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Experiencing Orang Asli lifestyle at Batek Jungle Hut : August 23, 2018

JERANTUT: Fancy staying at huts built by Orang Asli in Taman Negara? The huts, which are made of tree branches and bamboo, are similar to the ones used by the Batek, a nomadic tribe which still largely survive by hunting and collecting jungle products. Since it opened late last year, Batek Jungle Hut in Dedari, Kuala Tahan, here, has been popular with foreign tourists. The community-based ecotourism initiative, which features eight huts, has attracted tourists from places such as Denmark and Holland.

Tourism and Culture Ministry Pahang office general manager Datuk Idros Yahya said visitors got to learn about the culture, language, and traditions of the community. He said the Batek settlement near Sungai Tembeling was a major crowd-puller. Visitors, he said, enjoyed watching the tribesmen make fire without matches and use blowpipes. “The Batek villagers in Kuala Tahan were told about the proposal last year. Some of them found the idea interesting and took up the challenge to prepare the huts. They were assisted by various agencies, tour agents, and other villagers,” said Idros.

“The eight river-facing huts and separate bathrooms and toilets are solar-powered. The roofs are made of woven Nipah leaves. Tourists have the opportunity to try boiled tapioca and other food. “Each hut can accommodate four people. Guests pay less than RM50 per night. Many seem to enjoy their stay. “Visitors can hike to Bukit Dedari and explore the nearby jungle with the Batek community. They can buy rattan bangles and other products sold by the community.” Some 1,000 members of the Batek tribe live in Taman Negara.

Cancelling ECRL setback for people in east coast states : August 22, 2018

KUANTAN: The decision to cancel the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project is seen as a major blow to the east coast states in terms of transforming the economic landscape and the livelihood of the people. State Tourism, Environment, Plantations, and Biotechnology Committee chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Sharkar Shamsuddin said the move to call off the project which was once described as a “game changer” would certainly hamper development in the East Coast states. The five-term Lanchang assemblyman said he was upset that the Pakatan Harapan(PH) member of parliament did not fight for the people’s welfare and defend the ECRL project which will certainly offer greater connectivity and drastically shorten travel time between Kuala Lumpur and Kelantan.

“The elected representatives should have fought for the future of their constituents but sadly they do not seem to share the aspiration of those living in the east coast. “Now with the project canceled. the states on the east coast will be certainly left behind in terms of development with nothing to look forward,” he said when contacted today. He added the project could have been canceled because the ECRL would pass through Pahang, Terengganu, and Kelantan, and all three states did not belong to Pakatan Harapan.

“During the previous government, we (Barisan Nasional) never sidelined Penang and Selangor (which were then ruled by the opposition) from enjoying economic growth and development,” he said. Yesterday, Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, who was on a five-day official visit to China, announced the cancellation of the ECRL and construction of two gas pipelines in Sabah, saying the projects could not go on due to Malaysia’s financial woes. Meanwhile, State MCA chairman Datuk Hoh Khai Mun said the people were disappointed by the decision as many were looking forward to ECRL as it offered an alternative mode of transport. He said the people in Bentong where one of the stations were currently being built were upset by the decision as many were hoping to secure jobs with the ECRL.

“Several ECRL recruitment programmes have been held at various locations over the last few months. So what is going to happen to the aspiring job-seekers? I am not sure what will happen to the piece of land which was cleared for the Bentong ECRL station near the Karak Highway,” he said. Meanwhile, State Pas deputy commissioner Andansura Rabu described the move to cancel ECRL as “premature” since the Regent of Pahang Tengku Mahkota Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah had approved the Federal Government’s move to review the cost of the project.

“Even Tengku Abdullah when opening the state assembly sitting recently hoped ECRL would still be built to create more economic growth. It is a major project and works have we have to think about the compensation that has to be paid to the relevant parties,” he said, adding discussions and consultations should have been held to find another option instead of canceling it.


Rompin reels in anglers from China for sailfish challenge : August 14, 2018

KUANTAN: The 10th edition of the Fish Tales Cup China Pro Challenge comprising some 200 professional anglers from several sport-fishing associations in China kicked-off in Kuala Rompin today.

The three-day annual event attracts one of the biggest groups of anglers from China and the anglers are often accompanied by their family and friends.

The waters off Kuala Rompin is dubbed as the “Billfish Capital of Asia” where sailfish and marlins are abundant between March and September every year.

State Tourism Ministry Pahang Office general manager Datuk Idros Yahya said the arrival of groups of professional anglers from China has turned Pahang into a top destination for sailfish enthusiasts and provided a boost for the tourism industry.

He said the number of participants have been increasing steadily since the fishing expedition made its debut in 2008, which has also been described as a highly-anticipated challenge for hardcore anglers.

“Every year, groups of anglers come to Rompin solely for fishing and recreational purposes. Women and children who choose not to go out to sea go on tours to other nearby tourist destinations including Pulau Tioman and Endau-Rompin National Park.

“During their stay, the groups will take the opportunity to taste the local food in Rompin town including the famous freshwater prawn (udang galah). The current durian season will be an added attraction,” he said, adding the event was jointly organised by the Pahang Tourism and Culture Ministry (Motac).

Idros said based on the feedback from the anglers who joined the expedition here in the past, they love the excitement of reeling in the sailfish.

“Anglers will have to tackle the high leaps, somersaults and fighting spirit of the fish. They are well aware of the catch-and-release policy that we have been practising,” he said, adding that the spin-off effects were significant especially for boat and food operators throughout the event,

Idros said the country’s premier fishing event - Royal Pahang Billfish International Challenge - will be held in Kuala Rompin early next month.

Food trucks set to make a splash in Kuantan : August 18, 2018

KUANTAN: Food trucks are the latest in thing and a street in Kuantan is being given a new lease of life because of it. Jalan Lebai Ali, situated in the city centre will serve as a one-stop food truck centre in a bid to attract tourists. To be called Jalan Lebai Ali Food Street, the 90-metre long stretch will accommodate 14 food trucks that will operate from 6pm to 2am daily.

Kuantan Municipal Council (MPK) president Datuk Fadzilla Salleh said Jalan Lebai Ali Food Street will offer various delicacies apart from street art that will don the wall next to the area. "People can choose from an array of food items, among them 'tauhu bergedil', burrito, western food, fried 'kuey teow', and other local dishes," Fadzilla said when met at the launch of Jalan Lebai Ali Food Street, here, last night.

The launch was officiated by Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail. Fadzilla said the district already has various tourism offerings and Jalan Lebai Ali will add to it. "However to ensure this place becomes a tourist attraction, traders must take care of their image in terms of cleanliness, interesting food packaging, pricing and quality of the food.

"They must prioritise cleanliness because it is the main criteria in drawing a crowd," Fadzilla said. The street is also expected to help introduce local culture to foreign tourists, the MPK president added.

All things great from west Pahang under one roof : August 1, 2018

BENTONG: West Pahang Durian and Tourism Fiesta 2018 organized by the West Pahang Eco-Tourism and Leisure Farm Association will be held for three days from Aug 3 to 5 (Friday until Sunday) at the Bentong Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Jalan Chui Yin here.

The fiesta is supported by the Bentong Municipal Council, sponsored by Sunsuria Group and co-hosted by Bentong Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Bentong Walk Association and Raub Tourism Association. It features 26 stalls run by tourism entrepreneurs around western Pahang, including recreational farms, restaurants, tour agencies and local product manufacturers, while durian and food stalls will line up along Jalan Chui Yin. Organising chairman Stephen Chow Soon Chiat said the tourism and agricultural industry in western Pahang had been strengthened greatly, be it eco-tourism, resort, fruit orchard or local product, “thanks to the tireless efforts from all quarters”.“With aggressive promotion by former Bentong MP Datuk Sri Liow Tiong Lai, agriculture, eco-tourism and agri-tourism have developed rapidly in the past 10 years.

“Now it is high time for us to launch the branding campaign. The fiesta that is held for the first time this year will be turned into an annual programme to stimulate the tourism segment of western Pahang, to promote Bentong and Raub as the World Durian Capital,” he said.He added that while western Pahang was the hometown for Musang King durian, visitors would also be enchanted by the beauty of its tropical forests.“Malaysian durian is exported to all over the world, now we would like to invite friends around the world to savor durian right under the durian tree, as suggested by the Chinese ambassador to Malaysia, Bai Tian.”

Durian feasts four times a day, Asian Food Carnival, Bentong Heritage Sites Competition, Bentong Delicacies Competition, Explore Charming Western Pahang Online Competition are some of the attractive programmes lined up.A DIY Corner will also be set up in the hall, where handicraft enthusiasts may demonstrate craft-making from 2 pm to 5 pm.“Handicraft lovers are welcome to demonstrate the making of various art and crafts, such as batik, denim bag, quilt, and others. Creative businesses such as handicrafts play a major role in promoting tourism,” he added. For details, call Lee Lay Ping 012-220 9337 or Jason Pua 016-335 8663 at the secretariat.


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