling the border between Kuala Muda and Yan in Kedah was once an island known as Pulau Serai. The country’s richest archaeological site, Bujang Valley, is located in the southern face of this mountain.

Bukit Larut, Perak

Bukit Larut, Perak

Located approximately 9km from Taiping, Bukit Larut or Maxwell Hill (Malaysia’s oldest and smallest hill resort) stands at 1,035m above sea level. Accessible only by government-owned four-wheel-drive vehicles, the road up twists and turns through tropical virgin jungle with the fresh green fragrance and cool air greeting you as you ascend.

Fraser’s Hill, Pahang

Fraser’s Hill derives its name from one of the more colorful characters in colonial history, James Louis Fraser, an

adventurer and fortune hunter, whose disappearance remains a mystery to this day. Rising 1,524m above sea level, the hill exudes a quiet rustic air, more in keeping with the solitude of an English countryside.

Penang Hill, Penang

Penang Hill

Popular with foreigners and locals, the railway service, which started in 1923, is still a top attraction for those who want to chug along the beautiful hill. There is a resort atop the hill for those who want to savour a bird’s eye view of Penang island and take in the splendour and beauty of this place.

Bukit Tinggi, Pahang

Bukit Tinggi, Colmar Tropicale, Pahang.

Now known as Berjaya Hills, this holiday destination is just over an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur. Its latest attraction, Colmar Tropicale, a replica of a collection of buildings from a 16th century French village, is often used as a movie set and the venue for corporate family day gatherings. -- Sunday Metro.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Courses for cabbies to guide tourists

Courses for cabbies to guide tourists
By Nik Naizi Husin
Tuesday May 6, 2008

TEMERLOH: As frontliners in the tourism industry, taxi drivers must increase their knowledge on tourism products apart from learning English for their jobs.

Pahang Tourism Action Council general manager Idrus Yahya said it would be disappointing for foreign tourists to take rides around town without learning much about the destinations if taxi drivers don't know about the localities.

“When we visit other countries, we are glad when taxi drivers are helpful enough to show us interesting places and provide historical information,” Idrus said after opening a one-day course on tourism products for 85 taxi drivers from Kuantan, Temerloh and Bera districts here on Friday.

Idrus said the council conducted the courses in stages.

Soon, the council would hold similar courses for taxi drivers in Bentong, Raub, Lipis and Cameron Highlands, he added.

Idrus said the state had allocated and spent funds for the tourism sector to improve, upgrade and maintain their products.

He said the programmes were progressively implemented to create a better image for the products and increase number of visitors to the state.

Idrus said that RM64mil had been allocated for upgrading and maintaining 73 tourism projects in the state.

This includes RM4mil for the construction of parking lots in Cameron Highlands, RM20mil for upgrading and maintaining Bukit Fraser in Raub, RM5.7mil for Tasik Cini conservation work and maintenance of its research centre and RM2.6mil to improve homestay programmes.

Idrus said that Pahang would organise an eco-challenge and 4X4 expedition from Tasik Bera (in Bera district) to Tasik Cini (in Pekan district) in August to draw interest in the environment among tourists and boost Tasik Bera as a wetland conservation area. -- The Star News.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Fun camp time at Bethany Home

Fun time at camp
By Nor Amilia Farahin Bt Abu Bakar
Sunday April 27, 2008

THE Bethany Home 17th Annual Handicamp, a camp for severely disabled children and adults, was held in Cameron Highlands recently. Upon arrival, each volunteer was assigned to a camper who has certain disabilities.

The campers have learning disabilities ranging from Down Syndrome to autism, and some have physical disabilities. During the three-day camp, we were to be with our charge all the time, to help them in any way they need.

Amilia dressed her charge for a fun night.
Amilia dressed her charge for a fun night.

I was assigned to a camper who has Cat Eye Syndrome, a rare chromosomal disorder. Goh Hai Sheng looks like a small boy, and so I assumed he was around 12 years old. He was actually my age.

Hai Sheng could not talk and he has lost his sight on his left eye. My first task was to feed him lunch. It took me a while to get him to the table because he kept on walking off very fast in the wrong direction!

During lunch, he would not eat properly and refused to finish his meal. We ended lunch with his plate half full.

Our first meal certainly did not go well, and I began to worry about my ability to take good care of Hai Sheng during the camp.

Somehow, I managed to quell my rising panic, and find strength in Bethany Home’s director Jayasingh Raggiah advice to us during his briefing.

“We have so much love in ourselves, why don’t we give some to these people,” Jayasingh had told us.

It was a fun day out for the Bethany Home students and volunteers.
It was a fun day out for the Bethany Home students and volunteers.

The next agenda after lunch was games for the campers. The event was noisy and filled with lots of fun. There were plenty of cheering as team members rooted for each other and shouts of joy as the winning team was announced. The games might seem a bit childish to some, but I enjoyed it anyway as I assisted my camper in throwing the ball at a line of tin cans.

Later that evening, Jayasingh spoke to us about working with people with special needs.

The next day started off with morning exercise. After breakfast, we headed to Brinchang where the campers did community work. It was their turn to give back to society, which they did by planting trees on a bare land which had been deforested.

Some campers - those who are more independent- hiked up Gunung Brinchang to plant trees on higher ground. The trek was not easy. Many of us began to pant and feel tired as we reached the top of the hill.

The campers had fun trying to plant the trees on their own, and we volunteers were not allowed to help at all, but we ended up assisting them anyway because it was such fun! When we trekked down the hill, it drizzled and we were thoroughly soaked.

Wan Aisyah helped the campers take part in the activities.
Wan Aisyah helped the campers take part in the activities.

Trekking down the hill was quite a challenge because the path had become slippery. I had been assigned to a camper who has Down Syndrome, and he slipped a few times. The path had become very wet and slippery, and even able-bodied people found the going tough.

My camper was quite chatty, so it was quite fun hiking down the slopes with him.

The only difference between him and I was that he was a little slow in learning new things.

We spent the rest of the afternoon with this activity called “Drum Circle”. Every one of us, campers and volunteers, made music using simple handmade percussion instruments. Everyone had a good time making lots of noise, and we sang Rasa Sayang at the end of the session.

The hall was filled with the beautiful song that all Malaysians have learned by heart, telling us to feel the love that is around us.

“Rasa sayang, hey, rasa sayang sayang hey...” we sang happily.

We had a party on the final night. We dressed up our campers nicely for the evening. Since the theme was “Orang Asli Night”, I dressed up my camper with a headgear and a wristband made of leaves.

Everyone enjoyed the performances by the campers, and we clapped louder and harder because there were so much joy and appreciation of their efforts. FIVE BRATs recently volunteered at the Bethany Home’s camp for disabled children and adults.

The last day was spent visiting local places. We visited the Butterfly Farm, where we got in for free! I appreciated how many business owners opened their doors to the disabled by hosting their visits. It shows how caring we are as a society.

We also visited the tea plantations at the top of the hill, and had our lunch amidst the beautiful scenery of the really green tea plantations and the wind blowing gently against our faces.

The rest of the day was spent shopping for souvenirs and Cameron Highlands goodies to bring back to our friends and families before we all headed home. -- The Star Lifestyle

Great experience for everyone
By Kavidah Nadarajan
Sunday April 27, 2008

THIS camp was definitely an eyeopener for me. I have a newfound respect for caregivers of disabled children and adults. It was difficult for me to take care of my charge as could not communicate with me.

But I persisted in trying to be a friend to him. At the end of the camp, he gestured to me and his mother then explained to me that he has taken a liking towards me.

Finally, I realised that my efforts to be his friend were not in vain. It was a really heartwarming moment.


I learnt how challenging it is to care for the disabled. I am glad that I persevered, and was able to take care of my cerebral palsy and slow learner student emotionally and physically.


I had a LOTS of fun and exposure! Simple things like eating, bathing and putting shoes are daily challenges for the disabled. I was in charge of a girl with blood disorder from Penang. I learned how to control a wheelchair, and helped her with her daily activities. We made friends with the Bethany Home residents and also the other volunteers. — LEE THENG YING

My ‘charge’, Fui Peng barely responds to people. I thought it made no difference to her who took care of her. But on the last day, when I asked her what my name was, she replied “Aisyah”.

I thought it was no big deal. But when I introduced her to my friends at the camp, she did not respond to them. She wouldn’t turn to others when they spoke to her, but would turned to me when I addressed her.

I know it might appear as trivial to many, but it touched my heart that she responded to me.


I was totally unprepared on so many levels when I signed up to volunteer at Handicamp. I had never had any experience living with disabled persons before, so I was a bit worried that I might do something wrong.

I never realised just how unfriendly it is for a disabled person to move around. My friend Anne Lim, was willing to share what her life was like, being wheelchair bound.

Our experience together in those three days made me more aware of my surroundings. We had lots of fun, along with the other BRATs, taking our charges on their first outing in Cameron Highlands.

There were so many life lessons that I learned from Anne.

-- The Star Lifestyle