Saturday, October 23, 2010

Another Portion Of Green Lung Vanished

While passing by Lebuhraya Langkawi sometime ago, I stopped to look at what this old signboard was saying. I read in horror and prayed that this will not happen at all. 

Sometimes prayers do work and sometimes they don't...   

Sadly, I am witnessing another 2% or more of Langkawi's green lung is being stripped away for another township. Where is this location?
Click on the images to see a larger view

Those bloody "San Tai Wong"!

Tractors cutting into the edge of the forest

This could be the company responsible for the development. From the outlook of the signboard, it looked the project was put on hold for awhile. And since the economic situation has recovered, the development continues.

What will they be building over there?
15 units of Two-storey offices and shoplots
48  units of single terrace house
81 units of double-storey house
10 units of two-storey twin house
16 units of double-storey house

Power lines on the site
Reality sets in as population began to increase on the island, there goes Langkawi's natural heritage and her biodiversity. 

On the other side of the story, ever since the implementation of the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) program by the government, more lands on the hills and forest edge were sold to be cleared for building bungalows and villas. 

An excerpt from The Star report:

Wednesday August 4, 2010

Association: Probe sale of Malay reserve land to foreigners


GEORGE TOWN: The Kedah Government must inves tigate allegations that foreigners are buying Malay reserve land in Langkawi using the backdoor approach, said the Malaysian Asso ciation of Travel and Tour Agents Kedah chapter.
Its chairman Pishol Ishak claimed such deals – where foreigners allegedly used local residents to purchase the land on their behalf for a commission – were common knowledge.
The foreigners built bungalows and even set up tourism-related en-terprises on the island resort, taking a slice of the tourism revenue from lo-cal travel trade members, he added.
He was commenting on allegations by Ayer Hangat assemblyman Mohd Rawi Abdul Hamid at the Kedah state assembly sitting on Monday that 50 foreign families owned such land in Langkawi.
Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak had said if foreigners used “Ali Baba” tactics to buy land to build houses, it would be difficult to trace them.
Pishol said the state government should ensure Malay reserve land was only leased to foreigners keen to develop Langkawi’s tourism industry with locals.
When contacted, Rawi claimed that most of the foreigners owned land in Ulu Melaka, and some had built bungalows for homestay packages or converted them to eateries. Others offered tourism activities.
“It has been happening for the last five years,” he said, adding he would raise the matter with the Federal Government.
Newly-appointed Langkawi Dis trict Officer Abdul Aziz Ghani said the state government had yet to notify the island’s land office about the allegations.
“We will check our records. There are various legal considerations, such as if the land is leased, bought or acquired,” he added.
“We would also need to monitor recent transactions to see if there has been a rise in land purchases. If it is reserve land, there is usually no new ownership.”
Kedah Tourism, Indian and Malay sian-Thai Communities Welfare committee chairman S. Manikumar said enforcement must be intensified to ensure such dealings did not occur.
He also blamed local landowners who sold such land despite their status as Malay reserve.
Once again, the state government and our Forestry Department have failed in moving towards their mission in creating a state park here.

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Love By All Beings

Being a city person in those earlier years of my life, I had never encounter a tree that bears such addictive sweet juicy fruits that look like cherries until I began my worklife on an island known as Tuba in Langkawi. 

My first response to that first taste - hmm... yummm! And so I was introduced to this tree in Malay language call "Pokok Ceri" (Cherry Tree) by my ex-colleague. I had tasted cherries before but those were the ones that I usually took them off the birthday cakes and straight into my mouth when no one is looking. Those birthday cakes cherries look big and very red but their taste are nothing as compared to those "Pokok Ceri".

Who else likes them?

Your may say this to me - "What? Where have you been in your childhood years? These trees are so common that they are found growing in gardens, in front of houses and beside the roads in urban areas." Yes, I was a typical city person and very much oblivious to plants around me in those years.

This is how the entire Jamaica Cherry Tree (Muntingia calabura) looks like. Shrubby, messy and boring. However, this tree is an excellent shade provider. To me, this is a 2-in-1 tree. It acts as an "umbrella", when someone needs a shelter from the hot scorching sun  and a "snack" corner (when it is fruiting).

The petals of the flowers are plain white with yellow stamens.
Immature flower

The comtemporary love partners ...
The Pollinators
A stingless bee visitation

From flower to young fruit...
Immature cherry

to my "competitors"...
 A male Brown-Throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis) sneaking behind the leaves
His "partner", the female Brown-Throated sunbird was also spotted sneaking behind those leaves
This male Brown Throated sunbird poking on a cherry

                      A "punctured" cherry made by the bird and left aside. What a waste!
Male Orange-bellied flowerpecker (Dicaeum trigonostigma) watching

According to Verheij 1991, the Jamaica cherry is indigneous to South-Central America and the Caribbean. It is believe that the Portuguese were the distributors of this fruit, which was probably first carried to Thailand or Vietnam and then subsequently spread to Malaysia.

A foreign fruit tree which is easy to plant, grows quickly and love by the locals here including the birds.

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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Temporary Blog Out

Dear blog followers and readers;
My personal blogging partner has decided to opt for a vacation and leaving the other partner in the "dark". Production is kind of slow recently but now is even slower. Slow like a snail but production is surely progressing. 

Thank you for all your patience. 

I am pondering now "What is life without a laptop?"

A pathetic situation when lifestyle has depended on my laptop to facilitate my hobbies, work and studies. It really feels like one part of your life is missing. How gosh... I had became attached.

Finally my thirty five months old Toshiba Satellite decided to demand for a rest! It has been giving annoying problem at bootup by beeping for ten seconds before displaying this message:

Choose an operating system to start, our press TAB to select a tool:

To specify an advanced option for the choice, press F8

After searching for solutions on this error, the tech guy suggested the keyboard was the problem. And yes indeed as I detected the combination of two keys are not working. The good news is that it is still under warranty. 

My laptop is on mainland while I will be contributing my $$$ to the local cyber shop and sitting in those smelly room.

So instead of groaning and moaning, I now look at the bright side:

Less blogging = Less late nights= More hours of sleep

Early to bed =Less pimples and acne

Less sitting on my sofa and typing away = More pumping and workout = Less flabs on my tummy

Opening and reading my books = Reducing dust collection on my shelf

Owling = Healthier late nights

WE (me and my lappie) WILL BE BACK IN A WHILE... 

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