MNS exhibiting at Rockin 4 the Reefs 2013

Date: 21 April (Sun)
Time: 1pm-7pm
Venue: The Square @ Publika (Mont Kiara)

The Malaysian Nature Society together with the Marine Special Interest Group (Selangor Branch) will be exhibiting at Rockin 4 the Reefs – a 1-day music, arts and cultural festival to raise awareness and funds for local environmental education and conservation initiatives.

More than 30 local musicians will rock the stage – and at the same time – 12 local environmental NGOs and green businesses will be exhibiting – free admission!

Drop by our booth to say hi! or do one or more of the following:

1) discover how the oldest environmental NGO in Malaysia is conserving Malaysian coral reefs and marine life and how it’s educating students, members, and the public about appreciating the marine environment.
2) book your place(s) for the Snorkel & Dive at Pulau Perhentian, a pre-World Oceans Day event in early June 
3) renew or sign up for MNS membership
4) purchase MNS merchandise
5) make a donation to one of our reef projects
6) learn more about sustainable seafood, biorock technology, and why gobies and shrimps are best friends forever.

The festival, organised by Reef Check Malaysia and the Environmental Education Alliance of Southeast Asia, will continue from April 22-27 at school roadshows.

Dive in to Earth Day 2011

Story by Si Penyu
Photos by Ilyas Sapiyan and Si Penyu

When Hui Min said she needed volunteers for the “Dive in to the Earth Day 2011” programme (23-26 April), I did not hesitate to join. I wanted to meet new friends and also get first-hand experience educating school children on our environment. But, boy! I got more than that at the end of the trip!

I carpooled with Hui Min, Phoon and Fiona. We spent a night at Mersing and met the rest of the participants – Jeff, Carol, Wan Yeng, Teik Gee, Owen and Cheng Tuan at Mersing Jetty the next morning. The ferry ride took us another two hours to reach Tioman. My reaction when I saw Panuba for the first time was “wow!” 


Later that afternoon, while the others geared up for their first dive, Hui Min, Phoon, Fiona, Ilyas and I headed to Sekolah Kebangsaan Tekek to conduct a half-day programme for the kids. 

Hui Min asked me to become the emcee for the event! I’ve never emceed in my life before! I was nervous at the beginning and finally gained confidence as the kids were responsive and did not disappoint me one bit! 

The programmed kick-started with a talk on “Hutan Hujan Tropika” by Ilyas. Later, there was a drawing competition themed “Haiwan dan Persekitarannya,” an environmental-themed game, tea break and a beach cleanup.
SiPenyu-2011_TiomanBeachCleanUp
I’ve been contemplating taking up the Advanced course for a while now and finally signed up. I was assigned to Juergen Koch and got to choose three specialty dives and two compulsory dives (Deep Dive and Navigation Dive). I did three dives for the first day, including a night dive. Juergen made sure that I was comfortable with the dive site before taking me to my first night dive. He even tested me on finding my own way back beneath the bubbles before my night dive.

The next day was the anticipated deep dive. I finally got to dive with the rest of the crew. We went to Soyak wreck. It was nerve-wrecking as we descended. It took a while before I could see the bottom. After two days and five dives, I’m now a certified Advanced Open Water Diver!

One of the most memorable dives that we did was the unintentional “Search and Rescue” dive at the Marine Park. The visibility was bad. After a while, we realised that we had lost three divers. Juergen finally decided to ascend and abandon the dive. So lesson learnt in this dive: (1) always follow the divemaster, (2) if you get lost, ascend and abandon the dive. But in our case, since our tanks weren’t even half empty and Juergen is an experienced divemaster, we descended again as soon as Juergen saw the bubbles of the missing divers underwater. We communicated through sound, by tapping on the tanks and the diving slates! We finally found them and continued the “Search and Rescue” dive and found a man with an umbrella underwater!
On the last night at Panuba, we had a BBQ. Hui Min did a great job preparing the food. Chicken, fish, potato and corn (I never knew Carrefour’s corn was so yummy!). We did another two dives the next day before heading back to Kuala Lumpur. We reached KL around 10.30pm. It was a great trip! Yes, I did meet new friends. Best of all, is that we share the same interest – diving, nature and photography! Thanks to Hui Min for organising such a great event! Hope to see you guys again in the near future!

Dive in to Earth Day 2011

Dates: April 23-26 (Sat-Tues)
Location: Pulau Tioman

The Marine SIG of MNS Selangor Branch is having a special programme in conjunction with Earth Day (22 April) at Panuba Bay, Tioman Island. We will be organising a PADI Open Water Course and also Advance Open Water Course. People who want to do some diving are also welcome. We will also be having a half-day programme for the Kelab Pencinta Alam (KPA) of Tekek School.

The 4D/3N Open Water/Advanced Open Water package includes:

  1. Stay at Panuba Inn Resort, Tioman Island (twin/triple sharing)
  2. Ferry between Mersing & Tioman (2-way)
  3. Course materials
  4. Dive equipment
  5. Breakfast on 24, 25 & 26 Apr
  6. 1 BBQ dinner
  7. 1 beach cleanup

All course participants are encouraged to bring their own masks, snorkels & fins. Divers can bring their own equipment or rent from the dive centre. For diving trip rates, please contact me. Also, your trip payment will sponsor the Tekek school programme entirely.

Travel to and from Mersing is by carpooling/bus, where the costs will be borne by each individual themselves.

OPEN WATER COURSE
Member price: RM 1240
Non-member price: RM 1310 
(includes 1-year MNS membership)
Please make booking payment of RM200 by Tuesday, 7 March 2011.
Please make full payment by Tuesday, 15 March 2011.

ADVANCED OPEN WATER COURSE
Member price: RM 1140
Non-member price: RM 1210 
(includes 1-year MNS membership)
Please make booking payment of RM200 by Tuesday, 7 March 2011.
Please make full payment by Tuesday, 15 March 2011.

Interested individuals are to contact Khor Hui Min (email: khor.hm@gmail.com, mobile: 017-881 7714) for booking as soon as possible, as places are limited. Email and SMS are preferred. Calls after 6pm, please.

 

 

Talk: Project AWARE Sharks

Dates: 30 July 2010 – 1 August, 2010
VenueMalaysia International Dive Expo, PWTC

Joanne Marston, Asia Pacific Manager for Project AWARE will talk about sharks, the recent failures at CITES and collect your petition signature to CITES Party Representatives at Malaysia International Dive Expo in Kuala Lumpur. Admission is free. For more details, please contact http://www.projectaware.org.

Tioman – A Trip to Remember

Story by Malini Madiyazhagan
Photos by Khor Hui Min and Gary Phong

The Rafflesia on a vine, hanging in mid air, which we were fortunate enough to see on Tioman by Khor Hui Min

We were fortunate to see this Rafflesia – Khor Hui Min

I do not think 500 words will be enough to describe to you the adventures I experienced on this 4-day 3-nights trip (11-14 April 2009) to Pulau Tioman. What enticed me at first was the desperate need for a getaway in order to temporarily remove myself from the daily routine of work, work and more work. I chanced upon Hui Min’s invite for this trip – the phrase “promising an unforgettable experience for naturalists and city slickers alike” enticed me and I signed up straight away.

The trip began on a Friday night by bus en route to Mersing. The journey (all 10 hours or so in total) to Tioman was long but anticipated. We had to take a ferry ride from Mersing to Tioman Island, and then a 4-wheel drive ride from our stop at Tekek to Juara, on the other side of the island . It was the 4-wheel drive OR a 3-hour trek to Juara. Obviously, the decision was unanimous for the former. Thank goodness, as we had to conserve our energy for what was coming next!

Our activities for the next few days ranged from sea adventures to land adventures. The afternoon of our arrival, we received a complimentary crash course by our very own Wee Liem on snorkelling. I had never snorkelled before the trip, and Wee Liem’s do’s and don’ts were much appreciated. All were on board for the test snorkelling in the water that afternoon, and I speak for everyone on the trip when I say we could not get enough of it! The underwater world is one that is truly magical. While we were busy learning snorkeling, Hui Min, Lee Sah, Wong, Yong and Haryati went to Tekek School for the annual Marine SIG Kelab Pencinta Alam programme there. The kids truly enjoyed the entertaining talk on birdwatching by Haryati, besides the poster-drawing competition, tea break and beach cleanup.

The most exciting game of scrabble, or vocable, ever by Khor Hui Min

Most exciting game of scrabble or vocable ever – Khor Hui Min

Some of us spent our first night on the island night-trekking in search of mousedeer. I believe this was the most talked about activity on the whole trip, and one to never forget about. The trek began at the resort, where we had to climb 4 (very steep) hills to an entrance in the forest. This trek lasted close to 2 hours. Then we began our 1.5 hour journey into the forest with 5 very able guides in search of mousedeer. We must have been a very lucky lot as we managed to see many other animals besides the mousedeer – from snakes and forest rats, to a chameleon and semut api (fire ants), which we painfully could not avoid. The only thing which we anticipated to find, but thankfully did not have to encounter were the leeches. But we were prepared in advance with our leech socks pulled up high and tucked into our dependable adidas kampung shoes. (Thank you Gary on your insight on this!) The trek left us thinner and exhausted, but very satisfied with ourselves. One accomplishment in this lifetime accounted for!

The second day was an all-day snorkelling agenda. We started the day with a beach cleanup and duty free shopping at Tekek, after which we hopped from the marine park to coral island, despite a gloomy rainy day, and braved the drizzle by swimming amongst the corals and fish in the sea. Our night activities were pleasantly memorable – 30 people dominating a beach front hall with lots of booze and board games at hand – I shall leave the rest to your imagination due to my word limit constraint.

The third day heralded a trek to a waterfall in Kampung Asah and the much awaited Rafflesia walk. This final trek in search of the Rafflesia was easy in comparison to the night trek on the first day. Our advantage was that we had daylight and a 4-wheel drive to take us to the entrance into the forest! We ended our final night at Juara with a BBQ and karaoke session. A perfect conclusion to a memorable adventure.

The final day of the holiday was spent mostly travelling back to the mainland. By this time, I had made 29 new friends, learnt more about the sea and land and couldn’t wait for the next MNS getaway! Tioman, to me, was truly a trip to remember.

Our group of 30 enthusiastic and friendly people by Gary Phong

Thirty enthusiastic and friendly people – Gary Phong

 

 

 

 

 

 

Explore Tioman by sea & land

Dates: 11 – 14 April 2009 (Sat – Tues)
Location: Tioman Island, Pahang
Price: RM360 for members, RM430 for non-members (includes 1-year MNS membership)

Tioman02smThe Marine SIG and the Nature Guides are organising a joint 4D/3N trip to Tioman Island, from Saturday, 11 April to Tuesday, 14 April 2009, promising an unforgettable experience for naturalists and city slickers alike. Over a 4-day period, you will stay at the Juara Mutiara Resort, enjoy 2 days of snorkelling, a morning trek to look for the famed Rafflesia, and a trek to a lovely waterfall. Besides that, the ‘night life’ enthusiast will find the night spotting walk exciting indeed. What are you trying to spot at night? Well, we hope to see a mousedeer or two!

What’s included in the package?
Dorm accommodation, Tioman round-trip ferry ride, all meals including a BBQ, 2 days of snorkelling, 3 walks, a visit to the Marine Park information centre area, and a visit to Tekek (where you can do your duty free shopping).

Tekek School KPA Programme
Each time the Marine SIG organises a trip to Tioman, a programme will be conducted for the Kelab Pencinta Alam at the Tekek Primary School. Your trip payment will sponsor this programme. This year’s programme will include a talk and slide show by the Nature Guides, some arts and craft fun, a beach clean-up and a tea break. And don’t worry, because we’ll somehow manage to find time for a beach clean-up for the adults too.

For more information about this trip and to register, please contact Khor Hui Min (017-881 7714). This trip is also listed in the Calendar of Activities section. Places are limited, so book your spot soon!

Bookmark this trip!

Turtle people of Taylor’s College

By Serina Rahman

This group of graduating students of Taylor’s School of Communication came to me 1 year ago to ask some of the strangest questions I’d ever heard on turtles. It is heartening to see how far they’ve come as they complete their project to increase awareness amongst their peers on the plight of the turtle and how much they have learnt and matured.

It is always encouraging to meet youth determined to make a difference in the environmental cause. It reminds us that not all of the country’s future decision makers and community leaders are completely apathetic. It is heartening to see them work so hard to open the eyes of their friends and college-mates to the plight of another being.

And this is exactly what this group did. With a project that took more than a year of planning and 1 month’s execution, these students worked to spread the word amongst other tertiary students by holding talks, exhibitions, competitions and even cook-outs to encourage interest. Incredibly, the group even travelled to Singapore to speak to the general public about turtle conservation there.

After being trained themselves in the relevant content by both MNS Marine SIG and TrEES, they then went on to work with even younger youth; the Rangers and Rovers of SMK Methodist Melaka. And of course a turtle conservation project would not have been complete without a visit to a turtle sanctuary. The group travelled to the Padang Kemunting Turtle Hatchery, run by WWF, to get a first-hand look at a turtle hatchery.

One of the highlights for us, however, was their presence at Raptor Watch 2008. Their friendly mascot, Aida, was a firm favourite of many children who spotted her from afar and made a beeline for her to take photos or receive a warm hug. Aida’s popularity and unabashed friendliness made her a firm favourite with the press and she received extensive media coverage; good for the group and good for Raptor Watch!

Although the project under their lecturer Ms Syireen Rose has now come to an end, the Turtle People are determined to leave a legacy of environmental protection and conservation behind. The group is setting up an eco-club within Taylor’s College to carry on their work, to continue bringing Aida out to the masses and to become the link between NGOs and college youth. It really is a positive sign, and a much-needed avenue to reach out to a group that is usually more difficult to engage.

Here’s hoping that more of such initiatives continue to pour forth from Taylor’s and other colleges nationwide!