Redang Island

Redang Island, locally known as Pulau Redang or just “Redang” is one of the largest islands off the east coast of Malaysia. It is a popular holiday island for Malaysians, most of whom come on package deals to one of the resorts. Redang is one of nine islands, which form a marine park, and which offer snorkeling and diving opportunities. Access is from Merang or Kuala Terengganu on boats operated by the resorts; there is also a small airport with services operated by Berjaya Air from Singapore (Seletar Airport) and Kuala Lumpur (Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport).

The island is also an important conservation site for sea turtles. Previously, the indiscriminate economic exploitation of turtle eggs had caused fewer turtles returning to nest on the island. This has led the Terengganu state government to set up the Koperasi Setiajaya Pulau Redang in 1989, a cooperative aiming to develop and manage socio-economic programmes that could improve the livelihood of Pulau Redang locals without endangering its natural resources.[citation needed]

The waters around Pulau Redang also contain two historic shipwrecks: HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse. The ships were sunk here at the start of World War II, setting the stage for the Japanese occupation of Malaya.

The Pulau Redang archipelago comprises Pulau Redang, Pulau Lima, Pulau Paku Besar, Pulau Paku Kecil, Pulau Kerengga Kecil, Pulau Kerengga Besar, Pulau Ekor Tebu, Pulau Ling and Pulau Pinang. Pulau Redang is the biggest of all the islands in the Marine Park, measuring about 7 km long and 6 km wide. Its highest peak is Bukit Besar at 359 metres above sea level. The boundary of the Pulau Redang Marine Park is established by a line linking all points 2 nautical miles (3.7 km) from the shores of Pulau Redang, Pulau Lima, Pulau Ekor Tebu and Pulau Pinang. The other nearby islands of Pulau Perhentian Besar, Pulau Perhentian Kecil, Pulau Lang Tengah, Pulau Kapas and Pulau Susu Dara are also gazetted and protected as Marine Parks. Today, only the bigger islands like Redang, Lang Tengah, Perhentian and Kapas have resort facilities for visitors. The management of Marine Parks primarily involves protection of the sensitive marine and terrestrial ecosystems by controlling the impact from human activities. These include waste & pollution management and conservation of coral reefs and terrestrial habitats.

The 2000 film, Summer Holiday was filmed on the Laguna Redang resort, and a replica of the tea house now serves as the resort’s gift shop.

Petronas

Petronas, short for “Petroliam Nasional Berhad”, is a Malaysian-owned oil and gas company that was founded on August 17, 1974. Wholly owned by the Government, the corporation is vested with the entire oil and gas resources in Malaysia and is entrusted with the responsibility of developing and adding value to these resources. Petronas is ranked among Fortune Global 500’s largest corporations in the world. Fortune ranks Petronas as the 95th largest company in the world in 2008 and 80th largest in 2009. It also ranks Petronas as the 8th most profitable company in the world and the most profitable in Asia.

Since its incorporation, Petronas has grown to be an integrated international oil and gas company with business interests in 31 countries. As of the end of March 2005, the Petronas Group comprised of 103 wholly-owned subsidiaries, 19 partly-owned outfits and 57 associated companies. Together, these companies make the Petronas Group, which is involved in various oil and gas based activities. The Financial Times has identified Petronas as one of the “new seven sisters”[5]: the most influential and mainly state-owned national oil and gas companies from countries outside the OECD.

The Group is engaged in a wide spectrum of petroleum activities, including upstream exploration and production of oil and gas to downstream oil refining; marketing and distribution of petroleum products; trading; gas processing and liquefaction; gas transmission pipeline network operations; marketing of liquefied natural gas; petrochemical manufacturing and marketing; shipping; automotive engineering; and property investment.

The Petronas Twin Towers were officially opened on Malaysia’s 42nd National Day, August 31 1998 – in the Corporation’s 24th Anniversary year.

Malay Etnic

Malays (Malay: Melayu) are an ethnic group of Austronesian peoples predominantly inhabiting the Malay Peninsula including the southernmost parts of Thailand, the east coast of Sumatra, the coast of Borneo, and the smaller islands which lie between these locations. The Malay ethnic group is distinct from the concept of a Malay race, which encompasses a wider group of people, including most of Indonesia and the Philippines. The Malay language is a member of the Austronesian family of languages.

History

The Encyclopedia of Malaysia: Early History, has pointed out a total of three theories of the origin of Malay:

1. The Yunnan theory, Mekong river migration (published 1889)
2. The New Guinea theory (published 1965)
3. The Taiwan theory (published 1997)

The ancestor of Malays are believed to be seafarers knowledgeable in oceanography. They moved around from island to island in great distances between New Zealand and Madagascar, and they served as navigation guide, crew and labour to Indian, Persian and Chinese traders for nearly 2000 years. Over the years they settled at various places and adopted various cultures and religions. Notable Malay seafarers of today are Moken and Orang laut.

Some historians suggested they were descendants of Austronesian-speakers who migrated from the Philippines and originally came from Taiwan. Malay culture reached its golden age during Srivijayan times and they practiced Buddhism, Hinduism, and their native Animism before converting to Islam in the 15th century.

Etymology

Malay peopleIn the History of Jambi, the word Melayu originated from a river with name Melayu River near to Batang Hari River of today’s Muara Jambi, Jambi province of Sumatra, Indonesia and even a Melayu Kingdom existed from the record of Yi Jing (a Tang Dynasty Buddhist monk) and archaeological research of Jambi, large numbers of ancient artifacts and ancient architectures of the Melayu Kingdom have been found with photo evidence. However further tracing the root of the word, a small town in Tamil district appeared called Malai Yur which means “Land of Mountains” (malai means mountain and yur means land), a reference to the hilly nature of the Malay Archipelago. Other ancient Indian sources , the Purana text, claimed “Malayadvipa” on Sumatra with the meaning ‘dvipa’ land surrounded by water, while the ancient Sanskrit word Himalaya means ‘snow mountain’. “Maleu-kolon” was used by Ptolemy which was also derived from Sanskrit ‘malayakom’ or ‘malaikurram’, according to G. E. Gerini that was to refer to Tanjung Kuantan while Roland Bradell claimed it on Tanjung Penyabung, both in the peninsula. (see Tamil place names in Malaysia)

The word Melayu began in use during the time of Sultanate of Melaka, founded by the fleeing prince Parameswara, from the declining Melayu Kingdom of Srivijaya in Palembang. And the word was in popular use in 17th century onwards.

During the European colonization, the word “Malay” was adopted into English via the Dutch word “Malayo”, itself from Portuguese “Malaio”, which originates from the Malay word “Melayu”. According to one popular theory, the word Melayu means “migrating” or “fleeing”, which might refer to the high mobility of these people across the region (cf. Javanese verb ‘mlayu’ means “to run”, cognate with Malay verb ‘melaju’, means “to accelerate”) or perhaps the original meaning is “distant, far away” (cf. Tagalog ‘malayo’) with the root word ‘layo’, which means ‘distance’ or ‘far’ in Tagalog and some Malayo-Polynesian languages.

Malay-People

Sipadan Water Village Resort

Sipadan Water Village is a resort beautifully constructed with Bajau architectural design. Part of the Mabul Island is also home to groups of Bajau fishermen who have built their traditional palm thatched houses. The Bajau Laut, the world’s only tribe of nomadic sea gypsies spends their lives on the water. Over the years, some have entered a transition from sea nomadic to sedentary village life at a former major anchorage site such as Mabul.

The entire resort is built over water on stilts made of Belian Wood commonly called ironwood, laid in certain points so as to minimise damage to the existing reef. In its design, Sipadan Water Village has achieved near utopia in its over-the-water layout, splendid water cottage accommodations with flowered sidewalks, wonderfully prepared Asian and Continental cuisine, and impeccable and personable service.

Sipadan Water Village international staffs of dive guides and instructors pride themselves on knowing the intricacies of their reefs and willing to share their macro subject secrets with anyone interested.

Sipadan-Water-Village.

Rawa Island, Johor – Malaysia

The Beach

Rawa boasts with one of the most idyllic beaches in the entire Seribuat archipelago. The sand is powdery white and clean and there is enough space for a game of beach volleyball or soccer or to stretch out and soak up the sun – all at the same time.  Along the edge of the beach, hammocks are tied between palm trees – the perfect place to relax with your favourite book or magazine.
Sea Sports

While this is not the place for serious water sport enthusiasts, Rawa is still surrounded by clear, coral-rich water and snorkelling, diving or a bit of sea kayaking are great ways to explore this.
A few metres from the beach, a bed of coral is home to a variety of marine life and if you grab a mask, snorkel and fins, you can take a closer look. Apart from the colourful fish, you may be lucky enough to spot a stingray or even a turtle.
The dive centre at the Rawa Safari resort is ready to take you deeper if you want to explore more at the nearby dive sites and the surrounding islands.
The same sea sports centre also rents out kayaks for those that want to explore the waters without getting (very) wet.
Breathtaking views

Behind the powdery white beach and the resorts, a steep hill rises up and drops down into the sea on the other side of the island in sheets of rock and straight cliffs. Steps lead up the hillside from the back of the Rawa Safari resort and into a pathway that takes you to the edge of the island and to a spectacular view of the surrounding islands and the open sea. You’ll reach the top in less than 15 minutes and the view is definitely worth the climb, especially at sunset.

Rawa Island

Penang Bridge

The Penang Bridge (Jambatan Pulau Pinang in Malay) is a dual-carriageway toll bridge that connects Gelugor on the island of Penang and Seberang Prai on the mainland of Malaysia on the Malay Peninsula. The bridge is also linked to the North-South Expressway in Prai and Jelutong Expressway in Penang. It was officially opened to traffic on September 14, 1985. The total length of the bridge is 13.5 km (8.4 miles), making it among the longest bridges in the world, the longest bridge in the country as well as a national landmark. Penang Bridge Sdn Bhd (PBSB) is the concession holder which manages it. The bridge was designed by a local Penang resident, Tan Sri Datuk Professor Ir. Chin Fung Kee, a well known authority in geotechnical engineering and former acting Vice Chancellor of the University of Malaya.

Before 1985, transportation between the island and the mainland was solely dependent on the state-owned Penang Ferry Service that runs between Butterworth and George Town.

Similar to the ferry services in Penang, toll is only paid when heading to the island. There is no charge for leaving the island.

Currently, the Penang Bridge is being expanded from 4 lanes to 6 lanes to accommodate the increasing traffic on the bridge. A proposal for a second bridge, the Penang Second Bridge, has been approved by the Malaysian federal government and included as one of the Ninth Malaysia Plan national projects. Construction work of the new Penang Second Bridge began in November 2008, and the target completion date is May 2012.

Recently, the Penang Bridge was assigned its own route number of E36.

Perhentian Island, Malaysia

The Perhentian Islands are two islands named Pulau Perhentian Kecil (Small Perhentian Island) and Pulau Perhentian Besar (Large Perhentian Island). The Malay name Perhentian is translated as “place to stop” and this is exactly what these two islands were for traders travelling between Malaysia and Bangkok in years gone by. These islands are still a gorgeous place to stop and rest today, albeit for tourists disconnecting from the stress and routine of everyday life and not for weary seafaring traders.

The islands remain relatively untouched and the only permanent inhabitants live in a small fishing village on Perhentian Kecil. Apart from footpaths that cut through the jungle, there are no roads on the islands. The only way to get around is by walking through the jungle or taking a sea taxi. If you tread carefully, you may even encounter some of the islands’ shy wildlife on the way, such as monitor lizards, fruit bats, squirrels or even the elusive mouse deer. Simple chalets and some moderately luxurious resorts line the picturesque beaches along with restaurants, dive centres and boat operators advertising their services with hand-painted signs.

Perhaps it is the stretches of white beach or the crystal clear water and the superior scuba diving. Perhaps it is the untouched forests or the relaxed atmosphere and unspoiled charm. We like to think that is a little bit of all of this that makes the Perhentian Islands the perfect place to stop and take some time out.

Perhentian Island

Kek Lok Si Temple, Penang – Malaysia

Kek Lok Si Temple

Kek Lok Si, or Temple of Supreme Bliss, is the largest and arguably the best known temple in Penang. It straddles a hillside overlooking the town of Ayer Itam and George Town beyond that. It is a temple that harmoniously blend Mahayana Buddhism with Taoist beliefs and other Chinese rituals, creating an amalgam that is uniquely its own. Since the olden days, the hills of Ayer Itam are regarded as important geomantically. Known as He San, or Crane Hill, they are recommended as a retreat for Taoist practitioners striving for immortality.

The Kek Lok Si project was mooted by the chief monk of the Kuan Yin Teng, Goddess of Mercy Temple of Pitt Street. With the support of the consular representative of China in Penang, the project received the sanction of the Manchu Emperor Guangxu (also called Jingdi, 1875-1908, of the Qing Dynasty) who bestowed a tablet and gift of 70,000 volumes of the Imperial Edition of the Buddhist Sutras. Funds to get the project realised came from wealthy benefactors of that time, including Cheong Fatt Tze (of Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion), Zhang Yunan, Cheah Choon Seng, Chung Keng Kwee (the Kapitan Cina who owned Hai Kee Chan) and Tye Kee Yoon. In recognition of their contribution, they were all made the Five Principal Directors of Kek Lok Si.

The initial temple structure was built on the summit of He Shan. It cost $180,000 Straits Dollars. The 10-acre site was purchased in 1893, and the temple was completed in 1904. An official opening ceremony was conducted on 13 January, 1905.

For the first thirty-five years of its existence, the temple was without its iconic pagoda. Nevertheless it was already assuming a position as one of the most prestigious and renowned Mahayana Buddhist religious institution in Southeast Asia. It was only in 1927 that the iconic pagoda, today one of the most recognizable landmarks of Penang, came into being. Construction began in 1915 under the second abbot of Kek Lok Si, Ben Zhong, who was also instrumented in founding the Kuan Yin See. Its official name is the Pagoda of Rama VI, so named after the Thai monarch who laid the foundation stone. Generally, however, it is better known as the Pagoda of 10,000 Buddhas or Ban Po That. This unusual pagoda combines a Chinese octagonal base with a middle tier of Thai design, and a Burmese crown, effectively fusing Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism symbols into one structure.

The two star attractions of Kek Lok Si Temple are the Pagoda of 10,000 Buddhas and the giant bronze statue of Kuan Yin.

The 30.2m bronze statue of the Avalokitesvara – Goddess of Mercy or Kuan Yin, standing on the hillside above the pagoda, was completed and open to the public at the end of 2002.

Penang_Kek-Lok-Si_Temple

Kuala Lumpur Bird Park

The KL Bird Park was set up in 1991 and was officially opened by The DYMM Raja Permaisuri Agong, Tuanku Bainun.

Located in the serene and scenic Kuala Lumpur Lake Gardens, it is only 10 minutes drive away from the city centre of Kuala Lumpur. It is the home to more than 2,000 birds of approximately 200 species of local and foreign birds.

Sprawling approximately 20.9 acres of verdant valley terrain, the park is divided into 4 zones; Zone 1 and 2 make up the free-flight zone; Zone 3 is the Hornbill Park and Zone 4 is where the birds are placed in separate cages and mini aviaries.

One of KL Bird Park’s most extraordinary feature is that in Zone 1, 2 and 3, birds are let free in the aviary which closely resembles their natural habitat. With this free-flight concept, birds are able to breed naturally in this unique environment.


The Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Mosque

The Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Mosque (Malay: Masjid Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz) is the state mosque of Selangor, Malaysia. It is located in Shah Alam. It is the country’s biggest mosque and also the second biggest mosque in Southeast Asia after Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The mosque was commissioned by the late Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz, when he declared Shah Alam as the new capital of Selangor on February 14, 1974. Construction began in 1982 and finished on March 11, 1988. During the reign of Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz, Shah Alam Mosque was built between 1982 and 1988. The Mosque is also known as the Blue Mosque owing to its blue dome which is one of the largest in the whole world. The structure of the mosque incorporates Malay and Islamic architecture

It’s architecture is a combination of Malay and Modernist style. It is nicknamed as ‘Blue Mosque’ for its blue aluminium dome covered in a rosette of verses from the Qur’an.
At the hallway (first floor) of the mosque.

The main dome of the mosque is one of the biggest domes in the world, measuring 170 feet in diameter and 350 feet in height from the ground level. The four minarets are the second tallest in the world at 460 feet. In its early years, the mosque was also listed in the Guinness World Records as having the tallest minaret in the world [1], a title it had lost to the King Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca.

The mosque is large enough that on clear day it can be seen from certain vantage points in Kuala Lumpur. The mosque can accommodate up to 16,000 worshippers.

Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Mosque, Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia

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