By Wan Zuratikah Iffah Wan Zulkifli
SETIU (Bernama) -- Aziz Mustafa has been fighting his desire to eat turtle eggs for over 20 years.
Like many others born and raised on Redang Island, the 42-year-old forest ranger was brought up consuming turtle eggs.
He knew that many would find the act of collecting and eating turtle eggs inconceivable, given that its population is under threat.
However, he said, it was a normality for the islanders as they grew up being taught the myth that turtle eggs contained health benefits – even though the claim had never been substantiated by any research.
“Today, I cannot bring myself to eat even one turtle egg because I know that one egg is an embryo that can become a turtle and potentially produce 100 more eggs in the future.
"Even though the survival rate of turtle hatchling is quite low, there is still that possibility that it would one day survive to become a mother turtle and contribute to the population,” he told Bernama when met recently.
By Hamdan Ismail
LANGKAWI (Bernama) -- The names 'Moringa', 'Black Soldier', 'Mimosa' or 'Heliconia' may not be found in the list of employees at Frangipani Langkawi Resort and Spa, here, but they have been “working” there for the last 13 years.
Yes, they are among the plants and insects that have contributed towards making this resort, located at Pantai Tengah in Langkawi, the greenest one around, as well as help it win a number of accolades since its establishment in 2005.
The owner of the four-star resort Anthony Wong, 62, who is a naturalist and environmentalist, is the man behind all these green initiatives. In fact, he considers nature as his most important "business partner”.
“We just can’t go against nature. We have to understand and learn how it works and how we can work with it,” he said, as he took this writer on a tour of an organic farm and constructed wetland that he has created in a corner of the resort grounds.
At the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Travel Mart 2018 that took place in Langkawi from Sept 12 to 14, Frangipani Langkawi Resort won the PATA Gold Award for Environment – Environmental Education Programme.
By Shanika Abdul Latib
KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) -- The indie or independent book scene in this country has indisputably played an important part in encouraging more Malaysians to read but, ironically, this sector continues to be marginalised by government agencies and society at large.
Having made their presence felt since 2006, indie publishers have certainly succeeded in providing more options for the reading public.
Independent publishing house Patriots Publication editorial director Syazrul Aqram feels that it is incorrect to label their works as "indie" because the term indie only applied to books that are self-published by the authors concerned for their own, as well as their close friends and relatives', reading pleasure.
"The indie label should not be directed at us (independent publishing houses) as we publish fiction and non-fiction titles for the general public to read," he said.
Syazrul said this recently in his working paper which he tabled at a one-day seminar on Indie Publishers in Malaysia's Publishing Industry, organised by Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP).
By Nur Fatin Mohmad Kadenen
JOHOR BAHRU (Bernama) -- Two Johore-born filmmakers are attempting to revive a little known traditional dance form known as Reog through a short film that they have produced.
Titled 'Barong', the seven-minute film directed by Raden Mohammad Azwan Naharudin and Mohd Arif Ani sheds light on the Reog dance, a form of masked dance that has its origins in the district of Ponorogo in East Java, Indonesia, and the people from there had brought the art form along with them when they migrated to Peninsular Malaysia a long time back.
Currently, however, only the Javanese Malay community in three districts in Johor, namely Batu Pahat, Muar and Pontian, continue to stage this dance form, which is also known as Barong.
The reason why Reog's popularity has declined over the years and is even viewed negatively is probably due to its ritualistic and supernatural elements that can be construed as un-Islamic.
By Ali Imran Mohd Noordin
YANGON (Bernama) -- Walking on the sidewalks of Myanmar's largest city, there were times when this writer could not help feeling that he was being sucked into a time tunnel.
The buildings, the people and even the vehicles on the road and the city's general atmosphere seem to exude an old-world charm which the writer found fascinating.
Granted, there are high rises here and there in Yangon, which had served as Myanmar's capital until 2006, but the blend of modern and traditional elements seem to evoke a unique ambience – something culture and history buffs are bound to savour.
Along the main roads, skyscrapers can be seen towering above quaint colonial-era structures that serve as remnants of British rule.
The clash of old and new is also evident in the local people's attire. The men can be seen dressed in a shirt or collared or collarless T-shirt but it is paired with a sarong or longyi as it is known as locally. The longyi is essentially a sheet of cloth that's sewn into a cylindrical shape and is wrapped around the lower part of the body and tucked in at the waist.
By Noor Bakhtiar Ahmad
KUCHING (Bernama) -- Sarawak may be known for its kek lapis (layer cake), but another cake that is fast gaining popularity in the state is the mooncake.
It is traditionally made to be eaten during the Mooncake Festival, also known as Mid-Autumn Festival, which takes place around the end of August and until the end of September this year.
The festival is celebrated by Chinese and Vietnamese people all over the world. In Malaysia, however, mooncakes have also made their way into the hearts and bellies of Muslims.
Today, more Muslims are looking forward to the festival as it is a time they can satisfy their cravings for the seasonal delight – the halal version, of course.
The quest for halal mooncakes have made such businesses highly successful, as can be attested by Rimba Melati Othman.
By Ali Imran Mohd Noordin
KUALA TERENGGANU (Bernama) -- The time was 8.40 p.m. and it was pitch dark at Redang Island's Pantai Chagar Hutang.
The beach was damp as there had been a steady drizzle since dusk.
Amidst the hushed atmosphere, two Green turtles emerged from the South China Sea and slowly ambled up the beach. These endangered reptiles only had one thing in mind – to find a safe spot to lay their eggs.
Some sections of the beach were rock-strewn but, fortunately, it did not hamper the turtles from landing there.
It was probably the quietness and stillness that attracted them to Pantai Chagar Hutang as they must have felt safe from predators.
The day these two Green turtles – nicknamed Sabariah and Kartini – turned up at Pulau Redang, this writer was also there together with a group of journalists and television cameramen from the Malaysian National News Agency (BERNAMA) and Bernama News Channel (BNC).