Saturday, February 27, 2010

Forest Growth in the Philippines

This is my e mail to the Manila Times congratulating the Philippines for expending their natural forests (see :

Congratulations to the Philippines! I hope it is due to the hard work carried out by the Government and the people of your country - not by a hoodwinking method as proposed by the Indonesia's Forestry Department reclassification of oil palm plantations as "natural" forests (see the Jakarta Post website). What a joke!

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Maketab Mohamed
Chairman, Malaysian Nature Society, Johor Branch

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Accommodations for Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) AGM 2010

MNS Johor (MNSJ) would be hosting 2010 AGM at Taman Rimba Lagenda, Gunung Ledang National Park from 24 - 26 September 2010. Unlike MNS most recent AGMs, this year's venue would not be at a nice 3 to 5-Stars resorts but would be in a more rustic, back to nature surroundings.

There are nine units of chalet (RM 200/night). Each can accommodate up to 4 persons. The two bedrooms chalets has one double beds bedroom with air-conditioning and one bedroom with sliding bed (fan only) - there is also a small kitchenette with the usual electric kettle but no refrigerator. The living room is relatively large but no TV.

There are also 23 units of A-huts at RM 60/night and the huts can accommodate up to 3 people/unit. Each unit is equipped with a ceiling fan and plug points. Mattresses and pillows are provided.

The dormitories can fit up to 100 people at RM 20/pax/night.


You might opt for camping under the stars and you would be charged RM 5 per day.

Please book your accommodation at Taman Rimba Lagenda and Gunung Ledang Resort through Wee Chin ( or Maye Yap (

Gunung Ledang Resort

Gunung Ledang Resort is the oldest resort near Gunung Ledang. It is located at the head of the Air Panas Trail, which leads to the Kolam Puteri and Kolam Gajah and Ledang Peak but the trail is closed now, any climb to the peak or even Kolam Gajah must be through Taman Rimba Lagenda. The resort also controls the entrance to the Air Panas waterfalls picnic area.

It is about 15 minutes away from the Taman Rimba Lagenda, the venue for the MNS AGM 2010.




A standard room (as in the photo above) costs RM 150 per night while a De Luxe room costs RM 200 per night.


Gunung Ledang Resort
Jalan Segamat,
84020 Tangkak

Tel. : +606-977-2888
Fax : +606-977-3555
E-mail   :
Website :

Hotels in Tangkak

Some participants might want to stay in Tangkak, which is about 30 minutes from Taman Rimba Lagenda, the venue for the MNS AGM 2010. Tangkak is now the district administrative center for the newly created district of Ledang. It is now well known as the Textile Town for Johor.

Try the local food at the bus/taxi station i.e. mee rebus and mee bandung etc.

Ophir Hotel

Ophir Hotel is located next to the Petronas gas station on the main road. The hotel has 41 guest rooms, which include two Superior rooms, six  De Luxe rooms, three Triple bedrooms and 18 Twin-sharing rooms and 12 Queen bedrooms.

Tel. : +606-979-1611
Fax : +606-978-1191
E-mail :

D'Anjung Inn

Located about 200 meters before the Petronas Gas Station (if you are entering the town from the Tangkak Exit of the North-South Highway).

Rooms with a Queen-sized bed (8 units; RM 60 per night), Rooms with two twin-sized beds (5 units; RM 60 per night). There are also many other mix of rooms and rates - contact the inn for details.


Batu 16, Jalan Muar, Kampung Anjung Batu
84900 Tangkak, Johor Darul Ta'zim

Tel. : +606-978-4570
Fax : +606-978-4070
HP  : +6019-693-4230
Website :

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Malaysian Nature Society, Johor Branch Strategic Planning Weekend, 19 - 21 Feb. 2010

We spent last weekend at the Taman Rimba Lagenda, Taman Negara Johor to discuss and produce our strategic planning for the next 3 - 5 years. Unfortunately, only some of the MNSJ Committee members were present, probably due to the fact that it is still too close to the Chinese New Year holidays. But we finished the process and the Strategic Plan would be sent through the e-mail to all MNSJ members.

On Sunday, we have some time to drive up to Gunung Ledang via the Telekom Road and hike the remaining 20 minutes hike up to the Ledang Peak. Mr. Chew Keng Lin, the Manager of Taman Rimba Lagenda was also with us.

On the way down, we surveyed the sides of the road after the water supply point to see  how many slipper orchids are there needed to moved away to safer locations - away from the grass-cutter's deadly blades. This is one of the three options given for activities during the MNS AGM in September.

Jakarta Post

The letter below was written to the online Jakarta Post recently to rebut the statement saying that Malaysia adopted a stand whereby agricultural plantations are also considered "forests".

Dear Editor,

The statement "...With the decree, the Forestry Ministry is aping several countries such as Malaysia." is totally erroneous. Malaysia NEVER classified oil palm, rubber or cocoa plantations or any other agricultural plantations as forests. There were attempts by some quarters putting signs beside oil palm and rubber plantations especially on the main highways with statements such as " are passing through an oil palm/rubber plantation - WE GREEN THE EARTH" but the practice ceased many years ago.

The environmental NGOs in Malaysia, similar to WALHI or Forest Watch Indonesia, would fight any attempts to classify agricultural plantations as natural forests in our country.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Maketab Mohamed
Chairman, Malaysian Nature Society, Johor Branch

Gunung Ledang, 21 February 2010

Gunung Ledang, 21 February 2010
On the Peak of Gunung Ledang after the MNSJ Strategic Planning

Malaysian Nature Society, Johor Branch


I am the present Chairman of the Malaysian Nature Society, Johor Branch (MNSJ) (2010-11) and was duly elected as the President of the Malaysian Nature Society at the 63rd AGM at Taman Rimba Lagenda Ledang, Tangkak on 25th Sept. 2010. It is MNSJ's standing policy to engage directly with the relevant Federal and State agencies/departments on issues related to Nature and the Environment. This non-hostile approach is more effective than the hostile "in your face" attitude but we would have our say if necessary.


About Me

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Skudai, Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
I am an academician in Universiti Teknologi Malaysia situated in the southern state of Johor, Peninsular Malaysia. My fields of expertise are watershed management, water quality and water quality modeling. I did my B. Sc. and M. Sc. at the University of Iowa (1978 - 83) and worked for the Department of Environment (DOE) until 1990, when I joined UTM and later did my PhD in Watershed Science at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado. I was the Chairman of the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) Johor from 2006 - 2011. I was the President of the MNS from 2010 to 2014.