Published: Tuesday, 06 August 2019 09:08
IN a race, skill is one thing; luck is another.
A week before the 2019 Rimba Raid, which has grown to become Malaysia’s most anticipated Enduro race, KTM Factory Rider, Muhd Habibullah, 28, popularly known as Gabit, signed up for a GIVI crash course conducted by Jeremias Israel, an ex-factory rider for Honda Team Rally of Europe, in conjunction with the race. At the race last Sunday, Gabit ended up beating the Chilean pro to defend the title he had won in last year’s the Rimba Raid Mat Daling. The two - Gabit and Jeremias - started as hot favourites for the main Class A category (bikes above 800cc) of the Rimba Raid. Gabit, who is the 2016 FIM Asia Supermoto Champion, was racing on the KTM Adventure 1250 and Jeremias was astride the Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE. Gabit remained humble in victory. He told Cars, Bikes and Trucks that the technical skills he learnt from the crash course conducted by Jeremias, an ex-Dakar racer, helped him greatly during the race.
“I learnt a lot from Jeremias at the GIVI crash course. Throughout the race, in fact, I was applying the hard-braking technique and high-speed cornering that I had just learnt from him during the crash course,” he said. Gabit explained that he was more of a motocross rather than an enduro rider. “The riding styles (motocross and enduro) are different so the techniques that I learnt from Jeremias were really helpful,” he added. Gabit said he hoped Jeremias would return for next year’s Rimba Raid. “Luck was not on his side. He had some technical issues after a crash. Otherwise, I have no doubt, the race would have been his,” he said. This year’s Rimba Raid was the 6th edition and the biggest in terms of participation. A total of 321 riders from 16 countries took part in the two-day event.
Apart from yours truly, three other women took part. There were two women riders for the Dual-Purpose category on Saturday and another two for the Enduro category on Sunday. Sunday’s race was the writer’s maiden Rimba Raid, where she raced in the Enduro Novice category with her regular riding partner Nur Liyana Fazlien Sha’are, both on the 2019 AJP PR5 250 Extreme machines. Unfortunately, Lyn had a technical problem that forced her out of the race. The man behind the Rimba Raid, former Malaysia Airlines pilot Datuk Nik Huzlan, who goes by the nickname Captain Nik, said this year’s race was by far the toughest: only 17 out of 70 riders finished in the main category A where Gabit and Jeremias competed. “Well, I overestimated the skills of some people and the trail that I designed was, I thought, not too difficult. In fact the night before the race I had a sleepless night thinking that it might be too easy for many people. But it turned out to be quite difficult. “Perhaps I was lulled by my familiarity (with the area) so I thought the trail was pretty easy because I did it myself!”
Even Gabit found Captain Nik’s trail tough. He told Cars Bikes and Trucks that he is looking forward to a more forgiving track next year. “I hope next year’s Rimba Raid would be less technical for the DP category so that the riders, including myself, could enjoy ourselves more and finish the race”, he said. This year’s Rimba Raid saw GIVI come in as the title sponsor for the second year in a row. For the first time, the race also caught the attention of the Pahang state tourism. “This is our first time working together with Rimba Raid and we hope that with this collaboration we could promote the state’s attractions, especially around Janda Baik,” said Datuk Idros Yahya, the Pahang Tourism Director. As for yours truly, just being one of the finishers (No 44 out of 44 finishers) was an achievement in itself. The unpredictable river crossings, jutting rocks, slippery ruts and branches dangling perilously overhead were new challenges to be dealt with. It is no wonder then that they call Rimba Raid, the “green hell”. Source-NST
Published: Tuesday, 06 August 2019 08:59
PEKAN: Uncertainty in oil palm prices in 1984 saw settler Ismail Sabri growing durian on his land in Felda Chini 3, near here. Ismail, 60, planted durian kampung on 0.8ha. The father of four has 65 durian trees and during each harvest, he can earn thousands of ringgit. He even has enough durian to give to his friends and relatives. “In the 1980s, the government had yet to mark the border for Felda plots. “Many settlers were worried that if they planted other crops other than oil palm, someone else would reap the benefits when the (oil palm) trees matured. “Since oil palm prices were unstable, I decided to take a risk and plant durian on a 0.8ha plot,” he said, adding that he started harvesting the fruits in 1991.
He said with guidance from elderly villagers, he managed to find a suitable fertilizer and cultivation formula so that the trees continued to produce high-quality fruits. He said sales from the fruits were enough to support his family, and they helped him these days when oil palm prices were uncertain. “It is a move that has paid off. Now, I have a stable income and my family can enjoy the fruits. “Sometimes friends will drop by my plantation. I will offer them four durians for RM20. But there are also people who enter the farm at night to steal the durian. My second son helps me keep watch.” Ismail said his concept (planting durian besides oil palm) was similar to the one proposed by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad during the recent Felda Settlers Day celebration in Felda Selancar 3, Rompin.
“Durian is a suitable alternative crop as it is always high in demand. Proper guidance will enable more settlers to venture into durian farming... they will not regret it.” In Raub, the popularity of the orchard-grown Musang King durian over the last few years has taken the local tourism industry by storm, as visitors throng the town to get a taste of it. Gone are the days when durian orchard owners struggled to market the odorous and thorny fruits. These days, durian stalls are mushrooming in the district and nearby areas. The recent move by the Agriculture and Agro-based Ministry to export frozen whole durian to China has resulted in an increase in demand for the Musang King.
The sole company from Pahang — PHG Ever Fresh Food (M) Sdn Bhd — which is among five outfits in Malaysia given the green light to export the fruit to China, has its hands full meeting orders. One of the company’s partners, Lye Wee Tin, said the factory previously only exported frozen whole durian in the form of pulp and paste, but starting this year, the entire fruit was sent to China. “The people in China can buy the whole fruit and this is good in terms of hygiene and safety. “In future, more companies from Raub may be involved due to the growing demand.” He said the company had to date exported about 50 tonnes of durian to China through two methods — vacuum pack and frozen whole durian — in special boxes that were loaded into containers.
“Only Musang King durian from Malaysian Good Agricultural Practice-certified farms are processed for export. “Durian farmers attach wide nets from tree to tree to collect the falling fruits. There is a huge demand for this variety and the supply is insufficient. “We purchase the fruits for between RM26 and RM38 per kilogramme from farmers before cleaning, grading and sorting them for packing. Raub produces about 40 per cent of the fruits exported to China. We expect the season to end in October."
Lye said durian had a huge following in China, including in Shenzhen, Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Nanning and Chongqing. It was reported that the Agriculture Department had registered 204 varieties of durian, 12 of which had good commercial value and strong demand. The six popular varieties are D24, D160 (Musang Queen), D168 (Hajah Hasmah), D197 (Musang King), D200 (Ochee) and D 9 9. The D197 and D24 are categorised as premium varieties.