Thursday, November 21, 2013

Meandering Along the Old Gombak Road, TWNS

Thank you to our guest contributor, Dr. Rosli Omar
All photos are taken by and the property of Dr. Rosli

Yellow Bellied Prinia, Prinia flavivenris

A short meandering by foot along the Old Gombak Road.  It was early afternoon, so birds were less visible.  All the human activity - cars, lorries, motorbikes, quarries and the like may have scared away the intensity of birds that used to be seen here.

But it is still pleasant viewing none-the-less.  These are a few of the birds, butterflies and other creatures we saw along the way.

Red Eyed Bulbul, Pycnonotus brunneus

Malay Viscount Sp, Tanaceia aruna aruna M.

Blue Glassy Tiger, Ideopsis vulgaris macrina

A lizard along the road side

Banded Swallowtail, Papilio demolion demolion

If you have photos or experiences in the Park that you would like to share, please email to TrEES at and we will try to publish your findings here, too.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Chipping Away of Our Forests...

The chipping away of forest reserves is a serious problem.  About 15 ha of the Kanching forest reserve has been cleared for the Rawang Bypass,  the whole of Sungai Jelok Forest Reserve in Kajang had been replaced with rubber plantation, and now the Ampang Forest Reserve is under eminent threat of the East Klang Valley Expressway. 

This is piece-meal clearing of forests is precisely why TrEES and other NGOs lobbied for the government to establish the series of forest reserves along the eastern boundary of the state as one park - Taman Warisan.  As a single entity, the Park should be managed holistically, at the State level, and not as a small piece of forest here, and another small piece there, under one majlis here, and another department there.

Sadly, the Park Steering Committee has not met since 2009, and there doesn't seem to be much commitment by the State Government towards Taman Warisan Negeri Selangor.   We are working to change this.  We hope you can support this effort by spreading the word on the Park, and writing to the State Gov to voice your love of the Park.

Read more:

Friday, October 18, 2013

Chillin' at Chiling Waterfalls

Special thanks to our guest contributor - Azlan Alladin


Hailed by many as the state’s most scenic waterfall, Chiling (note the single L) waterfalls is located
approximately 20 kilometers from Kuala Kubu Baru and is a must-go for nature lovers or anyone seeking a time well spent. Visitors would find themselves at the heart of nature, in the vicinity of Malaysian tropical rainforest which is only less than 2-hour drive from KL. Between their cars and the towering signature 80-meter waterfall overlooking a nice calm pool is an enjoyable jungle trek which would take visitors crossing cold rivers and passing exotic plants such as wild orchids and bamboos. The site is maintained by Selangor State Fisheries Department both as a campsite and a sanctuary, and is open on Fridays to Sundays.

How to get there

The most convenient way to travel towards Kota Kubu Bahru (“KKB”) would be on PLUS highway.  From the KKB exit, head towards Fraser's Hills and you would pass the Selangor Dam and the bridge crossing Chiling River after which you park your car. An arch would be visible to the right side of the road. Walk in.

When you’re there

You would find an open area with a few surrounding wooden buildings including the registration booth where you write down personal details and pay an entrance fee of RM1 per person. There are 6 river crossings en route to the main waterfall. The suspension bridge you see to the right of the registration booth is the first crossing.

It is crucial to make a left turn at the 4-way junction you meet after coming down the bridge. Turning right would take you back to the river you just crossed. Going straight would mean hiking up away from the water.

All river crossings are marked with steel signs as well as red plastic bag tied around nearby trees. The
river bottom would be rocky and slippery hence the choice of footwear is as important as your ability to keep balance. You would notice the harmless Kelah fish swimming around as the water goes waist-deep. Note that fishing is strictly prohibited.

After trekking for about 40 minutes, before you’re done marveling at the nice cascades and green surroundings, you would meet the main waterfall which welcomes you with its mighty sound. On busy days, the area would appear too crowded but rest assured that the turnaround at the pool is rather fast, due to its chilliness.

For those looking for more, the adventure could be extended by climbing up steep slopes toward the 2nd waterfall (not accessible) and finally the 3rd and last waterfall which would offer a more quiet and private space ideal for picnics.

(Reminder:  Waterfalls can be dangerous!  Always be careful.  Always go in a group.  Tell someone outside the group where you are going and when you expect to return.  And please, keep nature CLEAN, take your rubbish home with you)

GPS Coordinates
3°35'39.3"N 101°44'07.8"E

To read another article, please visit:

Saturday, September 7, 2013

A New Road Usually Marks the Beginning of Human Development

Building a new road or highway through a pristine ecosystem is only the beginning of human-related impacts on the ecosystem. In a short period of time, the new road or highway induces secondary development, in the form of additional branch roads, commercial development and human settlement that can have an even larger impact on ecosystems than the new road or highway alone.

This is a major concern.

In page ES-12 of the Executive Summary of the DEIA (Detailed Environment Impact Assement) for the EKVE (East Klang Valley Expressway), it is stated:
“The proposed route ………..Based on the potential impact on current landuse and future, the areas involved will lose the status of the current landuse such as forest to highway development.”

There is a possibility that the current land use status of the area in and around the Park traversed by the expressway could change from ‘State Park’ to ‘development’ use with the construction of EKVE.  New townships could appear in and around the proposed route.  This will be a key selling point by developers…accessibility to highways, etc. That being the case, the gazetted TWNS area will eventually shrink with rapid urbanization. The prestigious housing development projects along Guthrie Corridor Expressway are testament to this. The potential long term negative spinoffs from this project are not addressed at all in the DEIA.

Page 2-16 of Chapter 2 of the DEIA increases concerns:
“It conforms to the intended KLORR concept (Outer Ring Road) of which the alignment is away from MRR2 and caters for future extension of KLORR (Northern Link)

According to the Public Works Department Malaysia:
“In setting out and discussing the potentially significant environmental impacts of the proposed project, consideration should be given to possible indirect, cumulative, synergistic or antagonistic environmental effects.”

Contrary to these guidelines, the DEIA for the EKVE contained no consideration whatsoever of the
cumulative, indirect or induced impacts of the new highway.  It is unreasonable to assume that a new highway through Selangor State Park and other critical wildlife areas would not be followed by further branch roads, commercial development and human settlement along and away from the new highway, if not soon but eventually.

You can read more on our concerns relating to the EKVE at TrEES website 

While the DEIA was approved, TrEES and many other groups remain very concerned that the EKVE would be only the beginning of human-induced impacts on what are now pristine ecological areas. 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Taman Warisan Negeri Selangor Needs Your Help

Thank you everyone for your support in the past for the Park.  The Park needs your help again.  The DEIA for the East Klang Valley Expressway has been approved. See The Star article.  The DEIA was produced based on the letter issued by the Menteri Besar in Nov 2010, agreeing to the proposal of constructing an expressway through part of the Park.

We are very concerned that the Selangor State Government is not serious about protecting the Park.  

Please Send An Email To The Selangor State Government expressing your concern. So sorry to rush you, but we hope you can do it immediately.
Below is a template for you to use for your email.  Please copy the section in blue and paste it into your email to the State.  You can personalise the email as you like.

Send the email TO (you can put them all together in one email, or send separately):  

cc the email to:  (YAB’s PA)

Subject:   Concern for the Protection and Conservation of Taman Warisan Negeri Selangor

Y.A.B. Tan Sri Dato' Abdul Khalid Bin Ibrahim and representatives of the Selangor State Government,

I would like to express my grave concern over the current level of protection and conservation of Taman Warisan Negeri Selangor. 

It was announced that the Detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (DEIA) for the East Klang Valley Expressway (EKVE) was approved on 25 April 2013 (The Star Online, Friday, 7 June 2013). The DEIA was produced after YAB Tan Sri Dato’ Abdul Khalid issued a letter to Lembaga Lebuhraya Malaysia in November 2010 (included in the DEIA report), agreeing to the proposal of constructing an expressway through two water catchment forests of the Park.

The project is now in the final stages of approval.  The Environmental Management Plan and other reports will be submitted to the Department of Environment Selangor for their review and approval soon.

I would like to ask the Selangor State Government why the State Government is allowing the construction of an expressway in the forests of Taman Warisan Negeri Selangor that are important water catchment forests?  There has been a public debate for the last few years between the federal government and Selangor State government regarding a pending water crisis for Selangor, KL and Putrajaya. 

Seeing that the State’s water supply is so critical, why jeopardise it by constructing a highway through important catchment forest and face the risks of Selangor:
      not being able to meet its water demands
      losing potential investments due to concerns on the ability of the state to supply sufficient water

At the same time billions are being spent to bring water from Pahang The Pahang Selangor Raw Water Transfer Project.  This does not make economic sense.

Taman Warisan Negeri Selangor plays a critical role in supporting the economic and social well being of Selangor.   As a ‘protected area’ the Park should not be threatened by development such as expressways.  The State Government should be insisting that the Park remain intact, so that it can continue to support the needs of the state.

I look forward to your reply.

Yours sincerely

(Your Name)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Go Green this Holiday - and every day

Hari Raya, and every holiday, is such a wonderful time.  It is also a very busy time.  Everyone is out shopping, cleaning up their houses, clearing out old junk, and inviting lots of family and friends over to celebrate.

Caring for the environment is something we must try to do every day, even during the holiday season. Here are a few tips to help make your Raya holiday a bit greener:

- Cleaning the house
We all want a clean house for the holidays, but house cleaning often uses a lot of chemicals that can be harmful to ourselves and the environment.  Try to clean your house without using harmful chemicals.  Two very useful ingredients to keep on-hand are baking soda and natural vinegar.  These two simple, non-toxic items can help you clean wonders in your house.

Click here for  a List of alternative cleaners for the home that you might find useful.
Click here to read a quick article on the  hazards of household cleaners   

- Avoid disposable plates, cups and cutlery
While it may be convenient to use disposable plates, cups and cutlery (forks, spoons etc), many of
these are made with plastic or styrofoam.  We use these items for a few minutes only, but the plasti

and styrofoam remain for hundreds to thousands of years.  This adds to the huge problem of rubbish.  Malaysians produce so much rubbish, that we could fill the Petronas Twin Towers with trash every 9 days.

As much as possible, use reusable plates and cups.  If everyone in the family chips in to help with the washing, it won't be too much extra work. Tell the family that this is one of their small contributions to help protect the Planet.

Click hear to read more about the  environment hazards of styrofoam
Click here to read more about the health hazards of styrofoam

- Don't Trash It, Recycle  It!
Over the holidays you will probably be cooking a lot.  You'll be going through many tins and containers of food.  Set up a recycling corner in your kitchen or pantry, to  keep recyclable items such as aluminium cans, steel tins, plastic bottles, paper and used cooking oil separate from ordinary trash.

Once you've accumulated a bit of recyclables, you can send them to a recycling centre, such as the Community Recycling Centres organised by TrEES.  When you recycle at one of the centres, not only are you helping the environment, you are also helping the less fortunate, as the funds raised at these centres goes to the participating welfare organisation!  A single effort that does double the good!

Find one of TrEES Community Recycling Centre  nearest to you.
Read what you can recycle at TrEES centres, so you keep the correct items separate.

- Eat low on the food chain
Many of us don't think about it, but what you eat has a big impact on the environment.  It is also something that we can control quite easily.  Well, maybe not that easily, but it is definitely easier than installing solar panels or buying a hybrid car, and it can have an even more significant impact.

Animals raised for meat use very large amounts of land -- land to graze and land used to raise crops that feed livestock, and yet produces much less protein and calories relative to the amount of land used. 
This is especially true for beef.

It may not be easy to eat less meat when visiting the Hari Raya open house, just thinking about all that rendang and serunding makes your mouth water.  But in between open houses, when you are having that meal at home, try to eat more fruits and veggies, and cut back on meat products.  It will also help you keep off those extra kgs we all put during Hari Raya!  If you are cooking for your own open house, try to use tofu or tempeh (or chicken if you really can't give up meat) instead of beef, to reduce your impact.  Serve lots of fruits and veggies as well.

Eating 'low on the food chain' doesn't mean you have to become a strict vegetarian, it just means you try to reduce your meat consumption when possible, and be aware that the food you eat has an impact on the environment.  According to the Environmental Defense Fund, “if every American skipped one meal of chicken per week and substituted vegetarian foods instead, the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than half a million cars off of U.S. roads.”

So eat low on the food chain!

Read more on why eating low on the food chain helps the environment:


Monday, July 22, 2013

Re-invigorate Your Spirit at Sungai Kedondong

The month of Ramadan is a lovely time to re-invigorate our souls.  Spending some time with Mother Nature may be just the thing to we need to relieve ourselves from trappings of modern technology, and reconnect with our selves and our spirit.  If you don’t celebrate Ramadan, it may also be a time to enjoy the forest more to yourself, as fewer people will likely be out picnicking in the mornings and mid-day.

Sungai Kedondong is a lovely little recreation area just off the main road B66, between Batang Kali and Genting Highlands.  The site is run by the Majlis Daerah Hulu Selangor.

The river is very cool and refreshing. and it has many boulders, which makes for fun "rapids" and swimming.  The easy access of Sg Kedondong makes the site very popular over the weekends, which sadly means there can be quite a bit of trash along the riverbanks.  How we Malaysian's can show so much disrespect to Mother Nature, while at the same time enjoying her beauty, is a real mystery.  But there are spots that are less crowded and still very beautiful.

If you follow a small trail along the river, you will eventually come to a small
waterfall area, with a pool and all.  The hike takes less than an hour to arrive to the waterfall.  If you continue, there is also a second, smaller waterfall further up the river trail.

However, the trail can be difficult to find, and can also be quite slippery.  Be sure you inform someone if you and your party decide to hike the trail to the waterfall.  You must be aware of the weather.  A sudden rain can lead to flash floods, which can make the waterfall and the trail dangerous as well, so keep your eyes on the cloud cover.

There are several stall along the road just opposite the rereation site, selling snacks and the like. 

For an easy way to enjoy Taman Warisan Negeri Selangor, drive over to Sungai
Kedondong.   Take the B66 road from Batang Kali towards Gohtong Jaya on the way to Genting Highlands, you will see a small signboard and the recreation area on your right hand side.

Always be careful and responsible, rivers and waterfalls can be dangerous.  Always go in a group, and inform someone of where you are going.  Finally, NEVER leave your trash behind - keep the Park clean!

GPS Coordinates:
3°25'48.4"N 101°43'48.3"E
--> (Lata Kedongdong)