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Tamparuli Sabah - A place to visit

Tamparuli Sabah was known as an old town rich with cultural value and fascinating places. The town located in the middle of Tuaran District, 36KM from the main city of Kota Kinabalu, easy to be found and a lot of surprises waiting for the visitors. The visitor will be fascinated with The Extreme Para Gliding Sport, The legendary of “Bukit Perahu”, Hatob-hatob Waterfall, Hanging Bridge and The Old Suspension Bridge Made by the British in the early 50s, The one and only "The Upside House Of Borneo" and Chantek Borneo Gallery if you visit Tamparuli Sabah. ( Please read more inside this website). For local tourist who likes to travel outside Malaysia, you can e-mail to D7tours and Travel Co through For International tourist who wish to visit Sabah The Land Below The Wind, you can e-mail or call to our correspondent travel agency:

D7-TRAVEL AND TOURS-Registered Travel and Tours Co
H/p: 016-8121702


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Harry George

Endanger Orangutan In Sabah


Sabah fights lonely battle to save Orangutan 
By: Kan Yaw Chong 

SABAH feels absolutely alone and abandoned by every Government near and far in the contentious issue of Orangutan conservation, high ranking State officials burst out in frustration at the end of the two-day Sabah Orangutan Conservation Dialogue (SOCD) last Thursday. Tengku Datuk Dr Zainal Adlin, Chairman of the Sabah Tourism Board, and Datuk Dr Larentius Ambu, Director of Wildlife Department Sabah, both criticised the Indonesian and Sarawak governments as well as the Malaysian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in Putrajaya for their total lack of support over a bread and butter issue for the RM5 billion Sabah Tourism industry.
They are also riddled with international controversy with vocal accusations against the palm oil industry for threatening this man-like animal with possible extinction.

Although a good cross section of international orangutan experts, foreign NGOs, State Government department officers and key personality in the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) Chairman, Tan Sri Shihrir Abdul Samad, took active part in discussions, no official representatives from Indonesia, Sarawak and the Federal Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Malaysia ever responded to earnest invitations, fumed Dr Larentius while Tengku Adlin joined the protest in a post-dinner interview.

Ministry of Natural Resources refused o come "On the Malaysian Government side, we extended an invitation to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to present a paper on the situation of Orangutan Management and Conservation but they refused to come," Dr Laurentius said.

"So, what is the Malaysian agenda on the Orangutan, we don't know," he added.

This has put the Sabah Wildlife Department in an awkward situation, Larentius complained.

"There is a Great Ape Survival Group who approached us because the Orangutan are found only in Malaysia (especially Sabah) and Indonesia but we can't say yes or no and so we sent our request to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment at the Federal level to state what is our stand but they never answered," Dr Laurentius said.

Adlin: What's the national stand on orangutan? Tengku Adlin chipped in his displeasure with this complete silence and incommunicado: " Sabah cannot represent Malaysia because we are only a State, not the whole nation , which is very fundamental but I want to know what is the role of the Federal Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment on the orangutan and what is the national stand on this because you must have a national policy," Tengku said.

Sarawak shows also the same utter disinterest.

They never come.

Laurentius: We don't know what Indonesia is thinking Indonesia was represented by an NGO which showed disturbing images of displaced, gravely injured orangutans and outright killed individuals allegedly by forest clearance by plantations , 40pc of which involved Malaysian Companies .

"We are glad we managed to get one Indonesian NGO to talk about whatever happened in Indonesia but I wished there was an Indonesian official here, that there could have been a balanced story of what's happening because we would like to hear what the Indonesian Government think of the Orangutan, since Malaysian and Indonesia are the only two range countries for the animals, " Dr. Laurentius pointed out.

In the face of such gnawing absence of big-brother support, Sabah, given a stock of population of only 11,000 endangered animals, is left to set up the Sabah Orangutan Conservation Alliance - one entity comprising the State Wildlife Department, NGOs, plantation companies etc to take responsibility to conserve and manage of the threatened primate.

Abandoned Sabah forging ahead But even being abandoned as a lone ranger, Sabah did its best to put the act together to save the charismatic mega species and the latest orangutan dialogue is but a part of that undaunted effort, Laurentius said.

"Since 2003, we have been talking about the Sumatran rhino, the Pygmy elephant and the Orangutan conservation," he said.

"So, we had three action plans. One for the rhino, one for the elephants and one for the orangutan and we had already started with the action plan for the rhino, as Malaysia is chairman of the Global Rescue and Management of Captive Rhino Breeding Programme and now, we are going into the Action Plan for Orangutan," Laurentius explained where the Sabah Orangutan Dialogue fit into the picture.

"This is why we would like to hear what are the comments of the stakeholders on our action plan," he said. "The last colloquium concluded that Sabah needs a body to conserve and manage the remaining population of orangutan and now we are coming to a concrete decision or recommendation on a Sabah Orangutan Conservation Alliance to find out what all players of orangutan would want or like to see happen," Laurentius said.

"If they say it should be a separate entity from the Government, so be it. If it is an entity of the Government plus the NGOs, then we'll do it," he said.

The problem with a Government related committee is a situation where the budget may not be easily forthcoming or spent, according to him.

"This is why some of the conservation NGOs say we need a separate entity so that we can really do our fund raising," Laurentius added .

There are problems butÉ

"There are problems facing our orangutan, we know what the gaps are and what the solutions look like based on the studies done so far and we want to see orangutan conservation in Sabah is achieved," he said.

"We are going to see one entity responsible for orangutan conservation and management, comprising the Government, NGOs, companies, plantations because it is a common responsibility steered by the Wildlife Department so that we are ultimately answerable," Laurentius said.

But many people remain ambivalent about the future of the orangutan, in face of an aggressively cash motivated oil palm industry and feeble interest generally.

"I think our orangutan have a future," Laurentius asserted.

"We have been working with different primatologists, different primate groups, we have studied the orangutan, I am glad to know a lot of knowledgeable people are sharing whatever they know at a biennial dialogue like this to update each other," he pointed out. Shahrir: MPOB to push Orangutan protection at plantation level The Malaysian Palm Oil Board - supervisor and regulator of the industry, has expressed a "clear interest" to make sure oil palm plantations are implementing conservation at the landscape or plantation level, said Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad , Chairman of MPOB, who sat through the two-day Sabah Orangutan Dialogue at Rasa Ria Resort, Oct 24-25.

"As the agency that supervises an regulates the oil palm industry, our interest in the role of oil palm companies is we have to implement the best management practices as developed by the Round Table Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), Shahrir said.

"We have expressed a clear interest to make sure oil palm plantations are implementing conservation at the landscape or plantation level," he noted.

"This means we have to educate estate owners, estate managers, estate workers to implement and adhere to the Wildlife Protection Act so that it is part of the every day practice," he told Daily Express.

"There will be education in the form of workshops, posters etc telling workers and management what they should do at their premises to leave wildlife alone, report to Wildlife Department so that there are a records of their presence and I just want to make sure it is cascaded down to the plantation level," Shahrir promised .

Can MPOB make a difference? But can the MPOB make a real difference to the conservation of Orangutan in Sabah?

"We can do that at the plantation level, and also because RSPO practices also include conservation at the plantation level," he said.

"For example, when it comes to riparian reserve, if they have planted the riparian reserve with oil palm, they should not fertilise it any more, they should just leave them alone, they can harvest it if there are fruits but do not promote the growth of the plants to allow sunlight (by trimming the fronds) to come down to open sunlight to promote the growth of natural vegetation instead," Shahrir said.

"RSPO insists on compliance and respect for riparian reserves," Shahrir said.

"For example, in Lower Kinabatangan, RSPO members mark trees on the river banks so they don't put any more fertilisers on those trees , allow them to die or allow them to find their own level and that means there is no fertiliser runoffs to the rivers and that's happening.

I have seen one or two plantations that I have visited in Lower Kinabatangan and it's part of RSPO best practices and these companies have to comply."

"But we have to cascade this down so that at the management and the supervisor levels, they understand this but not just that, they need to respect wildlife so that if they see orangutan, even though they are eating palm shoots, leave them alone, don't harm them and don't consider them as pests, as RSPO is quite strong on that in terms of practices," Shahrir said.

Why fly in from Paris for Dialogue Shahrir actually flew in all the way from Paris to attend the dialogue.

Why is he taking such big personal interest?

"Because I have travelled all over the world, such as Europe, to associations of zoos, I have been to Australia, talking to world association of zoos there, give presentations at seminars on wildlife conservation in Sydney. I have just been to Paris talking about sustainability and conservation, and it's important to address this issue and tell the world what we are doing," he said.

While attending a seminar in Sydney, he faced protesters outside.

"We invited the protestors to come in, we allowed them to ask questions and we answered their questions and I think they were quite keen in what we are doing. But we have to do good things at the plantations, because if we don't, and we don't tell the people the world over, then they don't know what we are doing," Shahrir said.

He said he had been to Australia three times to talk about food nutritional research with members of the research organisations who became interested to know to hear about sustainability and conservation issues within the op industry , so I helped them."

"In Paris, I also gave them presentation on sustainability and conservation and even people in the food industry also came to hear because in Paris, palm oil has been labelled bad oil, so we have to address these issues," noted Shahrir , who says he believes in being open to critics .

'I am open to critics' - MPOB boss "I have no problem being open to critics because when people criticise, they may not know what's happening but they criticise less if we tell them what they may not know."

"There was a case in Australia where 20 school girls wrote to the Malaysian High Commissioner complaining about oil palm industry and conservation, so we are inviting the school to send four girls and two teachers to visit Sabah next March, to see for themselves what we are doing and what's happening because I think Sabah has shown itself to be a very good example of conservation and how they value conservation," Shahrir said .

"To me, Sabahans and the Sabah Government have done a lot. I think people from overseas who criticise oil palm and come here, they'll change their mind."

That being the case, should RSPO be enlarged from being a niche to mainstream oil palm?

"Sustainability is what it is all about," he said.

Oil palm industry getting more mindful "For the palm oil industry, already we are mindful of respecting land and adhering to land laws, labour, compensation, use of fertilisers, insecticides and equipment" Shahrir claimed.

"But the other laws we should apply to the industry is the Wildlife Protection Act," he said. .

Which means MPOB is pushing a stronger conservation agenda?

"We have set up a unit in MPOB called Sustainability Conservation and Certification Unit and this is the first time we have conservation as part of the oil palm industry," Shahrir asserted. .

"It's brand new, set up just last month, because there is no point talking and talking, we may as well do something while I am chairman.

Let's move forward, we cannot err on environment protection and conservation," he said.

The difficult part-moving forwards So, what's his impression of the Sabah Orangutan Dialogue?

"The meeting is good because in my mind too, we had already had a meeting in January this year when this Action Plan was launched."

"So I have been going around the world with this Action Plan and I have been able to tell the seminars that for example, the conservation of Class 2 Forests raised to Class 1 forests is happening in Sabah."

"That means we are moving forward but again, there is an issue of management of Action Plans and that's the difficult part because you can declare everything you want but how do you manage it?"

Make conservation part of the Malaysian Transformation Programme?

Should conservation become part of the Malaysian Transformation Programme?

"Yes, we are talking to Pemandu to see whether conservation itself can become part of even the economic transformation plan.

In fact, a representative of Pemandu was attending with us this conference and one of the seminars in Sydney, because they wanted to hear what's happening. It's just that it has to start from the State, in particular, a high priority area like the Lower Kinabatangan."

"I think any government has a responsibility to take care of sensitive environmental areas, to take care of them but there is no harm to start with an Action Plan like this and how to manage it and implement it over five years, as a project," Shahrir said.

"This is not my Action Plan but it is something I go around world with, give away to the people in the French zoos who asked for copies, because they are interested in what we are doing.

"I told them they can find all that they want to know about the orangutan in Sabah, including their numbers, their areas, and when we have this kind of plan, it means we are not in denial, we don't sweep it under the carpet, we say this is the problem but we want to do something about it."

Daily Express Newpaper


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