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Old September 29th, 2008, 04:52 PM   #41
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Old October 5th, 2008, 01:07 AM   #42
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Old October 5th, 2008, 01:07 AM   #43
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Old November 28th, 2008, 05:28 PM   #44
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Old December 1st, 2008, 02:43 AM   #45
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Wild orchid found in Cameron Highlands
Monday December 1, 2008
By CHRISTINA KOH

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.

“Even then it needs the right climatic conditions, like plenty of rainfall, before the orchid will flower.”

Embi said that since the first sighting of the plant in 2003, he and fellow nature lovers N. Madi and Khairulanwar Husain had been looking out for it in Gunung Jasar.

He added that the leafless orchid happened to be near the same spot where they had sighted another rare flower, an unusually reddish Amor*phophallus bufo, in May.

The group of friends are trying to get the authorities’ help to protect the jungle site so that it would not be developed in the future.

“The Aphyllorchis montana has beautiful flowers. Although it is called the leafless orchid, in truth it has leaves so tiny that people often mistake them for something else,” he enthused.

The orchid, he added, was found only in Asian highland areas and fed on decaying organic matter. Its roots only go down some 15cm deep.
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Old December 12th, 2008, 10:09 PM   #46
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'Malaysia can be major tea producer'
By Zuraimi Abdullah
Published: 2008/12/13



MALAYSIA has the potential to turn itself into one of the world's top tea producers, said a senior trade official of Hong Kong, the city with the highest tea consumption in Asia.

World demand for tea and related products, which is set to double to RM54.4 billion by 2010 from RM26.9 billion in 2007, offers Malaysia fresh opportunities in the trade, Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) assistant executive director Raymond Yip said.

"While Malaysia is not yet ranked among the world's top tea producing countries, it has tremendous opportunity in the trade.

"The country is already strong in the organic and herbal tea markets," Yip said at a news conference in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

He said while Malaysia's tea industry is relatively strong with the likes of Bharat Tea Plantations and Boh Plantations, little is known about the domestic industry abroad.

Bharat Tea produces about five million kg of tea annually sold as blends for other tea brands, while Boh Plantations has an annual capacity of four million kg.

Yip suggested that Malaysia be more visible internationally by creating trade networks to give local companies a big boost.

Global tea production reached 3.87 million tonnes in 2007, according to the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation.

Yip said Hong Kong has the highest tea consumption among Asian cities at 1.36kg per capita, compared with the world average of 500 gram per capita.

Yip was in Malaysia to promote the inaugural Hong Kong International Tea Fair to boost global tea trade.

The fair is due from August 13-15 next year at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. It is organised by HKTDC and the Chinese Tea Culture International Exchange Association.
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Old December 13th, 2008, 03:50 PM   #47
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 05:56 AM   #48
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 05:57 AM   #49
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 07:18 AM   #50
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Some of my pictures from a recent visit to the Cameron Highlands. It was my first visit and overall, it is a beautiful and blessed place. Although in certain areas, it seems a bit overdeveloped and underplanned, especially in the town centres.Temperature in Camerons was a comfortable 18-24 Degrees Celcius, cloudy, rainy, but Genting feels a lot more cooler.

First off, was a traditional English breakfast the Ye Olde Smokehouse.
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Poinsettias among the garden flowers.
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Views of the highlands from the Heritage Hotel.
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Sunrise
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The highlight of the visit and probably one of the best attractions in Cameron Highlands - The Boh tea plantations.
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Old January 10th, 2009, 05:45 AM   #51
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Kesesakan jejas imej Cameron Highlands

Oleh ZULKIFLI MANZOR

KUANTAN 9 Jan. - Cameron Highlands atau Tanah Tinggi Cameron yang terletak di ketinggian 1,829 meter dari aras laut ditemui pada tahun 1885 oleh seorang pegawai Inggeris bernama William Cameron.

Pegawai Inggeris terbabit didakwa menemui kawasan bersuhu antara 21 darjah selsius hingga 23 darjah selsius itu ketika sedang membuat tinjauan pemetaan atas arahan Kerajaan British di Tanah Melayu ketika itu.

Bermula dari saat itu, Cameron Highlands mula menjadi perhatian pelbagai pihak ekoran keunikan atmosfera dan keindahan alam semula jadi yang terdapat di situ.

Pembangunan Cameron Highlands bermula seawal tahun 1952 apabila ia disyorkan oleh pihak berkuasa ketika itu untuk dibangunkan sebagai sebuah kawasan pelancongan.

Pelbagai projek pembangunan termasuk pembinaan bangunan-bangunan komersial mula dilakukan bagi menjadikan Cameron Highlands sebuah pusat pelancongan yang berprestij.

Kini, setelah lebih 80 tahun, Cameron Highlands yang dahulunya hanya salah sebuah pergunungan telah menjadi pusat peranginan yang amat terkenal di semenanjung Malaysia.

Malah, kawasan yang dahulunya dikelilingi hutan tebal itu telah mempunyai pelbagai kemudahan termasuk beberapa bandar seperti Brinchang, Tanah Rata, Ringlet, Kampung Raja dan Tringkap yang menyediakan tempat penginapan untuk pengunjung.

Lebih membanggakan, terdapat sebuah penempatan orang Melayu pertama di Cameron Highlands iaitu Kampung Taman Sedia yang terletak di lembah antara Tanah Rata dan Brinchang.

Ekoran keadaan cuaca yang sejuk dan segar di kawasan itu, pelbagai tumbuhan iklim sederhana sesuai ditanam seperti teh, buah-buahan, sayur-sayuran dan bunga-bungaan bermutu tinggi yang jarang didapati di tempat lain.

Dianggarkan, ribuan pelancong sama ada tempatan mahupun luar negara mengunjungi Cameron Highlands pada musim cuti.

Namun, disebalik kejayaan yang dikecapi Cameron Highlands ketika ini, masih terdapat ruang-ruang perlu diperbaiki bagi memastikan kawasan peranginan itu terus mantap sebagai sebuah pusat pelancongan terkemuka tanah air.

Salah satu kekurangan paling ketara ialah masalah kesesakan lalu lintas apabila jalan-jalan yang terdapat di pusat peranginan itu sempit dan menyukarkan ribuan kenderaan bergerak pada setiap kali musim percutian.

Kesesakan itu menjejaskan 'mood' pelancong kerana terpaksa menghadapi krisis lalu lintas sebagaimana dialami ketika berada di bandar-bandar besar seperti Kuala Lumpur.

Beberapa penduduk mendakwa, setiap kali musim percutian, kesesakan lalu lintas yang teruk pasti berlaku terutama di kawasan bandar ekoran jalan yang sempit dan pengunjung meletakkan kenderaan di bahu jalan kerana kekurangan tempat meletak kenderaan.

Salah seorang anak jati Cameron Highlands, Noridzuan Ramli, 19, berkata, kesesakan jalan raya di Cameron Highlands merupakan masalah yang tidak dapat dielakkan terutama apabila tiba musim percutian termasuk hari Sabtu dan Ahad.

Ia kerana, katanya, pada musim dan hari tersebut, ratusan kenderaan akan membanjiri kawasan pergunungan itu untuk menikmati keindahan dan kesejukan yang terdapat di Cameron Highlands.

''Jalan di bandar-bandar di sini akan dipenuhi kenderaan hingga menyebabkan berlaku kesesakan lalu lintas pada waktu tersebut.

''Faktor utama kesesakan disebabkan jalan yang sempit tidak dapat menampung bilangan kenderaan yang menaiki kawasan pergunungan ini," katanya.

Noridzuan yang bekerja di sebuah hotel terkemuka di Cameron Highlands berkata, dia sering mendengar rungutan di kalangan pelancong mengenai kesibukan lalu lintas di kawasan peranginan tersebut.

Sehubungan itu, katanya, adalah wajar untuk pihak berkenaan memikirkan langkah terbaik untuk mengatasi masalah tersebut kerana memang sukar untuk membina jalan yang lebih lebar di kawasan pergunungan terbabit.

Seorang pelancong, Man Ali, 26, berkata, selain masalah jalan yang sempit, masalah kekurangan tempat letak kenderaan juga menjadi salah satu punca kepada kesesakan jalan raya yang berlaku.

Menurut kakitangan kerajaan tersebut, setiap kali musim percutian, ratusan kenderaan akan mengunjungi Cameron Highlands dan sebahagian daripada mereka akan bermalam di kawasan peranginan itu.

''Jadi apabila terlalu banyak kenderaan, tempat letak kenderaan sedia ada tidak mampu menampung bilangan kenderaan di sini.

''Kenderaan yang gagal mendapatkan tempat letak kenderaan akan meletakkan kenderaan mereka di bahu-bahu jalan dan ini menyebabkan jalan yang sempit bertambah sempit," katanya.

Rakannya, Osman Alias, 24, turut bersetuju dengan pendapat itu dan meminta pihak terbabit mengatasi masalah berkenaan supaya ia tidak menjejaskan imej Cameron Highlands.

Menurutnya, kesesakan lalu lintas yang berlaku di kawasan peranginan itu memang sukar diatasi memandangkan kawasannya yang bergunung-ganang dan berlurah pasti menyukarkan kerja-kerja melebarkan jalan.

Bagaimanapun, katanya, langkah itu perlu diambil bagi memastikan pelancong berasa selesa di Cameron Highlands kerana kebanyakan mereka yang datang ke situ untuk melepaskan tekanan dan bukan menambah tekanan.

''Sebagai contoh, jalan dari Brinchang ke Kampung Raja sering berlaku kesesakan yang amat teruk kerana ia antara laluan utama di Cameron Highlands," jelasnya.
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Old February 1st, 2009, 08:01 AM   #52
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Old February 24th, 2009, 04:29 PM   #53
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Cameron Highlands - A Legacy Borrowed
February 18, 2009 10:20 AM
By Melati Mohd Ariff

This is the final feature of a series of three on Cameron Highlands

CAMERON HIGHLANDS, Feb 18 (Bernama) -- The water crisis that hit Cameron Highlands in the late 1990s prompted several concerned residents to form the Regional Environmental Awareness Cameron Highlands (REACH).

Against the many challenges that came its way, REACH continues to gain momentum, garnering support especially from the local residents in making its stance on the many environmental issues plaguing the highlands.

REACH president Ramakrishnan Ramasamy, 43, born and bred in Cameron Highlands, has been at the helm of this community-based body since the organisation took shape in 1998.

And he has seen it all, the degradation and the deterioration of the highland he grew up with.

A LEGACY BORROWED

"Our main concern is the fast pace of development that is taking place in Cameron Highlands and its future if there is no proper check and balance," he told Bernama in an interview here recently.

Ramakrishnan strongly maintained that the highland is a legacy that is not inherited but borrowed from the future generations. Hence, its well-being needs to be protected and preserved.

This deep-rooted conviction is equally shared by his fellow committee members and also other supporters of the organisation including those from abroad.

With many on-going sustainable programmes, REACH does not only get the much needed support and assistance from the people of Cameron Highlands but it also receives helping hands from volunteers from Kuala Lumpur and as far as Singapore.

Cameron Highlands is a popular holiday getaway for Singaporeans.

REFORESTATION

Deeply concerned with the repeated rape of the virgin jungles around Cameron Highlands, REACH with the support of Forestry Department has initiated a reforestation project in 2001.

According to Ramakrishnan, the project involved 17 hectares of area in Gunung Brinchang.

A local farmer cleared the site for agricultural activities and part of it was a forest reserve of Ulu Bertam.

The forest does not only contain diverse biodiversity of flora and fauna but also forms part of the water catchment area for the Sungai Burung water treatment plant.

According to Ramakrishnan, the treatment plant supplies drinking water to the population of Brinchang and its surrounding areas.

"So you can imagine what happened when the site was cleared. Not only the forest was cleared, both its flora and fauna were also gone and the quality of drinking water was also affected.

"We managed to convince the Department of Forestry to have a smart-partnership with us, them giving us the technical assistance and we would reforest the illegally-cleared site," he said.

PAINSTAKING JOB

To date, REACH with the help of volunteers has managed to cover about 60 percent of the said site.

At some locations, coconut husks had been added to create as the topsoil. Ramakrishnan described the replanting job as arduous.

"When the forest was cleared, the rain washed away the top soil consisting humus and organic materials. The land is almost barren and that slows down the growth of the plants. There is also the high altitude factor," he said.

Some of the local species that have been replanted including 'podo bukit' (podocarpus neriifolia), 'medang' (lauraceae spp), 'meranti bukit' (meranti bukit) and 'merapuh daun runcing' (swietenia penagiana).

In 2004, REACH started planting 'symingtonia (exbucklandia) populnea' at the site.

All the seedlings, according to Ramakrishnan were obtained from the nearby-forested area and other locations.

"We hope with this reforestation project, it would instill not only a sense of awareness and responsibility but also ownership, at least within the community of Cameron Highlands.

"They must appreciate that they, too, have a role in safeguarding the forests and the water catchment areas," said Ramakrishnan.

LOVE OUR RIVERS

Rivers of Cameron Highlands are receiving the full brunt of the uncontrolled clearings of lands for agricultural activities particularly on steep slopes and water catchment areas as well as over-development or urban areas.

And according to Ramakrishnan, because of the deteriorating conditions of the rivers, REACH has taken onto itself to educate the people of Cameron Highlands on the importance of good river water quality. The project took off in 2005.

"First we started out by creating awareness and condition of the rivers. We began ith the secondary school children and this year, we will get the primary schools to be involved as well," he said.

Ramakrishnan is not deterred by the fact that the 'Love Our River' campaign mooted by the government has been dubbed a failure.

"That is why we are focusing on the children, at least they can go back and convince their parents about the river programme.

"We are making the programme more attractive. The kids will be Community Stream Investigators (CSI). They would go out in groups to investigate the health of our rivers.

"By searching for specific small animals in the river and simple testing, they will learn whether the stream is healthy or polluted. This kind of teaching is more appealing to kids and is cheaper," explained Ramakrishnan.

He said the simple water testing kits given to the school children under the programme are provided by Water Environment Federation under its World Water Monitoring Programme.

RECYCLING PROJECTS

Another on-going sustainable programme by REACH is the recycling project initiated in 2003.

"We started with an awareness programme that involved school children and the local community which includes housing areas and villages. We also went to the Orang Asli settlements," said Ramakrisnan, adding that educational activities at schools involve bringing 5.0 kg of recyclable materials each week.

REACH also established collection centres for all the recycled items including newspapers, aluminum cans and plastics at specific location at Bertam Valley, Ringlet, Brinchang, Tringkap, Kuala Terla and Kampung Raja.

For this recycling project, REACH received good support from Cameron Highlands District Council which later provided a site for a compacting plant.

"The compacting plant is located on the lowland, near Simpang Pulai. It was opened last year. At the plant, all waste collected from the collecting centres are taken to be compacted before being sent to factories in Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur.

"This project is moving on in a very positive manner. In a way, we are helping the local authorities to properly manage waste items," said Ramakrishnan.

FARMERS THE NEXT TARGET

He said this year REACH plans to proceed with the recycling programme on a much bigger scale.

"We are targeting the farms this year. We visited some previously but our efforts were hampered due to shortage of staff," he said.

According to Ramakrishnan, the farms use a lot of plastics and some have been indiscriminately dumping plastics and other wastes into the rivers.

"We are very much concerned with this lackadaisical attitude on the part of the farmers. I have caught many doing this. They even threw pesticide containers into the rivers.

"One farmer even had the cheek to tell me that he threw rubbish into the river because many farmers are doing that when I caught him and his workers dumping rubbish into Sungai Parang after closing his temporary stall set for the Chinese New Year festival recently!" Ramakrishnan said.

THE ORCHID BOOK

Meanwhile, REACH would be coming out with a book on Wild Orchids of Cameron Highlands next month. The A4-size book is 205 pages thick, full colour with over 400 photographs of wild orchids, amidst the backdrop of some of the more untouched and unspoilt areas of the highlands.

"This project involves a team of volunteers and many individuals who have supported this effort.

"Proceeds from the sale of this book will be channeled to our conservation projects in Cameron Highlands," said Ramakrishnan.

The book's selling price is RM98.

He said REACH began documenting the wild orchids in Cameron Highlands about six years ago.

"Now we have a collection of 15,000 photographs and so far we have been able to describe 605 different orchids. Prior to this, there were only 305 orchids known in Cameron Highlands.

"The orchids are intact but their very existence is threatened by logging and also by indirectly local climate change brought about by immense clearing of lands for agricultural activities," he added.

More information on REACH is available by either calling 012-589 8684, email reach@reach.org.my. or visit http://www.reach.org.my/).

-- BERNAMA
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Old May 31st, 2009, 10:54 AM   #54
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courtesy of KeenHong Ng, my fellow colleague - cameron highland sunrise













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Old June 10th, 2009, 12:21 PM   #55
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Old June 25th, 2009, 08:35 AM   #56
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Old June 25th, 2009, 08:36 AM   #57
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Location: MARDI research centre, Cameron Highland, Pahang, Malaysia
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Old June 28th, 2009, 10:09 AM   #58
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Old July 12th, 2009, 05:06 PM   #59
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RM70 Million Worth Of Strawberries A Year From Cameron Highlands
July 12, 2009 22:02 PM

CAMERON HIGHLANDS, July 12 (Bernama) -- The 30 hectares of land in Cameron Highlands grown with strawberries is capable of producing RM70 million worth of the fruit each year.

Deputy Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Datuk Johari Baharum said the achievement was due to the proactive measures taken by the ministry to ensure that the quality of strawberries produced here was on par with that of imported strawberries.

"If previously the strawberries grown here were smaller and rather sour, now they are bigger, sweet and more delicious.

"Because of their better quality, the fruit has begun to be exported to Singapore," he said after the launching of the "One District, One Industry" programme, here, Sunday.

Johari said the strawberry industry would grow more rapidly through downstream activities like producing strawberry jam, pickled and candied strawberries, strawberry ice-cream, dried strawberries, and strawberry-flavoured tea and cordial.

He said the strawberry industry should be encouraged and given serious attention as it could help raise the income of local residents.

-- BERNAMA
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Old July 13th, 2009, 04:36 AM   #60
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Cameron farmers produce a staggering RM70mil worth of the new variety fruits
Monday July 13, 2009
By CHRISTINA KOH

TANAH RATA: Cameron Highland’s 52 farmers produce a staggering RM70mil worth of fresh strawberries a year across 30ha of land.

Deputy Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Datuk Mohd Johari Baharum said the farmers also produced up to RM18mil of strawberry-related products such as cordials, jams, toppings, ice-cream, teas and chocolates.

Strawberry would be the latest product to be included under the Government’s “One District One Industry” programme, he said.

Johari noted that in the past, the strawberries grown were small, but new varieties introduced by the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute, as well as a more efficient tier-system growing methods, had increased the fruit size and output.

“I daresay our local strawberries are as good as any of those overseas. We have already saved a lot of money by not needing to import our strawberries.

“As for export, we are limited by the land and climate needed to grow them, but I’m happy with our progress,” he told reporters after the SDSI launch of the strawberries here yesterday.

Cameron Highland’s strawberries, he pointed out, were sold in local hypermarkets and exported to Singapore.

Johari said the strawberry farmers under the programme received incentives, technical advice and Government support in marketing and promoting their products to both local and overseas markets.

The Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority, he added, was already promoting and establishing markets for products under the programme in foreign countries such as Brunei, the Middle East and Europe.

Meanwhile, Johari said another homegrown product due to be officially introduced soon was the nipa nipah (sweetened nipah juice) from Yan, Kedah.

Among the other products under the programme are tapioca (Sepang), coconuts (Hilir Perak), madu tualang or wild honey (Kuala Nerang, Kedah), sago (Sarawak) and prawns (Sabah).
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