Monday, March 08, 2010

Logging is the reason

Sg Lembing's Rainbow Waterfall is restricted NOW.
Reasons given by the Forestry Department were to absolve it from liability should a tragedy occur and to protect the site from indiscriminate littering and illegal fishing.
If that were the reasons then EVERY parks in Pahang (and in Malaysia) should be banned too. People dies at Taman Negara, rubbishs were found at Taman Negara and illegal fishings were found at Taman Negara - Why don't they ban Taman Negara (Kuala Tahan, Pahang) too?
Well, I can't think of a valid reason but the obvious one is LOGGING or perhaps GOLD mining! This has been one of the modus operandi, the other is to build a highway. Damned corrupt!

Monday March 8, 2010
There are better ways than bans to control entry to tourism spots

RECENTLY, a Sungai Lembing community leader made the startling revelation of a state agency imposing a blanket ban on visitors entering Rainbow Waterfall along Sungai Jin.

Unaware of the sudden restriction, many first-time visitors who arrived at the site found themselves blocked from entering the pathway leading to the popular tourism spot.

Among the reasons given by the Forestry Department were to absolve it from liability should a tragedy occur and to protect the site from indiscriminate littering and illegal fishing.

Paya Besar MCA division chief Senator Ng Fook Heng said these reasons did not hold water and could have untoward repercussions for the tourism industry.

He said he was concerned that, if no quarters came forward to question the one for the move, other agencies might impose similar restrictions on other tourist destinations.

Pahang thrives because of its lovely beaches and lush forests which are home to flora and fauna unique to this largest state in the Peninsula.

Ng feared that, if one agency was allowed to impose its own guidelines, it might open the floodgates for others to follow.

“What if another agency decides to bar tourists from climbing the scenic Panorama Hill in Sungai Lembing for certain reasons?

“The former mining town will cease to attract visitors and this will affect economic activities such as homestay programmes, chalets, food and other trades of the locals,” he said.

Ng has raised a valid point as it just does not make economic sense to fence up a popular site purportedly for the safety of visitors and to preserve the environment.

If visitors are not allowed to experience the beauty and serenity of nature, how else can they appreciate the environment as a whole?

Most visitors who made their way to the waterfall were nature lovers.

Other ways of protecting visitors and the environment should first be considered and implemented.

The basic step would be to put up a sign warning visitors that they were entering at their own risk.

While manpower constraints may forbid the department from deploying staff to monitor the site and check littering and other illegal activities, it can seek the assistance of nearby villagers and give them an allowance to keep a lookout.

Perhaps the department can propose that the Pahang government collects a small fee from visitors under a Rainbow Waterfall fund to cover the allowances and to maintain cleanliness or build certain facilities.

There should be no public uproar over this as visitors gladly pay to enter places of interest and pristine beauty such as the Tioman Island marine park and for parking at popular beaches in Teluk Chempedak, Kuantan.

Anti-littering signs and more rubbish bins should be placed at these locations as there are not enough of them.

State Arts, Tourism, Heritage, Women and Community Development Committee chairman Datuk Shafik Fauzan Sharif should issue reminders to all the parties concerned to weigh the consequences of implementing such drastic moves.

Measures which hinder visitors and impede visits to places of interest should be done away with as the tourism industry is among the main revenue earners for Pahang.

Imposing restrictions is not the answer as keen climbers and adventure seekers will find ways to gain entry, and should a tragedy occur as a result of this, the department will get blamed.

It is better to exercise control by registering visitors daily and conducting quick checks of back packs and barring items such as styrofoam lunch boxes and fishing equipment to safeguard the natural surroundings.

Such measures are better alternatives to imposing a ban on visitors as this may do more harm than good.

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