Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Jien Travel to Tasik Chini

Travel Column
Jien 32, TV Host

What was the best item you've bought while travelling and where? Gifts for grateful friends: Tongkat Ali herbs (it's actually believed to be an aphrodisiac) from an Orang Asli village in Tasik Chini.

What was the best food you've tasted during your travels and where? Wow! I would have to say at an Orang Asli settlement in Tasik Chini. All we had was grilled toman fish with wild vegetables and chilli padi. Believe me it was the best meal ever – so simple, yet so tasty! Comments: So far I have been pretty lucky. No dramas and any mishaps on my trips. You should just take your time to really explore the place and enjoy your holiday!

Chini after TSSB

Tanah Serendah Sekebun Bunga
Venue: Dewan Bahasa & Pustaka
Jalan Dewan Bahasa, 50460, Kuala Lumpur
Date & Time: Feb 20-21, 2004 (8.30pm)
Tickets: 019-2459282
Ticket Contact: Zulkifli
Synopsis: Theatre company "Svarnabhumi Studio Kuala Lumpur" in collaboration with AXiA(Arts Xchange in Asia) presented a contemporary dance theatre performance, that take you back to a pre-Malacca era, to a time when this stretch of the peninsula was known as the Langkasuka Kingdom, nicknamed Tanah Serendah Sekebun Bunga. The dance theatre depicted the rule of a woman Raja Mas Chayam, her encounter with a seer, and the subsequent fall of the kingdom. Inspired from traditional dances like Mak Yong, Menora, Main Puteri, Wayang Kulit. The dance is choreographed and performed by three expert dancers, Hamzah Tahir, Zubin Mohamad and Mek Nab. The scenography is designed by Hamzah Tahir. The story is written by Zulkifli Mohamad based on folk tale.
The dance also will be starring Rosnani Nasir, Hasanol Farihan and will be accompanied by "Sewarna" musicians from Uitm.

Lake Chini Malaysia

Tasik Chini

Tasik Chini is one of the only two natural lakes in Peninsula Malaysia, both of which are located in the state of Pahang. Located approximately 100km from Kuantan town, the capital of Pahang, Chini is a lake that was formed from the natural damming of a river valley. It is Malaysia's second largest natural lake and is made up of a series of 12 lakes. With its well-known myths, the lake has attracted many visitors from various destinations. Legend has it that a mythical dragon lives in the lake and is the guardian of a lost city of gold, which was once situated at the lake. The Jakun people - an Orang Asli (aboriginal) tribe of Malay origin - who live around the lake also believe that the serpent Naga Seri Gumum (Loch Ness Monster) is the spirit and guardian of the lake. Nevertheless, these legends have enticed numerous archeologists to conduct scientific expeditions in Chini.

Lying majestically among 12,000 acres of lush tropical wilderness, the lake provides such beauty that it is possible to walk for miles without feeling bored. The size of the lake itself is subjective to regular periods of expansion and contractions. It is at its largest size during the monsoon months, which falls from October to January.

Virtually undisturbed for centuries, Tasik Chini itself is a habitat for over 144 species of fishes. The months of November to January is the best time for anglers to try their luck as the monsoon season would have increased the size and depth of the lake.

Earnest bird watchers will be happy to know that over 200 species of birds were recorded. Chini is a premier bird watching destination in Peninsula Malaysia. There are three bird watching trails, which go through different habitats. During the months of October to March, migratory birds come to Chini from the northern parts of Asia to escape the winter.

Chini is also a treasure trove for avid photographers. Imagine this picturesque lake with the majestic Gunung Chini in the backdrop, especially in the early mornings and late evenings. Also, during the months of July to January, the surface of the lake blossoms into a garden of pink and white lotuses, which contrasts brightly against the green lily pads. It is a truly breathtaking sight! River safaris are another way to enjoy the beauty of the lake.

For the more adventurous, Tasik Chini has a number of challenging routes through the jungle and swamps for off-road driving. The routes are only accessible by four-wheel-drives and provide enough excitement and adventure to please even the most demanding thrill-seeker. Another kind of activity is jungle trekking, which is exciting yet educational. One will be able to see an amazing array of flora and fauna here in Chini. It is best to secure a guide in order to fully utilize and appreciate the natural surroundings.

There are a number of wooden chalets and restaurants available, as well as camping spots for those who wish to rough it. Tasik Chini is accessible by road from most parts of Peninsula Malaysia and even Singapore. Daily bus services are also available from Kuantan.

Catch Chini

CATCH CHINI, a children’s dance performance by Kuala Lumpur Culture, Arts and Heritage Department at Lambang Sari, Istana Budaya, Kuala Lumpur on Aug 11-14. The hour and half production is a story written by Zulkifli Mohamad based on folk tale. Wira, a brave child from Kampung Chini who sets out on an adventure. Along the way, he meets the legendary dragon of Tasik Chini and other colourful characters, including dragonfly, butterflies, monkeys, fishes and wild dogs. Directed by Hamzah Mohammad Tahir with performers from Arts of Dance and Theatre (ADAT). Tickets: RM35, RM25 and RM15, are available from Ticket Axcess. Call 03-7711-5000.

‘Improve conditions of Lake Chini’

New Straits Times » Local

‘Improve conditions of Lake Chini’


More than 400 Orang Asli who live around Lake Chini near Pekan want the Government to take immediate action to improve the quality of water in the lake which they say has deteriorated in recent years.
They claim that their livelihood has been adversely affected as the number of fish in the lake has dwindled due to pollution.

Kampung Gumum Orang Asli Welfare Action Commitee secretary Nubi Sia said logging activities near the lake and its river system had aggravated the situation.

"We have learnt that more logging areas will be opened up near the lake and that can further jeopardise our source of water and income," she said at a Press conference here today.

Present were Friends of the Earth (SAM) honorary secretary M.S. Anuar Mahmod and Felda Chini Smallholders Association honorary secretary Mohd Saleh Ishak.

Nubi said most of the Orang Asli in her village depended on the lake for their livelihood.

Kampung Gumum village batin (head) Awang Alok claimed that pollution at the lake started when the Government built a dam to maintain the water level.

He said the dam, constructed in 2000, stopped the flow of water from the lake to Sungai Pahang and vice versa.

"The fish from Sungai Pahang can no longer enter the lake while the water in the lake has slowly turned black and is almost stagnant," he said.

The lake, he added, was also infested by a water weed known as ekor kucing (Cobomba sp), and "fish cannot survive in the lake due to the weed and pollution".

Anuar said SAM would help the Orang Asli community to bring their problem to the attention of authorities at the state and federal levels.

Misteri Chini

Misteri Tasik Chini jadi bahan pementasan lagi
Oleh Raja Nurfatimah Mawar Mohamed

ZULKIFLI MOHAMAD, penulis cerita drama tari Chini.

BILAKAH kali terakhir anda menonton sebuah pementasan drama tari kanak-kanak yang menarik?

Jika sudah lama tidak berbuat demikian, inilah masanya untuk anda meluangkan masa menonton satu pertunjukan yang hebat, membabitkan 49 kanak-kanak tempatan yang berbakat. Diberi judul Chini, produksi terbitan Mofira Productions itu diarahkan penggiat teater terkenal Hamzah Tahir dan ia diangkat daripada karya kreatif Zulkifli Mohamad.

Menonjolkan skor muzik ciptaan Hafiz Askiak, drama tari itu akan dipentaskan di dewan Lambang Sari, Istana Budaya (IB) mulai 11 hingga 14 Ogos ini. Zulkifli ketika ditemui Bintang Popular berkata, Chini adalah kesinambungan pementasan Tanah Serendah Sekebun Bunga yang dipentaskan di Dewan Bahasa & Pustaka (DBP), tahun lalu.

“Bezanya, kalau kisah dulu dipersembahkan pelakon dewasa termasuk saya sendiri dan Mek Nab, kali ini Chini akan dilakonkan sekumpulan kanak-kanak berusia lapan hingga 15 tahun. Mereka adalah pelajar daripada Tunas Budaya dan Pak Ngah Productions yang cukup berbakat,” katanya.

Zulkifli yang juga pensyarah seni serta koreografer handalan berkata, Chini antara lain mengisahkan kisah pengembaraan kanakkanak zaman moden yang kembali ke zaman silam, seperti mana yang terlihat dalam kisah terkenal Harry Porter.

“Ia bermula dengan kisah seorang kanak-kanak, Wira dari Kampung Chini yang tidak semena-mena termasuk ke dalam dunia yang asing baginya. Ia terjadi ketika dia berbasikal di tepi belukar dan terpesona melihat keunikan rama-rama dan pepatung atau sesibu.

“Seterusnya, Wira dikejar pula oleh anjing putih tetapi muncul sekumpulan monyet (hanuman) yang berjaya menyelamatkannya.

Selepas lari ke arah tasik, Wira bertemu pula ikan merah dan akhirnya terserempak dengan `kepala naga'. Di situlah menjelmanya seorang puteri yang cantik dan ia begitu menghairankan Wira,” kata Zulkifli.

Beliau berkata, penceritaan dalam Chini juga dibuat berdasarkan kajian saintifik dan faktor geografi di sekitar tasik legenda itu.

“Di Tasik Chini memang ada kirakira 200 spesies pepatung dan ikan merah yang bergigi tajam. Bagi saya Chini menyelitkan kesedaranterhadap alam sekitar dan juga kisah mitos rakyat yang diwarisi sejak zaman berzaman.

“Sebenarnya kepala naga yang dijumpai Wira adalah kepala perahu yang unik,” katanya yang enggan bercerita lebih lanjut supaya khalayak seni akan datang sendiri menontonnya.

Zulkifli berkata, persembahan drama tari tanpa itu memang disasarkan untuk seisi keluarga selain murid-murid dan pelajar. Dalam berhibur, ia juga menyelitkan nasihat kepada penonton dan mampu menaikkan jati diri kanak-kanak.

Selain menulis skrip, Zulkifli juga menjadi penasihat kostum kepada pementasan menarik itu. Katanya, penggunaan pelbagai jenis fabrik daripada songket dan organza ditonjolkan bagi memberikan kesan visual yang memikat kepada penonton.

Bagi pencinta seni persembahan, Zulkifli bukanlah asing erana banyak membuat persembahan erbentuk tarian di dalam ahupun luar negara. Selain itu, eliau juga pernah menjadi pensyarah i beberapa kolej serta niversiti malah pernah menjadi enaga pengajar sambilan di University of Chulalongkorn, Bangkok.

Minat Zulkifli terhadap dunia fabrik tradisi begitu menyerlah kerana dia mempunyai koleksi kain antik yang dihimpun daripada seluruh nusantara.

Jerebu Kita Angkara Kita

Ada accident di jalan raya, mungkin kerana jerebu tebal, mungkin kerana memang mabok, mungkin memang tengah hai, ada yang mati bergelimpangan. Al Qaeda juga menyerang lagi, malam mengaku menyerang AS dan UK, Thaksin juga mengganas di Selatan Thai, Ada banyak orang yang mati dan hilang...............