Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Maxwell Hill that I saw...

It took years and hundreds, perhaps thousand of Indian laborers working with their bare hands and basic tools to complete the 13 kilometers road that leads to the top of this amazing mountain range. The top most is 1250 meter from the sea level. It is not an ordinary road likes that one see at Cameron Highland and Frazer Hill. The climb was almost vertical with 93 hairpin corners which made it impossible to drive up there using an ordinary car. We were driven up there using the Land-rover, that hardy British made four-wheel drive, an amazing workhorse that could take the hairpin corner with ease. The 13 kilometers drive up to the top took half an hour. The road was narrow and only with the expertise of the driver made it possible to drive both ways. All throughout the ways one see greens of the tropical jungle that had been there for the last 1.5 millions years. Other then the green that is often blanketed by thick mist there are nothing much to see except dilapidated houses that once was the residents and rest-house of the British officers and their families in the hay day of the colonial era.

From what I notice only little repairs are done here and there but mostly all the buildings that I saw are left to the elements and in the process of decay. It looks like the maintenance is a bare minimum. The road looks like it needs a major repair and broadens but it seems it has been like that for years. Had it not been for the wonderful driver that took us up and down the whole trip would be a total waste. Such a gem of a cool resort on the top of the world with cool temperature seems to go to waste. What a waste to our national heritage. Had the place been given due maintenance and the road widens, flower garden maintained it would be a heaven for tourist. The 1.5 million years old forest is already a ready attraction to nature lover all over the world. We should remember our Main Range; the Banjaran Titiwangsa had never been devastated by the Ice Age like that in the western hemisphere, so our forest is actually exactly as it was when the first plants start growing. That is our asset and it would attract visitor from near and afar. Yet it look like nothing serious is been done to preserved this national treasure of ours. Except for the service provide for one to go up and down, very little seem to have been done to preserve this gem of a Hill Resort. Sad indeed, when million are spend on new recreational projects but this one that is so close to the Taiping town has not been given due attention it deserved.

The drive up and down are dangerous and I would advice folks not to bring their children along on such a trip. At present there are nothing to see but the flora and fauna of the tropical jungle. How we wished that they had set a rest site where we could enjoy Teh Tarik in the cool comfort of the green surrounding. The whole areas are suitable for planting of flowers but the only flowers that one sees are the wild flowers or some old one that had managed to survived on its own. I hope that the authority concern would look seriously on the redevelopment of this resort rather then developing new one. Even the resort north of Taiping that was developed recently seem to be almost deserted on the day we visited it; the buildings and the landscaping look like it need a professional maintenance. So I felt that it is wise to spend money on the Maxwell Hill rather then on any new resorts.

The Maxwell Hill project was completed in 1884 and in 1910 it was gazette as a Forest Reserved. I hope that it would stay as a Forest Reserve for eternity. So to nature lover who are interested is just the flora and fauna where time stood-still for millions of years, this is still the place to visit and enjoy the greens as well as bird watching. For the youth a hike up is an adventure not to be missed. On our way up and down we saw a numbers of local hiking and they seem to be enjoying the adventure.

It is now renamed as Bukit Larut but whatever name they choose to replace the colonial name it should not be left to rot and eventually destroyed by the elements. It is indeed depressing to see such a wonderland of nature which was built with the sweats of thousand of laborers is left to rot. Anyway do have a nice day.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Dragonfly and the Ants...

While walking at the small garden in front of my patio I spotted this fallen Dragonfly without the tail. It must have fallen down and die on the floor, where I could see ants crawling all over it and slowly carrying it away.

It was really great to get to see nature in action, part of the Eco system of nature. The dead Dragonfly soon became food for the ants. Perhaps the ants would be enjoying a feast after this.

I fixed the Macro Lens to my camera and took a numbers of snaps as the ants slowly move the giant Dragonfly away from my sight; a fascinating sight in the micro world of the insects. It is the little happenings like this that made our world so colorful. The interaction among the species, be it the plants, the animals and insects and us the Homo sapiens. Such a wonderland if only we care to look and appreciate.

Have a nice day. [Click to enlarge image]

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Miss Telecom of Yesteryears...

It has been an eventful weeks. Starting from the Eid Fitr Open House there was streams of visitors to the house. As couple who love to party since our youth, these happenings has been one happy moments for both us. My spouse and I love it. To top it all my spouse decided to organized a get together last Thursday October 15, 2009 of her colleagues while she was working with Telecom Malaysia years ago.

In the fifties and the sixties these girls are the darling of the Telecom Department. The girls that made the Telco tick before the introduction of automation, electronic and the cell phone where all calls had to go through a human interface. Without them it was not be possible to make a call. There was no automation then so they are the part of the system that made possible all the million of calls that are made days by days. Now with automation and electronic their services are limited to special function only. They had served the service well indeed and today all those girls are in their golden age and enjoying life. It was a culture then that there would be a Miss Telecom Pageant where the Miss Telecom of the year would be selected. We would attend this Dance and Dinner function and enjoy the night of fun and splendor of an era gone by. Now things have changed and we no longer hear of such event. How sad. We all did have a great time then but time has change and now it is just history.

So on that special Thursday at our home a numbers of them attend the invitation from my spouse for the lunch. It was to some a meeting after twenty years. Some was the Miss Telecom of yesteryear. What a gathering of ladies it was. I was the only thorn among the roses, until the spouse of two of them arrived, one is one of my cousin and the other is a General; the retired Chief of the Malaysian Arm Force, a close friend of ours from our youth.

I am sharing here the images of those folks who were at our home on that special day. In those days they are dressed differently and not as what you see now. The fashion was different then but with changing cultural influences the fashion of dressing has change too. They were gorgeous then and now in their golden age they still look as great. Gorgeous as ever. Have a nice day.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Happy Diwali...

Happy Dewali to all, may we all continue to prosper and enjoy life.

Folks the Eid Fitr [Hari Raya] celebration is still on, so we now have two festivals to celebrate.

Have a nice day.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dinning in the Sky...

It was one of those days that we would go out for a family dinner. This time was at a place that I had not been before. Although the KL Tower was officially open some twelve years ago I have not been up there until last Saturday when our eldest daughter invited us for a family dinner there. She had been trying to organized a dinner up there for sometimes already and it was only last Saturday that it happened.

The KL Tower is one imposing telecommunication tower and with the Petronas Twin Towers it made an imposing icon of the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. The total height of the tower is 421m whereas the Revolving Restaurant is at 282m.

On arrival there at just past eight in the evening we were whizzed up by the lift nonstop to the twenty second floor. The revolving floor where one would enjoy the dinner and watch the panoramic view of Kuala Lumpur move around you. Actually it is the floor of the dining area that moves at a slow pace, hardly noticed. So while we sat to enjoy our meal and concentrate on the food, the scene of Kuala Lumpur below us slowly changed. The center of the hall move too so as we enjoy the evening the Dessert Table that was beside our table slowly disappeared and reappeared after a lapsed of sometimes.

Soon the dining area was filled with dinners of the local and tourists. We took our times to enjoy the sumptuous buffet of local and western food. And from time to time I took snaps of those amazing scenes below us. It was just majestic, glittering like a fairyland; such a magnificent sight indeed.

For grandma and grandpa this is our first time here and together with the kids and grand kids we all did had a gala time that evening, enjoying the food and watching the view of Kuala Lumpur from such height. Indeed an enjoyable family dinner, one of a kind. A bliss.

Have a nice day.

Note: Both the images above was taken from the same spot.[click image to enlarge]

Friday, October 09, 2009

Your Vote My Vote...

Folks there would be a By-election in the state of Negeri Sembilan. It would be a straight fight between the PR that is PAS and the BN. In the era of change as now the election is not just an easy go for any party. Not like before. We now have a new generation of Malaysian born after independence 1957. Surely they have a different political outlook then their forefather. They want to see quality leadership at all level. Read this my take in my other Blog. Have a nice day.

Monday, October 05, 2009

A candid moment...

Since I am still in the raya mood, I am posting this candid image of a scene at that Raya Open House. It is one of those moment that I had managed to capture during the busy time playing host to all those fine folks who came for that special day. Have a nice day.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Of relatives and Raya...

Well folks it was an enjoyable week. It all began with the Open House on the first day of the Eid Fitr. The Open House was a success and I am glad that everyone did enjoy themselves. I thought after that hectic and enjoyable event on the first day of Hari Raya I would take a rest but then relatives start coming in droves and we had to continue playing host for the Raya visit. In the tradition of the Eid Fitr the Hari Raya is celebrated for the whole month from the first day of the Eid Fitr. So it is normal for friends and relatives to visit Muslim home at any day of the month. It is during this month that one could visit friends and relatives without an invitation. All are welcome is the culture of the month.

During the whole period of last week except for a lull of a day the guests kept streaming, mostly of close relatives; nephews and nieces which I had not seen, some for more then a year. Now they came in full force with their adult kids and new addition to the family. A wonderful aspect about the present living style is that they did inform us of their coming via SMS; the wonder of the cell phone. That set in motion a communication channel that made its easy to know how many are coming to the house. For after the Open House we did not prepare much food except the usual Raya cakes and cookies that was made especially for the Eid Fitri. And as usual we still have plenty of it. But it is not the same as serving heavy food the Malaysian style of entertaining guests. When I knew how many are coming my spouse and I would work out of what best to serve them. Among the choice are Nasi Lemak and Mee Goreng which are easy to prepare. Thus for those who came after the Open House the menu would be just that simple.

One group after another of the relatives kept arriving and by Sunday most of those who live in and around Kuala Lumpur had arrived. What a week it has been. We get to meet with so many relatives in just one week. It was good of them to made the visit and been the oldest of the family member, both grandma and I was delighted with the get together. The numbers of family’s members that came visiting this Raya was beyond expectation. It does become one of the many great moments in our lives, a beautiful moment indeed. The images here show some candid moments of those relatives at our home. Have a nice day. [Please click image to enlarge]