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Famed temple plays host to children- October 10, 2017

KUANTAN: After 12 years, the Lao Zi Temple, located on the way to the former mining town of Sungai Lembing, held a drawing and coloring contest for Chinese primary school pupils.

Caretaker Kui Fook Weng, 79, said his father and temple founder decided to organize the event to bring joy to the pupils.“Even though they live in Kuantan, some do not have the time to visit the temple as their parents are often busy with work.“So we decided to ask the management of the schools to bring them here for a short visit, as well as to take part in a contest.Kui said nine schools with 72 pupils took part in the contest.

It was divided into two categories – aged seven to nine and 10 to 12.He said the top three and 10 consolation prizes each were prepared for the winners.In addition, light refreshments were served to the pupils and accompanying teachers before they were taken on a guided tour around the temple.“The event was also an avenue to promote the temple as a religious tourism site.“We hope more locals and foreigners will pay us a visit when in Kuantan,” he said.

Kui said they would constantly upgrade more deities and other attractions to bring in more visitors.“We would like to express our gratitude to the state government for helping to promote our temple as a tourist site under its religious tourism package,” he said.The temple is famed for the Golden Dragon, said to be the longest in the world, and the 7m-high replica of Lao Zi, the founder of Taoism.The Malaysia Book of Records has certified it as “The Longest Dragon Statue” in the country.

Every year, about 100,000 visitors, including those from Thailand, Myanmar, and Singapore, pay homage to Lao Zi.Other attractions include a fish pond surrounded by the 12 Chinese zodiac signs, a brass image of the Goddess of Mercy dating back to the Ming dynasty, monkey god, a pair of Earth dragons, Prosperity Buddha, 18 disciples of Buddha, eight fairies, statues of God and Goddess of Heaven, Confucius, Gods of Wealth, God of Beggars, a three-legged toad, a wishing bell and a pair of longevity and prosperity tortoises.Among the latest collections are a family of Panda bears, the replica of life-size dinosaurs, two Chinese unicorns – a symbol of long life, peace and harmony – and 12 Chinese Zodiac animals on both sides of the main road leading into the temple.


Help develop Pahang, Chinese youths urged - September 30, 2017

KUANTAN: The Regent of Pahang has made an appeal to Chinese youths to help develop the state.

Saying Malaysia’s success over the last 60 years was mainly due to mutual respect and understanding among the various races, Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah believed that the young Chinese can make a huge contribution to Pahang.

“We have a social contract, and all youths should understand this and our Constitution. It is important not to forget our roots and the understanding that we inherited from our forefathers.

“From time to time, there will be problems but do not spoil everything because of that. We have a state government, Sultan, and Tengku Mahkota. We have to abide by the system,” the Regent said during an audience with Chinese youth organizations here yesterday.

Tengku Abdullah said if the people respected the royal institution, “we will reciprocate in kind”.

“I am not asking for votes, only your loyalty. We do not want to see this country plunge into chaos,” he added.

Tengku Abdullah urged the youth bodies to give him their ideas to help build a constructive relationship with the palace.

“Give us your ideas and we will study it. This is what I would like to focus on over the next few years to benefit the state,” he said.

During the event, the various representatives spoke on a wide range of issues, which included agricultural land allocation, tourism promotion, economic development, environmental issues, and patriotism. In response, the Regent proposed the setting up of an economic council for all races in Pahang.

On environmental problems, he said the state government should not be solely blamed as enforcement was difficult to carry out in a big state like Pahang.

On land allocation, Tengku Abdullah said this must be done fairly for all races to help create employment.

“The government is making the effort so I want to see support from the Chinese community,” he added.

Also present at the event were MCA Religious Harmony Bureau chairman Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker and Federation of Pahang Chinese Associations youth chief Datuk Ong Chong Keng.


Taking fishery to greater heights- September 13, 2017

TEMERLOH: The Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry targets to produce aquaculture fish products valued at over RM270mil this year from Pahang, particularly Temerloh which is synonymous with the patin fish cage culture.

Deputy Minister Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman said so far this year, Temerloh had produced over 14,000 tonnes of various species of fish including patin and tilapia from its 2,018 cage culture units run by 283 operators.He also said freshwater fish from rivers contributed to 560 tonnes of landings valued at RM2.2mil as of July this year, of which 12.5 tonnes valued at over RM60,000 came from Temerloh.“Fish cage culture in Temerloh, practised since 2008, is one of the biggest and most successful in Malaysia, and has been the district’s trademark.“We want the production of Temerloh patin to rise to 20,000 tonnes by 2020,” he said.

He called on the fishermen and fish cage breeders in Temerloh to “move forward” and join the agro-tourism industry so they do not stagnate and only depend on fish sales.He said Temerloh was already known to tourists and located en route to several tourist destinations, making it a popular stopover for car club members and big bike enthusiasts.“The fishermen must grab the opportunities that come.“Tourists need a place to stay and eat and the younger generation, not just the tour operators, should think of taking them in boats on river trips.“But this has to be done well and in an organised manner so they will come back.“Think like an entrepreneur.

“Do not just think of breeding fish and selling them. Even then, you only sell here, at retail price.“The time has come for you to think of ways to develop the fish rearing business, such as selling them in the big cities.“Do not say that Kuala Lumpur is far because I see that when there are football matches, you can rent a car to go there. The mentality must change,” he said.Tajuddin added that his ministry would discuss with other relevant ministries to organise international fishing competitions in the district as a way of promoting Temerloh and its fishes.

He said this after a get-together and distribution of Touch Point aid to Temerloh fishermen.At the event, he presented fish feed worth RM187,000 to 125 fish breeders as well as a special El Nino aid of RM47,000 to 94 entrepreneurs affected by the disaster.

He also announced the donation of two bucket reels costing RM360,000 and the construction of a RM200,000 cold room for breeders to store freshwater fish.“The ministry will also build a new fish nursery costing about RM150,000 and improve the existing nursery in Kampung Pangsenam, estimated to cost RM28,000.“With so many amenities and assistance provided, there is no excuse for fishermen not to progress because what is important is our willingness to work and aim high so that our fish industry is on par with that of other countries,” he said.

Pahang tourism and culture committee chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Sharkar Shamsudin was also present at the event. — Bernama

Weaving tradition into 21st century - September 16, 2017

BATIK and songket are among the textiles Malaysia can boast of, but there is another unique fabric weaving method, while lesser known, that we can take equal pride in -- Tenun Pahang Diraja.The fine fabric produced in Pahang using this centuries-old silk weaving technique is commonly worn as sarongsampinselendang and other traditional clothing.Tenun Pahang recently gained recognition when Johor princess Tunku Tun Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah Sultan Ibrahim wore a dress made from the fabric for her wedding.The fabric had been given to Tunku Tun Aminah by her aunt Tengku Puan Pahang Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah Sultan Iskandar.

Although Tenun Pahang has been around for centuries, the industry only flourished lately under the patronage of Tunku Azizah to the point it was conferred royal status in 2006.She said recently this unique cultural heritage would be lost within a few more years if there were no steps taken to preserve it.As to its origins, Institut Kemahiran Tenun Pahang Diraja Tengku Ampuan Besar Meriam manager Fairuz Hafiezal Rosli said it was believed that a Bugis nobleman named Tok Tuan brought the technique to Pahang in the 17th century.“The technique is believed to have come from Riau or Sulawesi. There was already silk weaving in Pahang at that time but the nobleman improved it and it eventually became known as Tenun Pahang.

“He expanded the weaving technique and since then, it has been passed down through the generations as a heritage of Pahang,” he said.Fairuz said a feature of Tenun Pahang was the thin lines called “sepit udang” that distinguished it from other types of woven silk.

Among the basic patterns produced as Tenun Pahang were horizontal lines and squares besides other contemporary designs, he added.Fairuz said the making of Tenun Pahang was a very complicated process that required plenty of patience.“The steps involved are melikasmewarnameneraimenganingmenyusukmenggulungmengarat and menenun. It starts from separating the silk all the way to weaving using the traditional loom known as kek siam.“It is time-consuming work and those who wish to pick up this craft must have patience as a trait. We usually allow trainees to try it out first to see if they have interest,” he said.

Tourism and Culture Ministry deputy secretary-general (management) Datuk Yean Yoke Heng said Tenun Pahang had undergone an evolution and could be applied to modern fashion design in line with current trends and style.“Besides the design, Tenun Pahang Diraja products have also gone through a development process in the form of function. It is no longer solely focused on fashion but produced for broader purpose such as souvenirs, corporate gifts and interior decoration,” Yean said at the launch of the Projek Kraf Kampungku Tenun Pahang Diraja here last month.

The project involved 12 entrepreneurs from six locations in Pekan with a total of 66 weavers.Yean said it was hoped that the project could increase production of the handicraft.“The good reception by Tenun Pahang entrepreneurs towards Projek Kraf Kampungku shows they are ready to carry Pekan as the main district of Tenun Pahang production. It will directly help it to become the signature product of Pahang,” he said.

Tenun Pahang fabric gets wider attention and broader use

MATTA Fair to attract 120,000 visitors- September 9, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) Fair September 2017 is expected to attract 120,000 visitors and achieve RM220mil in sales. MATTA president Datuk Tan Kok Liang said this during the first day of the fair at Putra World Trade Centre here. “People still travel despite economic concerns, be it domestic or international,” he said, adding that foreign arrivals into the country has increased, particularly from China.

He noted a growth of 7.8% tourists from China this year from January to May compared to the same period last year.MATTA returns for its 44th edition, bringing great travel choices through value-for-money domestic and international packages.The three-day event, which opened yesterday, features 1,314 booths in seven halls, occupying 29,000sq m exhibition space.Some 234 booths are accommodated in two halls for domestic products and services along with state tourism organisations while the rest is allocated for the international tour and travel holiday packages including 13 national tourism organisations.

Muslim travellers can also find a variety of umrah packages catered to the pilgrims’ schedule and budget at the Umrah Pavilion located at Hall 1M, housing 51 booths.Those who spend a minimum RM300 for an international travel package or RM100 for domestic travel package will be entitled to be in the running to win lucrative pri­zes through the Matta Fair Buyers’ contest. Online registration for the contest can be made at the foyer of Halls 2 and 3.Visitors to the fair are advised to take public transportation to avoid heavy traffic and parking issues.

The fair is open from 10am to 9pm until tomorrow. Admission is RM4 per person while it is free for children aged below 12.


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