Saturday, June 29, 2013

Tin mining exhibition at Falim House

There is an exhibition called "A tin mining family" at Falim House until Aug 2013.

Falim House is an historic old house which I visited earlier this year. The current exhibition is produced by Ian Anderson. One of his previous exhibitions was The Story of Ipoh.

This tin mining exhibition shows the life and times of some tin mining families, featuring their every day lives, with exhibits from the home, play time, local traders, equipment as well as tin mining objects.

 Falim House
© Liz Price <br>
No reproduction without permission

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Destruction opposite my condo 2

This article is from The Star and relates to the development opposite my condo in KL.

STAR Metro

Monday June 3, 2013

Residents object to construction of centre at green lung


Concerned: Gardner showing the destruction of a green lung as a result of land clearing works for the proposed project. Concerned: Gardner showing the destruction of a green lung as a result of land clearing works for the proposed project.
RESIDENTS of Le Chateau 1 and 2 condominiums in Kuala Lumpur, who are against a project to build a six-storey HIV rehabilitation centre in their neighbourhood, held protests near the construction site recently.

Le Chateau 2 joint management body treasurer Richard Gardner said they were not consulted or given any notice regarding the project called Ilaj Home and were concerned about their safety as well as environmental damage.

“We were only aware of the development when the hoarding was put up on April 28 and the project signboard erected the next day.

“Although we support the Government’s initiative in taking care of the people’s welfare, we are worried about the impact of such a development on residents here.

“We are also concerned about the environmental damage it may cause since it is a landslide-prone area. The access road into the area is narrow and in the event of a landslide, the debris will come pouring down and block the road,” he said.

A resident, Mohala Santharamohana, said the site was not suitable for any development.

“During a thunderstorm recently, as a result of land clearing works that involved the felling of trees, strong winds caused several old trees to uproot, blocking the only access road to the condominiums and SJK(C) Kuen Cheng 2.

“The rainwater running off the project site was also tea-coloured due to siltation,” she said.

Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) vice-president Henry Goh said MNS was concerned over the clearing of land nationwide.

“We are not against development but an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) must be conducted for every project. This will ensure that safety measures are taken into consideration and will help mitigate any harm to the environment and residents after the building is constructed.

“Green lungs are scarce in major cities in Malaysia and efforts must be made to conserve them,” he said.

Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Seri Ahmad Phesal Talib said the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim), which is the landowner, had obtained the development order to build Ilaj Home on Feb 28.

“However, land clearing work started before DBKL even gave the nod and we issued a stop-work order pending some safety measures to be taken by the developer.

“The Public Works Department (JKR) has also agreed to, among other things, install silt traps, upgrade the drainage system and stabilise the slope to ensure the safety of residents and to assure them that the project is safe,” he said during an event at Grand Hyatt Hotel in Kuala Lumpur recently.
Ahmad Phesal also said DBKL would monitor the project.

Destruction opposite my condo 1

The main reason I chose to live in my condo in KL is because it is so quiet and green. It is surrounded by the huge Chinese cemetery on 3 sides and woods on the 4th side. It is a beautiful location. The January 2010 Google Earth view -

The woods opposite that I see from my lounge and bedroom give such a nice view.

There are lots of birds as well as small mammals such as squirrels and shrews. At night the air is filled with the sounds of frogs and insects.

The woods extend up to Taman Desa
According to the signs they are 'owned' by an Islamic group [Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim)] -

When I was in London in April 2013 I received a series of emails from the residents of the condo, concerned about the construction of an Islamic 6 storey HIV rehabilitation centre. Apparently the news had come out of the blue, no one knew anything about it. A blue fence was suddenly put up, then a notice appeared. Usually in Malaysia a blue fence means "we don't want you to see what's going on behind"!!!

I came back to KL towards the end of June and was shocked at what I saw.

A huge horseshoe shaped area had been cleared. There was a pond at the bottom. The clearance went right up the hill slope. In the past there have been a few landslides, such as this one in June 2012 -

It is so sad to see this devastation. If the building goes ahead, 6 storey, it will mean an increase in noise and light pollution. There will be increased traffic on the small road.

-  -  -
According to this report, dated Nov 2012, the home will open in 2014 and house more than 100 residents. These people, who have HIV and Aids will be treated in accordance with Islamic approach  which focuses on Ruhiyah therapy. The Ilaj home is run by the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim). The report says "The therapy tends to strengthen the identity of the patient work through the verses of the Quran as well as integration treatment of physical, spiritual and emotional.
"What differentiates center 'Ilaj Home' with central treatment of HIV / Aids and others is that we try to treat patients based on the method and approach to Islam."
The original source of the above report.

- - -
In Aug 2011 a sign appeared up the road opposite Phase 1 with a notice about a proposed 3 storey home for old people. Then the sign disappeared.


Haze 2013

Flew back to KL from London arriving 19 June and KLIA stunk of smoke INSIDE. The haze itself wasn't too bad and the next 2 days were fairly sunny but smelly. The TV news channels were showing extremely bad haze in Singapore and it was bad in southern Malaysia. Then on 22 June the haze arrived in KL. I woke up with a bad throat which lasted all day. Had to keep the door and windows closed. It's the first time I've ever had a sore throat from the haze - and that was indoors.

June 23 I had a shock. Woke up late due to jetlag and opened my curtains mid morning and saw this
 and this would be a normal view -

The following 3 photos were taken on Sat 22,

and this is the same view on Sun 23, where KL Sentral has disappeared

In this photo we should see Menara KL and KLCC

The haze is particularly bad in Singapore and they are making a lot of fuss on the international TV news such as BBC and Al Jazeera. But as usual Malaysia "keeps quiet"!

Monday 24 June was just as bad. State of emergency in some areas. It's the worst haze for 8 years. Schools closed in KL, Selangor and Malacca. I again had a sore throat, and I haven't had the windows open since Sat. Monday afternoon I left KL as I couldn't stand it any more. I went to Ipoh which was far less hazy and virtually no smell in comparison.

Haze had gone by second week in July, maybe earlier.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Logging and deforestation

I'm posting this here as it is important news.

Nasa: Malaysia sees 115% jump in deforestation

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia saw a 115% increase in deforestation during the first three months of 2013, according to a forest tracking tool developed by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) researchers.
Malaysia's figure was the highest among five countries where deforestation was detected, followed by Nepal (114%), Mexico (92%), Argentina (72%), and Madagascar (51%).
Nasa's Quarterly Indicator of Cover Change, a satellite-based tool that underpins environment watchdog Mongabay.com's Global Forest Disturbance Alert System, noted the jump earlier this month.
Christopher Potter, a senior research scientist at the Nasa Ames Research Center, told the environment watchdog that Malaysia has a deforestation hotspot on the western coastal area of Perak.
"Many areas in Sarawak have been detected with forest cover change over the past two years," Potter, told The Star Online.
Perak DAP head Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham revealed that there had been many complaints of logging in the Manjong district of Perak, including Segari and his own Parliamentary constituency of Beruas.
"The logging is carried out at odd hours in the middle of the night, which is very suspicious. However, we don't know if it's illegal. I cannot verify the legality of this timber logging, so I cannot lodge a police report," he told The Star Online.
Ngeh, who is also Sitiawan assemblyman, said that he had tried to raise the issue during the state assembly sitting, but he and other Opposition assemblymen had "hardly been given time" to ask their questions.
He said he would bring it up in Parliament.
"However, (Perak Mentri Besar) Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir has to answer this question. Is this logging legal or not?" he said.
Zambry and Perak state government exco member Dr Muhammad Amin Zakaria could not be reached for comment.
The World Bank had previously estimated that trees in Malaysia are being cut down at roughly four times the sustainable rate.
The Malaysian Nature Society expressed concern over the statistics, and promised to review the information.
"We will cross-reference with our sources on the ground... We are and remain opposed to the clearing of any natural forests in Malaysia," said MNS communications head Andrew Sebastian.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Natural History Museum, London

 The Natural History Museum in Kensington, London is such an impressive building.

 I managed to pay a quick visit in June 2013 as I was in the area. I don't think I have been inside since school days. Surprisingly admission is still free.

 Lizards on the outer wall

Rows of animals at the top of the building
 The main entrance hall is impressive in its size and brightness. There is the large skeleton of a dinosaur

 Darwin sits at the top of the main stairs,

As I only had limited time my priority was to see the mammals section and in particular to look for those from southeast Asia. The very first animal I saw was an orang utan
 This notice explains how the museum no longer collects skins for displays
A pangolin

elephant and tooth of Asiatic elephant

wild boar

Unfortunately the tapir photo is not good

 Rhino and fake horn

Looking down into the main hall
 View of first floor

I had a quick look in the minerals room but didn't have time to spare. I will have to return!