Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Group takes a shine to fireflies

New Straits Times

TAIPING: A team of firefly conservationists is going all out to bring the 'light' back to the mangroves.
The team calls itself KECAP, or "Pertubuhan Kelip-kelip Cahaya Alam Perak", which is working with the Malaysian Nature Society to educate and rope in the locals of Kampung Dew, near here, in firefly conservation efforts right in their backyard.

Kampung Dew is among several known areas with a thriving colony of fireflies.

Here, fireflies can be found flitting along the riverbank of the Matang Mangrove Forest and live in harmony with the locals, including fishermen and plantation workers, who depend on the mangrove habitat for their livelihood.

KECAP consists of 19 members, including patron Datuk Rosli Husin, the state assemblyman for Trong and Bukit Gantang Umno division chief. It was formed in February.

MNS president Professor Dr Maketab Mohamed told the New Straits Times yesterday that MNS, KECAP and the state government were cooperating in promoting Kampung Dew's firefly colony. The parties had now embarked on a programme called "Pesta Kelip-Kelip 2011" (Firefly Festival).

The main objective of the festival, which was launched here yesterday, is to raise awareness on the importance of the fireflies and their habitats.

Maketab said there was great concern for the rapid loss of mangroves, fresh water and peat swamps along the river systems in the country and its effect on the fireflies.

A thriving firefly colony would also provide a means for the locals of Kampung Dew to promote the village to nature lovers.
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Owl City Fireflies lyrics

You would not believe your eyes
If ten million fireflies
Lit up the world as I fell asleep

'Cause they'd fill the open air
And leave teardrops everywhere
You'd think me rude
But I would just stand and stare

I'd like to make myself believe
That planet Earth turns slowly
It's hard to say that I'd rather stay
Awake when I'm asleep
'Cause everything is never as it seems

'Cause I'd get a thousand hugs
From ten thousand lightning bugs
As they tried to teach me how to dance

A foxtrot above my head
A sock hop beneath my bed
A disco ball is just hanging by a thread

I'd like to make myself believe
That planet Earth turns slowly
It's hard to say that I'd rather stay
Awake when I'm asleep
'Cause everything is never as it seems
When I fall asleep

Leave my door open just a crack
(Please take me away from here)
'Cause I feel like such an insomniac
(Please take me away from here)
Why do I tire of counting sheep
(Please take me away from here)
When I'm far too tired to fall asleep

To ten million fireflies
I'm weird 'cause I hate goodbyes
I got misty eyes as they said farewell

But I'll know where several are
If my dreams get real bizarre
'Cause I saved a few and I keep them in a jar

I'd like to make myself believe
That planet Earth turns slowly
It's hard to say that I'd rather stay
Awake when I'm asleep
'Cause everything is never as it seems
When I fall asleep

I'd like to make myself believe
That planet Earth turns slowly
It's hard to say that I'd rather stay
Awake when I'm asleep
'Cause everything is never as it seems
When I fall asleep

I'd like to make myself believe
That planet earth turns slowly
It's hard to say that I'd rather stay
Awake when I'm asleep
Because my dreams are bursting at the seams

Songwriters: ADAM R. YOUNG

Statistik terkini Kampung Dew Fireflies mencecah 20,000.

17 Ogos 2011 11:00 – 24 Ogos 2011 10:00

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Earth camp heads to Kg Dew, Perak

The STAR Tuesday July 5, 2011

TELEKOM Malaysia Bhd’s (TM) nationwide series of environmental camps — TM Earth Camp — made its fourth out of six stops, in Taiping, Perak recently after earlier camps held in Selangor, Terengganu and Sabah.

The fourth edition held at Perasa Autocamp Bukit Gantang, saw the participation of 100 students from 47 schools, accompanied by 16 teachers and eight TM volunteers. Like the previous camps, there were lots of exciting and unforgettable activities organised throughout this camp.

Out for a walk: Participants jungle trekking in the Taiping area.

The participants were taken for jungle trekking and guided in a nature study session where they learned about energy and its applications, which is the main theme of this edition’s camp.

They also had the opportunity to experiment with energy creation using a special mini solar kit.

The participants and facilitators then went to Kampung Dew in Semanggol where charcoal stoves are produced alongside other cottage industry initiatives being carried out in the village.

Here, the participants witnessed how coal is made from mangrove tree trunks in different stages.

They also had a hands-on experience when they tried lifting the trunks and stripping off the bark before tossing the logs into the furnace.

ther than that, the participants were given the chance to immerse in a typical Malay kampung environment and culture with exciting activities lined up, such as catfish fishing, do-it-yourself ice kacang and weaving palm front roofs that are used at the charcoal plants.

The warm hospitality of the community shined through when they welcomed all of the participants to their homes during break time, or in Bahasa called rumah bertandang, providing facilities for the participants to freshen up for more activities in the evening.

The participants were also taken for a boat ride along Sungai Limau to witness the wonders of fireflies, with lights emitting from their tiny bodies, making the mangrove trees look like Christmas trees.

In all, about 250 community members and villagers were involved in the programmes at Kampung Dew.

The last day of the camp saw the participants presenting their ideas on conserving the environment through role-play activities and games.

TM Earth Camp North Zone officially ended with a closing ceremony that was attended by government sector head TM Perak Hassan Ismail, Malaysian Nature Society executive director Clifford Clement and Zuraidah Zainal Abidin from the state Education Department.

The next camp will be in Permai Rainforest Resort, Kuching from July 22 to 24.

TM Earth Camp, a series of specially designed 3-day/2-night nature camp programme for students who are members of Kelab Pencinta Alam (KPA) in their schools nationwide, is aimed at increasing environmental awareness of Malaysia’s rich natural surroundings.

Organised according to zones — North, South, Central, East, Sabah and Sarawak, participants are taken on adventures in jungles, where they get invaluable first-hand experience, generating excitement and appreciation for the environment while understanding various environmental issues and concerns.

TM Earth Camp and the establishment of Kelab Pencinta Alam TM are the flagship programmes under the Environment platform, one of the three major platforms of corporate responsibility (CR) that the company promotes, besides Education and Community and Nation-building.

For more information on TM and its other CR initiatives, visit

Friday, August 12, 2011

Lucky Dolphin Package

RM100 per person
or RM500 per boat. Time duration app 3 hours
Boating from Kuala Sepetang to the area mention in the map below.

Major gains from wild dolphin sightings in Kuala Sepetang
New Straits Times 11 Aug 2011;

DOLPHIN sightings present a valuable opportunity to promote conservation efforts in the country, the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) said.

MNS head of communications Andrew Sebastian said dolphin sightings in Malaysia, common at coastal areas and river estuaries, are often celebrated events, which can help create greater awareness of the need to protect marine life.

"After all, protecting our dolphins also means protecting their natural habitats -- ensuring the cleanliness of our waters and maintaining healthy ecosystems for them to survive," he said.

He said dolphin sightings could also help promote ecotourism, but cautioned that tourists should not expect to spot dolphins on every dolphin-spotting expedition.

He said more studies on the behaviour of dolphins in local waters should be carried out so that the public can be properly educated on how to treat the marine mammals.

"Fishermen or tourists sometimes do not know how to react or behave around dolphins when they encounter them, and this can create a dangerous situation."

"Dolphins are sociable creatures but that does not mean their friendliness should be taken for granted," he said, adding that dolphins were classified as protected animals under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010.

He said the MNS' Marine Mammal Project, an on-going study on marine mammal activities at the islands of Tioman, Redang and Langkawi, has already begun to improve knowledge on dolphin behaviour.

MNS president Professor Dr Maketab Mohamed said that about 20 species of dolphins have been recorded in Malaysian waters, most of which were found in mangrove and large river systems.

"Their occurrence must be looked upon as a natural biological indicator and an opportunity to gain awareness, research and monitoring," he said.

"Therefore, it is important for us to safeguard its habitat and manage our fisheries sustainably."

A marine biologist contacted by the New Straits Times said river dolphins were threatened with extinction as their preferred habitats -- estuaries -- were both ecologically sensitive and attracted heavy human activity.

He said the group of pink dolphins, recently spotted at the Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve in Perak, could have come from either the Irrawady River in Myanmar or the Mekong River in Thailand where they have become increasingly rare.

"I doubt there was a hidden population (in Matang) before -- dolphins are free-ranging oceanic species, which will happily travel to find an optimal environment."

He said while the proper species of the Matang dolphins have yet to be identified, they were believed to be the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis chinensis), which are white or pink-skinned as adults, and can grow up to between 2m and 3.5m.

Lady luck, dolphins smile on us
New Straits Times 11 Aug 11;

WHEN I arrived in the sleepy fishing village of Kuala Sepetang, near Taiping, I was buoyed with the hopes of being able to see dolphins up close.

However, the locals in the area dashed those hopes when they told me that I might not be able to catch a glimpse of the dolphins.

Still optimistic, I asked fishermen Muhammad Zamyr Affar, 19, and Mohd Safuan Shahidan, 19, for assistance, who agreed to take photographer Hasriyasyah Sabudin and I out in their fishing boat.

We set off from the Kuala Sepetang Eco-Education Centre jetty and headed for Kuala Sangga, a small Chinese fishing village located at the river mouth, about half an hour away by boat.

The dolphins, believed to be Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (also known as Chinese white dolphins), are frequently spotted in the waters there, which is located within the Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve that stretches over 40,000ha across the state.

At first, only brief flashes of fins and noses could be seen breaking the surface of the water from afar, but perhaps curiosity led the dolphins to come closer to our boat.

Hasriyasyah and I had our work cut out for us, though, as we struggled to photograph the lively dolphins, which would come up for air for mere seconds before vanishing into the murky water.

It was as though they were playing hide and seek with us as they appeared on one side of the boat, dove underwater and reappeared on the other side.

Sitting at the prow of the boat, I got a close-up view of the dolphins as they surfaced beside the boat, just within my reach, though I didn't dare to reach out and touch them.

After an hour and a half of "playtime" with us, the pod of five dolphins began to tire and headed out to sea.

Returning to Kuala Sepetang, Muhammad Zamyr and Mohd Safuan said that we were very lucky, as they had never seen so many dolphins at one time. I count myself lucky to have been able to spend an afternoon with such magnificent creatures. -- By Hanis Maketab

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Kelip-kelip Kampung Dew Fireflies in New Straits Times 11 August 2011

Go: Twinkle, twinkle little bugs

Kampung Dew in Perak is gaining a reputation as a firefly tourist destination. PUTRI ZANINA is fascinated

AS the boat glides along the river with water that barely shimmers in the pitch dark of the night, our boatman and guide’s high-pitched voice pierces the air.

There is no moon and Abdul Halim Bidin tells us in that now familiar high tone, it’s a “perfect time to see fireflies”.

Since we left the jetty at Kampung Dew about 15 minutes ago, Halim has been chattering almost non-stop, excitedly telling us how something so ordinary to villagers like him has become a tourist attraction.
For years, there have been huge colonies of fireflies thriving near the small, sleepy village, which is about five minutes’ drive from the Kamunting toll plaza near Taiping in Perak.

“Once a little boy on one of our fireflies cruises asked me, ’Pak cik, are you cheating (me)? Did you put battery lamps on those trees?’. I told him, ‘no lah, these are not lampu kelip-kelip, these are for real’,” says Halim, laughing as he recalls the story.

Lampu kelip-kelip are blinking fairy lights that the Malay community often put up in their homes as part of Hari Raya celebrations. These bulbs flicker, just like the kelip-kelip (fireflies or lightning bugs, as some call them). I feel the bugs flash their lights more spectacularly than light bulbs. And along the Sungai Sepetang in Kampung Dew, the natural lightshow is spectacular.

I sit in the boat, entranced. Millions of fireflies flicker in perfect synchrony on huge berembang trees on both sides of the riverbank. The berembang trees are a mangrove species that’s the only known habitat for fireflies in this country.

Flashing and mating

The flickering lights in the trees cast brilliant reflections on the surface of the river. It’s like a magic show in the dark.

Fireflies flashing their lights on a berembang tree. (inset) Synchronous firefly — MNS picture

Halim breaks the spell when he says the fireflies here are mainly of the Pteroptyx tener species, one of 2,000 firefly species that thrive in tropical and temperate regions. It is also the same synchronous species that inhabit the more famous Kampung Kuantan in Kuala Selangor, known the world over for fireflies watching.

But I say, move over Kampung Kuantan, your lights are out. Here comes Kampung Dew — where it’s still so raw, so wild, so bright.

Many of the berembang trees here are matured, standing as tall as 1½ storey buildings. The fireflies colonise these trees, perching on the leaves and branches, and even just hovering.

The flashing starts just after sunset and goes on till pre-dawn. This is how the bugs communicate. It’s a natural phenomenon, an astonishing collective mating trick. The males fly and flash, then pause.

Are they re-charging or waiting for an answering flash? I wonder. The males flash about every seven seconds and the females answer about two seconds later.

The romantic rendezvous for adult bugs are short-lived. It’s a bit tragic, considering the showy light antics. The adult firefly lives for just two weeks, mainly to find their mates. After mating, the male firefly will die and the female dies after laying its eggs.

Time to celebrate

Before the boat trip, I had joined the villagers (mostly farmers, fishermen and factory workers) in their first ever Pesta Kelip-Kelip. It was a celebration for the simple folk who have been introduced to a new means to support their livelihood, an eco-tourism product, said the VIP who graced the event, Datuk See Tean Seng, the State Legislative Assembly coordinator for Kuala Sepetang.

Representing Perak tourism committee chairman Datuk Hamidah Osman, See came not only to launch the Fireflies, Mangroves & Community celebration but also to launch the logo of Pertubuhan Kelip-kelip Cahaya Alam Perak (Kecap), a body newly formed by the villagers of Kampung Dew to manage its firefly location as a tourist destination.

Set to be an annual event, it was organised by Kecap and the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS), and supported by the Perak state government, the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry as well as Ramsar Regional Centre East Asia.

MNS was instrumental in the participation of Ramsar, which is the convention on wetlands signed in Ramsar, Iran, in 1971, to provide national and international framework for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.

The villagers learned about nature conservation through workshops held by MNS and KECAP.

Children taking part in firefly colouring contest, a side event held during the fiesta

Making it iconic

Many people can take credit for the firefly project, including Mohamad Noor Salleh, Kecap president and village head of Kampung Ayer Puteh.

Khairul plays a key role in promoting Kampung Dew

The villagers are also assisted by concerned individuals such as Khairul Salleh Ahmad, a clerk from Taiping and Kecap secretary. The locals fondly call him Cik Khairul. According to Halim, it was Khairul who helped start it all.
“We were fishing on the river one night and Cik Khairu as so in awe of the fireflies here that he said we could promote this place to tourists, like in Kampung Kuantan.”

About two years ago, the villagers, with the help of Khairul, started bringing small groups of visitors to see the fireflies.

“Last year, more than 250 people came,” says Khairul, who actively promotes the Kampung Dew firefly tour through his own blog, This has created new waves along Sungai Sepetang.

“This place has the potential to become the tourism icon for Perak,” says MNS president Professor Dr Maketab Mohamad, whose members put up informative booths at the event location next to the river jetty.

“There are 130 berembang trees with huge colonies of fireflies here in Kampung Dew. There are only about 30 now in Kampung Kuantan,” adds Maketab.

There used to be more in Kampung Kuantan but development near Sungai Selangor had disturbed the fireflies’ habitat and resulted in the bugs slowly disappearing.

Needing help

While MNS is helping with nature conservation, Kampung Dew villagers, who are new to running an eco-tourism venture, need other types of help. They need money to improve infrastructure, especially the jetty.

“The existing wooden platform is fragile — it needs regular scrubbing or it gets slippery,” says Halim, who’s also in charge of safety under Kecap.

They also need better signboards, eco-friendly boats (now they run noisy, diesel-powered fishing boats instead of the quieter environmental-friendly electric-run cruise boats), more life vests and better ways to receive and handle tourists.

There are no ticket counters at the jetty. Visitors call ahead to book, and Khairul and his team will arrange the tour.

See is aware of the locals’ needs and plans are afoot to get the allocation to improve facilities. The plan also includes the building of a firefly monument in the area to signify its attraction.

“Visitors can take pictures against the backdrop of this monument since it’s difficult to photograph the fireflies in its habitat,” says See.

Indeed, it’s not easy to take pictures of the flickering fireflies. Our pictures turned out blotchy black.

Supporting livelihood

As Halim steers the boat further downstream where the river is wider, we see more fireflies in the tall berembang trees. These grow in short stretches, interspersed with long rows of nipah palms.

“The 130 berembang trees which we counted with MNS along this river are the ones that have very large colonies of fireflies. We don’t count the trees with smaller colonies,” says Halim.

He says nipah palms are a major source of income for the villagers, besides fish and prawn from the river. Villagers harvest the leaves to make attap roofing, baskets, mats and even cigarettes. The juice from the flowers is made into drinks and vinegar, and the fruit is eaten.

While nipah is favoured over the berembang for economic reasons, the villagers are beginning to realise the need to conserve the berembang to support the firefly project.

Halim welcomes the local authorities’ recent move to protect the firefly area. He says development is not allowed within 100m from the riverbanks.

For the love of fireflies

With berembang, nipah and wild bushes silhouetted against an almost black sky, the area looks invitingly pristine. It remains so almost throughout the long and slow journey.

I had opted to go in a small boat that could only fit four persons, a wise decision as it turned out and one that allowed me to take in the scene more intimately.

Halim is careful to keep the outboard motor noise down to a purr, unlike the bigger boats with some 10 people on board, zooming past noisily.

Noise, pollution and light from camera and torches aimed directly at the fireflies are recipes for disaster that will eventually drive away the sensitive tiny creatures that are just the size of a rice grain.

I appreciate it when Halim lets the boat glide near the bank, never once ramming the branches to disturb the bugs (guides in other firefly spots are fond of doing this).

Halim says none of the guides smoke when conducting the tours. It’s part of the ethics they observe in fireflies territory.

“We should not disturb them. We only pick up those that have fallen in the river, and then release them,” says Halim, a fisherman in the day and guide at night. Born and bred in Kampung Dew, the river is his playground. It is the main source of life for this village, which is divided by four mukim (sub-district) — Asam Kumbang, Jebong, Gunung Semanggol and Selinsing. The fireflies are in Asam Kumbang which has a population of about 200 people.

Kampung Dew is named after Arthur T. Dew, a British citizen and owner of Perak Estate in the early 20th Century. It is located at the start of the 10km-long fireflies colony. It takes about three hours to cruise the full distance and return.

“I’ve been plying this river since I was 6. There used to be much more fireflies in the past,” he says.

Community project

Today, Halim worries about many issues, such as the wooden platform at the jetty, rubbish and farm waste thrown into the river by villagers and industry waste dumped by nearby factories.

The villagers depend on the river for survival. Though action has been taken to deal with some of the factories, the dumping of other types of wastes and rubbish persists, which if not stopped, will affect the fish, prawn, crab and snail.

“Firefly larvae feed on the snails, so imagine if these are gone,” laments Halim, one of the few villagers who are serious about the firefly venture. They are the custodians of this rural community project. Development has to be controlled lest it kills the goose that lays the golden eggs.

Kampung Dew is still as fresh as a dewdrop. It’s best for its people to learn from the Kampung Kuantan experience.

How to get there

From the North-South Highway, exit at Kamunting in Taiping. Then follow the old trunk road towards Parit Buntar. Nearing an elevated road that looks like a bridge, you’ll see a Kampung Dew Kelip-Kelip signboard. Turn right and, in a few minutes, you’ll reach the jetty.

Where to stay

Taiping is the nearest town with many lodging options, which include Sri Malaysia Hotel (05-806 9502), Flemington Hotel (05-820 7777) and Cosy Rest Guest House (apartment rental — 016-564 7408/016-5474 802).

Tour Info

Firefly cruise: RM 80 per small boat maximum 3 pax in a boat (We stopped the tour for small boat for a while from 21 July 2012), RM300 per big boat (max 10 in a boat). Other rates and packages are also available. Time: 7pm to midnight.

Cruise duration: From twohour. For details, call 012-514 5023 (Khairul) or go to

Mee udang (prawn soup noodles) is a specialty in Kuala Sepetang

Must-visit places in and near Kampung Dew include traditional charcoal factory with old igloo-like kilns made of bricks and clay, Taiping Lake Gardens, Zoo Taiping & Night Safari (a good option is to combine firefly cruise with the Night Safari), Taiping’s museums and historical places, Bukit Larut, Matang Mangrove Forest Outdoor Education Centre and Kuala Sepetang for its famous special prawn noodles (with udang galah).

Read more: Go: Twinkle, twinkle little bugs

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Kelip-kelip Fireflies Taiping Perak

Fireflies Kuala Sepetang is one of the best places of interest attraction and interesting place in Taiping, Perak, Malaysia for you to visit.
Fireflies are also called Lightning Bugs. Named as they are nocturnal luminous of the beetle family Lampyridae, consisting of about 2,000 species that inhibit tropical and temperate regions. The common glowworm is a member of this family. They shine in the night like fire to attract sexual partner.

Fireflies in Kg Dew is in the species of Pteroptyx tener. The mangrove trees called "berembang trees" by the local grow along the riverbanks of Sungai Sepetang river. These are the trees where the fireflies or "kelip kelip" in the local language congregating the adult male fireflies congregate on the leaf of the berembang tree at night to attract females. Like other bugs their life cycle is eggs, larvae, pupa and firefly. Female firefly lays their eggs on the wet soil 60 metres inland. After hatching the larvae become a predator. The larvae main food is the snails. Its bites on to the snail, then release the toxin to paralyse and digest the snail internally. After that it will suck the digested juice and leave the shell empty. As a predator the larvae consume everything they could hunt. The life cirle of the fireflies is about 6 month with most of it time as the larvae. The adult firefly lived just 2 weeks to find thier mates. After mating the male firefly will die, the female dies after lying it eggs

Firefly, one of the fascinating beetle that abound in Malaysia at one time and is now fast disappearing due to the fast pace of development. Fortunately, there are still fireflies congrageting at berembang tree to be seen in Taiping, Perak about 45 minutes or so drive from Penang Bridge using PLUS highway..

The best time to visit firefly is after nightfall at approximately 7:00pm to 11:00pm. It is also advisable to go when it is not full moon and not during raining evening.

Who to contact
Kuala Sepetang Eco Tourism,
Tel 012 5145023  Amirul email:

Kelip-kelip(Ritma Cahaya Alam) Kuala Sepetang merupakan satu tarikan istimewa di Taiping. Ia menjadi salah satu tempat lawatan menarik bagi pelancong yang datang ke Taiping, Perak, Malaysia

Friday, August 5, 2011

More Testimonial

Travelling again this weekend... to one obscure place - Kpg Dew, near Taiping, to check out fireflies along Sg Sepetang. Last weekend, was in one of my favourite places, Merang in Terengganu, and cruised Sg Mangkuk to see the fireflies there. Not a large colony, unlike in Kuala Selangor 10 yrs ago. Soon, i can tell which is the best place to see this magical creature
July 21 at 10:16pm · ·

  • 3 people like this.
    • Francis Cheong How r u putri?
      July 21 at 10:26pm ·
    • Mariam Merican Stop by the famous Mee Udang at Kuala Sepetang!
      July 21 at 10:28pm ·
    • Putri Zanina hi francis, am doing really fine. been travelling quite a lot lately. how's yr charter cruises... or any new venture?
      July 21 at 10:44pm ·
    • Putri Zanina tks mariam, my friend casey also just told me to check out the mee udang banjir. am curious whether it's better than those sold in sungai dua, seberang prai...
      July 21 at 10:45pm ·
    • Jayashree Krishnan I've been to Kg. Dew, I believe we were one of their maiden tourists. The traditional coal factories seemed interesting. Can't wait to hear your comparisons about the fireflies in different places.
      July 21 at 10:54pm ·
    • Zara Zaaba bring me laaaaaa..... boring duduk rumah :(
      July 22 at 9:01am ·
    • Norhaida Mustapha wow....very interesting hideout...i should give a try...need your help lah...
      July 22 at 7:16pm ·
    • Putri Zanina The sight of Kg Dew fireflies is spectacular! Jessie, I can say that it's better than Kuala Selangor today, and much better than the other spots I've been - Yakyah and Merang in Terengganu. Can't say if it's the best in Malaysia - more than 50 known spots including in Sabah and Sarawak. But what i can say is that it's worth the money to go check it out. Yes, Aida, u should go too. Yr kids will love those "lightning bugs". Do read my story on Kpg Dew in Travel, NST August 11, 2011 - Thurs
      about an hour ago ·

Monday, August 1, 2011


Setahun telah berlalu sejak pelancaran oleh Dato Rosli Husin pada Julai 2010. Peningkatan jumlah pelancong yang datang semakin bertambah. Apa yang lebih menggembirakan ialah kedatangan berulang serta membawa lebih ramai kenalan.
Telah nampak kesungguhan beberapa penduduk kampong yang mula menanam azam bagi menambah mutu perkhidmatan yang disediakan seperti menempah bot baru atau membaiki rumah untuk kemudahan pelancong bertandang. Kesedaran penduduk kampung tentang kepentingan ekopelancongan sebagai sumber penjana ekonomi perlu ditambah.. Apa yang lebih penting ialah bagaimana mereka berusaha untuk menyumbang dan mendapat pulangan dari hasil tersebut.
Kampung Dew merupakan sebuah kampung yang istimewa, bukan saja dengan kelip-kelip, khazanah sungai, alam dan dapur arang yang ada di sini tetapi juga penduduknya. Memang sukar dicari dewasa ini sesuatu majlis kenduri yang diadakan dilakukan secara gotong-royong. Penduduk Kampung Dew pada setiap masa akan bergotong-royong dalam setiap majlis kenduri. Walaupun tuan rumah terpaksa menyediakan juadah sampingan untuk mereka yang berkerja tetapi pulangan komuniti yang didapati amat baik, penduduk dapat mengeratkan tali persaudaraan dan bercerita topik semasa.
Perkara seperti ini perlu diperluaskan lagi mencakupi aspek keceriaan kampung kerana apa yang dapat diperhatikan sekarang faktor kebersihan dan keceriaan hanya diambil perhatian untuk kawasan rumah masing-masing sahaja tanpa mengambil kira kawasan kampung. Satu pendekatan pelupusan sampah perlu difikir dan dilaksanakan. Penduduk yang tidak menerima kesan langsung dengan kegiatan pelancongan berpendapat tidak perlu berusaha kearah pembangunan dan kecerian kampung. Sesuatu perlu difikirkan bagi melibatkan semua penduduk kampung dalam sektor ini seperti industri cenderamata dan kraftangan.
Seorang Ketua Jabatan agensi kerajaan di Taiping dalam satu lawatan kelip-kelip telah memberi cabaran kepada ekopelancong agar “membuat sebiji kek yang enak” bila kek tersebut sudah siap, pelbagai pihak akan datang membuat hiasan pada kek tersebut agar menjadi lebih cantik. Cabaran dari Ketua Jabatan itu nampaknya sudah menampakkan hasil dengan sumbangan pihak Spritzer, peruntukan RM 50,000 untuk menaik taraf jeti dan RM15,000 lagi untuk pelaksanaan Pesta Kelip-Kelip. Pelbagai peruntukan lagi boleh dipohon khususnya dari Pembangunan Luar Bandar dan agensi lain dimasa akan datang tetapi kita perlu meningkatkan mutu perkhidmatan. Baru-baru ini beliau sekali lagi mencabar agar memohon laluan jalan masuk ke Jeti tanpa perlu melintas jalan iaitu satu pusingan jalan ke kiri dan melalui bawah jejantas lebuhraya dan terus ke jeti. Sesuatu yang pada masa sekarang kita tidak terfikir mengenainya.
Kehadiran MNS (Persatuan Pencinta Alam Malaysia) menjalankan projek komuniti selama 6 bulan bermula Febuari 2011 sedikit sebanyak membantu mendidik pengusaha pelancongan kearah perkhidmatan yang berkualiti. Bengkel kesedaran yang dijalankan selama dua hari mendapat sambutan yang luar biasa dari penduduk kampung. Kemuncak projek komuniti ini diakhiri dengan Pesta Kelip-kelip Kg Dew, yang pertama seadanya di Malaysia. Pesta yang turut dianjurkan oleh agensi kerajaan dan PBT ini telah berjaya dilaksanakan dengan sempurnanya pada 24 Julai 2011.
Sistem pengiliran membawa pelancong dan bertugas di jeti seperti sistem teksi perlu dilaksanakan segera agar agihan pendapatan adil. Bayaran perkhidmatan yang telah ditetapkan perlu dipatuhi.
Ada pemandu pelancong berkata bahawa kita perlu berlakon sebentar semasa membawa pelancong. Berpakaian kemas, tidak merokok, bersopan-santun dan memberi penerangan yang lengkap tentang ekopelancongan. Alangkah lebih baik lagi sekiranya kita jangan berlakon tetapi berubah terus menjadi seorang yang memang berpakaian kemas, tidak merokok, bersopan-santun dan dapat memberi penerangan yang lengkap tentang ekopelancongan kerana apa yang kita lakukan sekarang akan kita lakukan untuk satu tempoh masa yang panjang dan kita mesti berubah kearah itu.
Semasa membawa pelancong melihat kelip-kelip, penggunaan lampu suluh mesti diminimumkan dan jika boleh tiada cahaya langsung kerana kelip-kelip amat terganggu dengan cahaya.
Pelancong yang datang melihat kelip-kelip ialah pelancong yang cintakan alam sekitar. Mereka amat menitik beratkan soal kebersihan. Kebersihan tandas pernah dinyatakan dan beberapa langkah telah dibuat tetapi apa yang nampak sekarang ianya tidak berjalan. Satu penyelesaian khusus perlu dibuat agar tandas di jeti akan dijaga dan dibersihkan secara berkala.
Pemilik tanah berhampiran jeti perlu mendapat sedikit sumbangan kerana berkerjasama menyediakan ruang untuk kita beroperasi. Saya pernah berbual dengannya pada awal tahun 2008 mengenai sumbangan bagi tempat meletak kenderaan di tanahnya.
Kini adalah masa yang sesuai untuk kita pula memberi atas sumbangannya kepada kita selama ini.
Cuba kita bayangkan sebuah restoran tepi sungai berhampiran jambatan yang diterangi lampu berwarna-warni menyambut tetamu dengan hidangan udang galah yang lazat. Pengunjung berbangsa Cina biasanya akan makan dulu sebelum melihat kelip-kelip. Saya sudah mengaturkan banyak pelancong dengan makan malam menu udang galah. Ianya ialah satu menu eksotik yang sukar dicari di tempat lain. Selain dari kelip-kelip kita boleh jadikan udang galah satu lagi ikon penting di Kampung Dew.
Ada cadangan untuk pihak kerajaan mengambil tanah berhampiran dengan jeti dan digantikan dengan yang lain. Bagi saya pembangunan boleh dijalankan dengan tidak mengorbankan hak pemilik asal. Biarlah mereka sama-sama menikmati rezeki yang dianugerahkan Allah dengan penglibatan bersama. Selain sebuah restoran, saya nampak sebuah tempat Rehat & Rawat seperti di lebuh raya mengambil tempat berhampiran jeti pada tahun 2015 nanti. Penduduk yang terlibat diberi sebuah gerai dan sebuah rumah teres menggantikan tapak asal rumah masing-masing. Beberapa chalet dan asrama di pinggir sungai dan sebuah jambatan gantung menyeberangi Sungai Sepetang.