Tuesday, 10 May 2011

The Awesome Beauty and Serenity of Temenggor Lake.

The construction of Temenggor Dam in mid 70s has changed a major portion of Belom Forest Reserve in Perak into a vast lake.                                                                                                                                 

I had my share in guarding the construction site and protecting the Japanese workers from the communist harassment, who saw the dam as a major threat to their existence. Their movements would be limited and would take many times longer. When the dam was completed and the area inundated, a couple of Orang Asli settlements were submerged. Many small islands were created. Some of these islands were given to major companies / conglomerate to develop into tourism attraction. A few did try but couldn't sustain the business and had to close down. Today, only an island called Pulau Sri Undangan belonging to the Army is still operating to cater for demands of those people who seek the peace and adventure Temenggor could offer.

There are 5 chalets. They could accomodate about 60 people. Bathrooms are provided with water from the lake. Cooking is done by a section of Askar Wataniah who also provide security. A generator provides the requirement for the lighting and music for the karaoke session. Be warned, swimming in the lake is forbidden and if you must, do it in the area designated as the edge of the lake is usually a sharp drop because the islands are tips of mountains/hills. Those interested to make use of the place can call 013 5231265 (SSjn Gus) or 019 4562890 (Major Kubra).                                                                                                

How to get there.
Transports will be provided to get you to the Temenggor Dam jetty. The journey will take approximately 1 hour from the town of Grik. From the jetty, boats will be provided to ferry you to the island. Safety of passengers are paramount and life jackets are provided for each and everyone. The journey back will be similar.                                                                                                                                                

What are the programs available?
Check with the persons above. Fishing is one popular outing and be sure you bring good and strong lines, hooks and rods. Baits will be provided but it will be an added advantage if you can bring extras. A visit to an Orang Asli village is also one popular program.

Sri Undangan Island is on the left of this picture.
Hauntingly and mystically beautiful sceneries like these will greet visitors.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Herbal Cure for Diabetes and Hypertension.

Warrant Officer 2 Idrus Ismail (Rtd) is one very enterprising ex-soldier since he retired from the Ordnance Corp eleven years ago. He has found his niche in the herbal industry and is renown to many major herbal traders in the country. He started small by selling a number of famous products for the cure of diabetes and high blood pressure. Today, he has his own brand of herbal cure for the same ailments - a joint venture has with a medicinal factory. Here he is seen with some of his products at one of his outlets in the Kamunting Sunday Market.This is one of his major product   - tea bags of Mahkota Dewa fruits, a cure for diabetes and high blood pressure.
His latest product - 3 in 1 coffee made from the Mahkota Dewa fruits.
The coffee powder in sachets of 15.
He supplies in bulk or in retail. Those interested can contact him at 05 - 891 6149 or 019 422 2458. You can browse his website.mahkotadewamonkisent.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Dreaming Up a Modern Iban Long House in Sarawak.

During the 78th Army Day Anniversary in Kuala Lumpur on 6 March 2011, I met a fellow retiree. "Would I like to build a new long house for free for my folks back home?" I heard what he said and thought it was one big joke! Nevertheless, I was curious and decided to probe deeper.

"How much would this "good Samaritan" chip in to build the long house?" I inquired.

I couldn't believe it (I still don't) when he said "about RM5 million". That is a lot of money to part with - especially when there are no returns expected or demanded.

Still unbelieving, I inquired further, " What is this "good Samaritan" expecting to get out of this project?" I know, most people don't simply give anything out unless they get something in return.

" Nothing." was the reply.

I was even more unconvinced but decided to play along. I was asked to come up with a plan of my new long house that retains the traditional facets while injecting the modern aspects for better comforts. Below are the plan.
Rear view
Front View. Notice the balcony and car porch.
A double storey long house. First floor is where the living room, dining and kitchen are. The second floor has 3 bedrooms with bathrooms attached and a balcony for extra comforts.

The "Ruai" - Common Verandah is maintained. This is an important part of a long house. It is here that festivities and other important functions are held.
Let's pray, this "Good Samaritan" keeps his promise. Other than extra works, I have nothing to lose - if this man decided not to keep his words.