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.
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By Ali Imran Mohd Noordin
KUALA TERENGGANU (Bernama) -- No other place in Peninsular Malaysia has the highest rates of sea turtles nesting than Pantai Chagar Hutang in Redang Island, Terengganu.
Before the beach was gazetted by the state Department of Fisheries as a turtle sanctuary in 1993, the northern part of the island was a popular place for turtle egg hunters to get their supply.
After the gazettement, the activity was immediately banned and the place subsequently became a sanctuary for nesting turtles.
The 350-metre long beach is closed to any tourism or commercial activities in order to retain its natural landscape so that turtles can nest without being disturbed by humans.
Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) runs several programmes on the nesting beach through its Sea Turtle Research Station where it monitors, studies and organises academic activities related to turtle conservation.
By Ahmad Erwan Othman
GERIK (Bernama) -- Birdwatching has become an environmentally-friendly recreational activity that brings economic benefits to the country, especially the tourism sector.
According to a research by the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board (Tourism Malaysia), the arrival of 3,150 birdwatchers from all over the world in 2015 generated some RM20.3 million in spending. In fact, Malaysia is the fifth destination of choice in Asia for birdwatchers after India, China, Thailand and Indonesia.
The Belum Temengor Forest Complex is a favourite destination of birdwatchers from all over the world because it is where 304 species of birds can be found, including migratory ones.
Realising its ecotourism potential, the Ecotourism and Conservation Society Malaysia (ECOMY) teamed up with the Belum Rainforest Resort, Belum Forest Friends (BFF) and the Perak State Parks Corporation to jointly organise the Royal Belum International Hornbill Expedition 2018 from Sept 3-5 at the forest complex, recently.