Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Rage of An Elephant

One moment it is serenity. You are perplexed by sights and sound you discover around you. You are compensated by the greenery and verdant jungle plus the watery expansion of the man- made lake all around Banding in Perak. Travelers on the East-West Highway straddling the Titiwangsa Range get this reward as they move either eastwards or westwards connecting towns like Penang, Kulim, Baling, Gerik and Kota Bharu, Rantau Panjang, Jeli etc.

 This is one view of the area. Notice the car which is traveling eastwards that has just descended the mountain route seen as the white patch at the top right hand corner. The lake presented itself as you reached this point if approached from the west coast or the town of Grik.

After crossing two bridges you will notice this large board declaring that you are in 'Taman Negeri Royal Belum'. Let's stop and see what's around here. We notice another white signage board standing just below it, a project indicator likely. In all probability something is coming up around here. Yet it is still empty. No indication yet. Nevertheless a project office is already on site with several vehicles around. Notice also a tall yellow building on the right with potholes on its sides. A strange building to be standing at this part of the world. Yet this is once a hot bad of communist insurgencies being in the heart of Malaysia's jungle. Referred as 'kubu' it would be the safe home or 'fortress' for the security personnel guarding the area during the previous emergency years. Yet sadly we have forgotten how this stretch of highway now was a battle ground for our security forces and the bandits not too distance back. It now served as office cum storage for departments in the area.

Well , we were here to attend a site meeting for a project at the Royal Belum. The meeting proceeded only after we discovered what had happened the previous evening. Notice the pictures below.       

Now it seems the new site office was probably disliked by our friend the elephants that rampaged the building and the toilet built by the contractor. Wild elephants are seen around Tasik Banding area  but obviously the herd ( not knowing how many they were, but surely more than one) did not take well to the lights that were put up at the two buildings. So they decided to rip them off.

We have been on the highway many times crossing the main range from west to east vis-versa and only once saw a wild elephant on the highway. However this reported case would definitely alert us to be more careful and wide opened for them as they may take to the highway as developments moved into the forested area. One should also be warned what NOT to do when coming upon them.

Hopefully we will continue to enjoy the verdant Tasik Banding and its surroundings as we will be in the area in the next few months. Anak Arshad Architect begins a project under NCIA ( Northern Corridor Implementation Authority) here.

Before other things begin, it looks like the contractor has a repair job at hand.


Al-Manar said...

It is scary to imagine what damage a wild mad elephant can do

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Kotastar, your posting brought back many memories to me.
I used to drive this EW h'way twice a month, coming in from Lenggong, Grik.....or from Alor Star taking the side road as short cut, passing Betong.
And will always arrive the military checkpoint at Grik few minutes before curfew.

And I sure enjoyed letting lose my Alfa Romeo all the way to Jeli Kelantan....
I guess the place now changed. Few times I passed by the lakes, heard was the military dropping grenades to stun the fish, for dinner.

As well the Toman fish there ware real monsters too!
You have a nice day, keep well.

Azudin O Fuad said...

Pak Non, I was there in the jungles before the Highway was built. I was there when the lake was not there .
Used to walk along the upper Perak river where Hang Tuah used to walk..
Would love to go there and spent some nights there.
Maybe cycle along the Highway.