The biggest threat to Tasik Chini in Pekan is not the legendary Naga Seri Gumum (Malaysia’s answer to the Loch Ness Monster) but corporate activity and the greed of outsiders with vested interests.

A friend of mine who visited the 12,565-acre lake in Pahang reported some alarming developments that have left the lake a pale shadow of its former self.

Tasik Chini, awarded Unesco Biosphere Reserve status in 2009, is the second largest fresh water lake in Malaysia. But from his conversations with local Orang Asli and Felda settlers in the area reveal, my friend learned of deep-seated problems at the lake, which has five tributaries, and its surroundings.

He listed them down and sketched the sources of the problem:

  • A dam built in the mid-1990s up Chini River – against the wishes of the Orang Asli – to control the water level has instead impeded the natural flow of water to the lake, affecting the movement of fish into the lake. The cleansing and regenerative action of the flow was lost, and the stagnant water led to even more problems. The water in the lake is now discoloured. The mangrove area and the famed lotus flowers took a hit.
  • Fish is increasingly scarce, depriving the locals of a source of food and livelihood.
  • Eco-tourism has slumped.
  • Apparently, sewage and waste from a training camp in the area is a problem.
  • Plantations, logging and metal mining have hurt the eco-system in the area. Bukit Ketaya, for instance, has been scarred by mining activity.
Bukit Ketaya near Tasik Chini scarred by mining activity (March 2017)

Even though the dam was later lowered, the damage had been done. UKM set up a Tasik Chini Research Centre but there is little to show from it.

With tourists now shunning the area and fish stocks declining, the residents lament their sources of livelihood have dwindled. And although the water is now more polluted, the Orang Asli still use it for their daily needs.

A whole herd of dragons couldn’t have caused as much carnage. It is time to stop all environmentally harmful activities in the area and remove the dam once and for all.

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35 COMMENTS

  1. Foremost is tasik chini is gazetted as a forest reserve or natural park, why a dam and a training camp is built there? Of tun Lang only meow when major rules are broken and a great hue and bark when there are some development on hillslopes

  2. On the other hand we still blame lky for changing once a black tea singkapor river into water recreation beaming with fishes and source of newater for drinking.

    • Many have said that Singapore has no natural wonders and is all man-made.
      The island city of Singapore is surrounded by water yet struggles with scarce inland freshwater sources, so the city comes up with a unique plan to create entirely new sources of water. A pivotal part of this visionary scheme is the Marina Barrage, a 300m flood barrier that will provide flood control, enhance water supply and quality and create recreational opportunities – all in the heart of the city. Singapore turns the tables on nature to become a world leader in the provision and management of water and the remarkable technology needed to create it

      Malaysia has all kinds of natural wonders but are mostly abused and destroyed.
      Today a Singapore Dollar can fetch RM3.16.

  3. I always hear and read the stories of this mighty lakes Chini many years back.The thrill of anglers fishing for toman,kelah and the beauty of the lotus flowers blooming.
    That time i don’t have the means or $$$ or time to spare to view the Chini Lake.

    rajraman.When i have the time and the $$$ its already dying.Its likes a fairy tales now.Too late for me to go and see a dying lakes.Its will remains as part of fairy tales stories in my life time.Hopes the greeds of Political Traders stop and the next generations will enjoy what i will miss in my life time.

    • Need to create a dongeng (tale) of Tasik Cini monster to pull in visitors paying entrance fee. Money collected to maintain and sustain ecosystem of the lake.
      This can only be done when Barang Naik ousted otherwise money collected go elsewhere instead.

      • Bolehland has created dongeng tale of 1MDB starring MO1, that have made Bolehland well known for the wrong reason.

  4. Anil
    I hope you put focus on rivers near Bayan Lepas, polluted by factory toxic discharge.
    Being Penang centric, your publicity can spur the authorities to take quick action.

    • How can justice flows like a mighty river at Bayan Lepas IF no care for the polluted rivers there ?

      Ideal Properties SHOULD rehabilitate the river instead of glorify its logo at the Bayan Lepas roundabout; likewise SP Setia at Airport Roundabout, if we talk about true CSR !

  5. of course it comes late. Who wants to care about ulu place ? But this ulu place is the prime source of natural and unpolluted environment. No one bother to report this place until now. Instead it concentrate where there are human social and economical activities. By the time the report is on tasik cini, don’t cry for me cini. Others don’t twist and zoro twist the words again?

    • This time you talk like grown up.A point for you zoro
      rajraman.Why are you keep repeating the same words Zoro? Are you upset or angry dear Zoro.Please calm down.Take a deep breath of air from your belly and release it.
      I worried you might get heart attack.Cool buddy.

      • no i fear it is you and your mate tun lang. always ranting nothing but compains. but full of complains depress the society. you always right and others always twist their words?

      • Zoro is ok until he is ridiculed by tunglang.
        Both traded nonsense to one another.
        Rajraman wants to be referee?
        Rajraman is sane for now until he is challenged by tunglang?
        Many readers came and go and never return after the insults from tunglang.
        Rajraman disappeared for a while but could not resist the limelight on Anil’s.
        Anil would not care less so long as readership increase to boost his takings.
        What heart attack you are talking? More likely to get diarrhea eating contaminated nasi kandar, mind you.
        Anyway good to go for health check once a while.

      • Mutu
        I am and what i am.I can turn around whack anyone.
        rajraman.Don’t be fire stone Mutu ( batu api )
        Please allows this comment aproved Anil.
        Thank you.

      • Anil, I love u. rajraman666, I admire u.
        Soon, someone will spin I am gay!
        Anyway, say what you like. I am clear of my conscience – whack that Niao Kong until ‘it’ knows why & how come.
        Cheeeeerrrrssss, Kopi-O kau kau kau! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • of course you think it is your right to whack others but does not means others do not have right to whack too. you think you are always right and only see your universal truth? also please have a good look at one’s moral before condemning others.

  6. When fresh river water turns color, this is what will happen:
    Susu Kopi = suffocation of fishes, aquatic plants & amphibians
    Milo Peng = frogs migrate, fishes cannot breed, crabs fear to walk sideway, prawns jump out of water for fresh air, plants have mud face-masks
    Leong Fan = no more daylight, it is ‘nuclear winter’ for the underwater world
    Black Tea = death trap, an opened gill is worst than contamination by VX nerve agent, even a night vision cat cannot see underwater
    Become a fish & suffer in the next reincarnation!

    • How many restaurants in Penang have grease trap installed to prevent direct discharge of all the oily waste direct to the drain, into the river and to the lake or sea? Else you get all the above.

      What about those street hawkers operating on roadsides, disposing their waste direct to the drain?

      • Want to emulate SingLand’s Cosmopolitan Flavor but have no brains to enforce the use of grease traps or proper food waste management system tied to hawker license issuance.
        How can be fully Cosmopolitan Penang???

      • grow up man. you always complain snd on black tea. you are really a pasar mlm snake oil seller. talk about jams and global warming but drive a 4wds. you give stupidest comment. Oil interceptor does not comd from singland. dbkl is going to implemenf oil interceptor.our indah water treatment cannot cope with oil and grease. smart alec try to shot off waste treatment experts.again you are raising singland when it is a technical solution to black tea you are raising. grow up instead complain like a kid. raj must be glad to have you as a mate???

      • Now China people are top property buyers, ahead of Singaporeans, in Malaysia.
        Soon Mr tunglang will attack Mainland China as he has previously done on Singapore?

  7. Another Tasik is threatened: Tasik Temenggor @ Belum-Temenggor rainforest
    Remote locations hamper investigations
    http://www.nst.com.my/news/2015/09/remote-locations-hamper-investigations?m=1

    GERIK: Most of the logging compartments in Temenggor forest reserve are located in the remote parts of the jungle, making it difficult for the authorities to make frequent checks on site.

    Located around the man-made lake Tasik Temenggor, the forest reserve is part of the 300,000ha Belum-Temenggor rainforest which also covers the Royal Belum National Park, Belum forest reserve and Gerik forest reserve. It is also home to wildlife such as elephants, tigers and various types of poisonous snakes and insects.

    When launching the second phase of Belum Rainforest Resort in the area last year, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had urged the agencies involved to study whether the largest continuous forest complex in Peninsular Malaysia could be listed as a world heritage under the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco).

    He was quoted saying that the rainforest had been in existence for over 130 million years, older than the Amazon rainforest, and had a very rich biodiversity that also possessed medicinal and therapeutic values.

    Since the Temenggor forest reserve was classified as productive forest reserve, the Forestry Department had in 1992 introduced a more sustainable logging system known as “Selective Management System” or SMS.

    Under the SMS, only selected trees are allowed to be felled and loggers must ensure that their activities would not affect various types of trees, including seed producers and those which act as protection for the growing saplings.

    The Forestry Department will also identify suitable trees for logging and issue a specific tag that ensures only the selected ones were cut down.

    However, investigations by the MACC showed that some of the loggers had cheated the system by using the same tag for several trees, including those which were supposed to be preserved.

    Some have also encroached outside their logging areas or the buffer zones to steal the precious timber. In such cases, they will also use the same tag repeatedly.

    Menteri Besar’s Office Integrity head Anuar Mohd Noh did not rule out the possibility that the culprits got inside help.

    “If all the check and balance procedures are followed, it will be difficult for the culprits to steal the logs or cheat the authorities,” said the MACC Assistant Commissioner who was attached to the Menteri Besar’s Office.

    He said the state government and MACC viewed it as a serious offence as the cases in Temenggor forest reserve alone had caused losses of almost RM4 million to the state.

    To date, he said MACC had opened four investigation papers for the illegal logging in Temenggor forest reserve while another five were opened by the state Forestry Department

    With the information gathered during the operation at Temenggor forest reserve, he said the enforcement agencies involved were confident that they could uproot more cases all over the state.

    He said Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir had also proposed for the establishment of a joint committee between MACC and Forestry Department to help stop the leakage in the collection of revenue from forest produce.

    The committee, he said, would hold a meeting twice a year while its sub-committees would have more frequent meetings to help iron out problems on the ground that could lead to corruption and power abuse.

  8. Tasik Chini represent the ruling party mirror image.Years of abused of powers without caring for the nature like abusing the peoples rights and welfare.

    rajraman.For the sake of $$$ the ruling party destroying the nature and this country

      • Sometimes when a country need to develop we have to sacrificed.Its can be felda or whoever but the Political Traders job is to maintain the nature,wildlife,water catchment area and the rights of orang asli first.
        Abusing the nature for more pocket $$$ by Political Traders is morallly wrong.
        A good example now is Tasik Chini.

        rajraman.I need my break now Ray.

  9. Aborigines are an existential challenge to capitalism; hence the efforts to eliminate them. When “opposition” states try to join the party, we hear mealy-mouthed statements on the need to tighten the laws on EIA, Detailed EIA, SIA, etc. Most of the time, the reality is this:
    – insanely useless projects
    – theft of project plans or “persuading” the proposer to take on an approved partner
    – bloated, no-bid contracts
    – vague “public-private partnerships” – even Donald Trump is now emulating Bolehland
    – contract hawking and subcontracting
    – “approval in principle”
    – superficial oversight as an alibi
    – payments for poor or incomplete work
    – bailout a.k.a. nationalisation
    – secrecy and brutal suppression of dissent.

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