TONTON ASTRO AWANI

PENGUNJUNG SETIA

08 Julai 2009

USE GUNUNG LEDANG TO PROMOTE COUNTRY

I SUPPORT the move by the Johor chapter of the Malaysian Nature Society (MNSJ) which, together with the Johor National Parks Corporation, wants to limit hikers climbing up Gunung Ledang (The Star, July 6).

Gunung Ledang is a popular and easily accessible mountain in the south of the peninsula. It is reachable from Johor or Malacca, and is famous for its legendary connection with the myth of the Princess of Gunung Ledang.

Limiting the number of hikers on the mountain as being practised in many of the country’s national parks such as Endau Rompin, Royal Belum or for that matter Mt Kinabalu, the highest peak in South-East Asia, has proven to be a right move.

It is better to take preventive measures now then to regret later upon seeing that the wealth of the mountains has been ravaged by people who do not love nature!

Gunung Ledang may not be as high as Gunung Tahan or Korbu for those adventurous climbers but its legend is spread far and wide in the Malay archipelago. Its fame lives on, although to an avid climber, there is nothing significant about it.

Nonetheless, both local and international visitors love to trek the trails which are adorn with rare species of orchids and plants, not to mention the waterfalls.

But the irony is that Gunung Ledang is not a popular tourism product for Malacca even though, historically, it is much connected with the state.

The reason could be that it is not so accessible from Malacca whereas one can easily reach the mountain from Sagil in Tangkak, Johor.

From the tourism point of view, both states can capitalise on its potential either as a hikers’ haven or simply share the awesome myths and legends which have since been made into a successful movie and musical.

What is interesting about Gunung Ledang is that some may go there for mountain climbing while others may want a spiritual journey; perhaps in search of the legendary princess?

There is no better way to popularise the country than to bring the musical of the legendary princess to the theatres of the world as an all-time true Malaysian production in our efforts to ‘sell’ the country.

ZARI MALAYSIANA,
Petaling Jaya.

SOURCE: THE STAR, 8 JULY 2009

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