In my backyard there is a dinosaur

In my backyard there is this majestic, beautiful place. No, not Batu Caves, but Bukit Tabuh/Tabur/Taboh. My sister and brother climbed it a few days ago, but I couldn’t join in the fun because I was bedridden with some weird stomach flu.

You can read about their adventure and see pictures here.

I used to call the ridge “Stego” bfore I knew what it’s proper names were, because it reminded be of a stegosaurus. Others called it white elephants or Dragon’s backbone.

But I find it really sad that the local authorities don’t see it as something of value. Here is a letter posted on Malaysia Kini

The Klang Gates quartz ridge is one of the longest, if not the longest quartz outcrop in the whole world.

It is possibly the most stunning geological feature, and certainly the most obvious, in Peninsula Malaysia, as it creates a magnificent backdrop to the north of Kuala Lumpur skyline.

Sadly, this magnificent natural heritage goes unrecognised and unnoticed by so many Malaysians. The 1996 structure plans for the Selayang area did not even put the ridge on its map, when in fact there may be 5 kilometres or more of it that run through Selayang.

The Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ), meanwhile, has approved a large number of developments all along the ridge, as if it does not even exist. In October 2003, the former Selangor menteri besar launched the Selangor State Park study in the shadow of this magnificent giant. In August 2005, the deputy prime minister stood at the foothills of the area, and declared it part of Taman Warisan Selangor (the Selangor State Park).

Yet still no protection has been offered for this magnificent ridge and development plans continue unabated.

The slopes of the Klang Gates ridge are largely class 3 and class 4 slopes and combined with the quartz soil, the area is unstable for most types of development. It will be a real tragedy if the government remains so disinterested in this geological wonder, and allows it to be destroyed and desecrated by wanton development; the way the beauty of Batu Caves has been destroyed.

Why has it not yet been declared a national-natural heritage site? Why is it not a proper part of the Selangor State Park? Will no one in authority stand up, recognise and protect this spectacular gift that God has taken a millennium to create and man intends to destroy in a few decades?

Let’s hope someone takes and interest besides the housing developers.”

And another letter that appeared in The Star

Monday October 20, 2008

Klang Gates Quartz Ridge unprotected

WE travel to as far as Australia to admire the Blue Mountains and Ayers Rock; or to Krabi, Thailand to admire their vertical outcrops jutting from the sea; or even to the Grand Canyon in the United States. But little do most Malaysians realise what an amazing natural treasure lies in our own backyard.

I am talking about this magnificent natural heritage of ours, the Klang Gates Quartz Ridge in Selangor which, unfortunately, is unprotected.

The area around the Klang Gates Quartz Ridge has been designated as an environmental sensitive area (ESA), but we are already seeing and feeling the effects of development with so many housing projects being located dangerously close to these areas.

One wonders how much of the land around the quartz ridges have already been approved for development by MPAJ and the former State Government!

If you climb up Bukit Tabur, which is part of these magnificent quartz ridges, the view is breathtaking on one side and heartbreaking on the other. It is heartbreaking to see the devastation, ugly scarring and flattening of the hillsides in the vicinity of the Klang Gates dam and around Taman Melawati, Kemensah Heights, Kampung Kemensah (once famous for its streams and waterfalls which have now turned muddy) and Taman Zooview.

Further down all the way to Batu Caves too, we see commercial as well as housing projects mushrooming close to the ridge. The developer and local authorities may comfort us with arguments that all mitigating measures to ensure “minimum effect on the environment” will be carried out.

They may come up with an impressive array of engineering solutions to protect the slopes and the environment and they may even say this is only a low-density development that will not affect earth movement.

But we know from experience, as in the case of development on hillslopes in Taman Melawati and Kemensah area, that “low-density development” does not mean low impact on the environment.

Do we really believe that all that piling will not affect the stability of the ridges? And when huge chunks of the ridge come crashing down, after all the damage is caused, are the developers or MPAJ going to very magnanimously offer for our safety to build ugly cement retaining walls to patch up the quartz ridge just like they did in Taman Zooview?

Is that the view we want of our natural treasure – all patched up, plastered and cemented?

The Quartz Ridge of the Klang Gates is a unique natural heritage. Let us not throw away our chance to preserve and protect this heritage for our future generations. “

Finally here is an article on the WWF website. By the way, contrary to rumors, the ridge is not on any UNESCO list. Malaysia only has 3 listings on UNESCO, Kinabalu, Mulu, and the cities of Georgetown and Melaka.

Tags: No tags

No Responses

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *