Wednesday, April 22, 2009

An experience in Sarawak

I'm am now at Kuching International Airport on the way to Bintulu. Arrived in Sarawak last Monday and will leave Sarawak tomorrow evening.

Together with my colleague from Curriculum Development Division, Ministry of Education Malaysia, we are now on a trip to observe the pilot school which conduct pilot test on the new curriculum under the Curriculum Transformation scheme. We had visited 4 schools starting with SK Serian (in Serian), followed by SK Betong (in Betong), SJKC Min Syn in Saratok and this morning we went to SJKC Chung Hwa Engkilili. Tomorrow morning we will visit SK Sebauh in Bintulu before we depart back to Putrajaya.

I'll like to express my sincere thankfulness to Mr. Sapuan Piee of Sarawak Department of Education for his kindness and hardwork during our journey for this three-day-trip. Thanks also to him for teaching us several Ibanese words.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

International Consultative Workshop

I found a website regarding an international workshop that I attent in 2001. I attent the workshop as representative for WWF Malaysia (as Scientific Officer).

The information about the workshop is as follows:

International Consultative Workshop for Economic Valuation and Policy Priorities for Sustainable Management of Coral Reefs.

Worldfish Centre Headquarters, Penang, Malaysia.

8 - 10 December 2001

For details, please surf this website :   and/or   and  for the list of the participants.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Kekuatan Akidah Menjana Ummah Gemilang

Satu ceramah agama telah diadakan oleh Bahagian Pendidikan Islam, Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia pada jam 9 hingga 11.30 pagi 17 April 2009 bertempat di Dewan Serbaguna Aras 9, Blok E12, Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia. Ceramah ini bertajuk "Kekuatan Akidah Menjana Ummah Gemilang' dan disampaikan oleh Al-Fadhil Ustaz Nidzamuddin Zakaria, Timbalan Dekan Fakulti Pengajian  Al-Quran dan Sunnah, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM).

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Woodball Game

This evening, at 5.30 p.m., Tn. Hj. Kahadin, the Science Officer of Pahang State Education Department introduced the woodball game. To play the game, a player needs the game equipments consist of a mallet and a ball. The game is played in the woodball course and players have to hit the ball with the mallet. A player is considered finish when he managed to hit the ball to go through the gate. 

We were very lucky as not far from our hotel (the WaWa Inn, next to Mara Junior Science College / MRSM Muadzam Shah), there is a woodball course with 24  gates.  We took the chances to play the game. A staff of Muadzam Shah municipal council, En. Murad joined us in this game. We managed to play till 17 gates out of 24 gates.  


Woodball as a recreational game first started in the early 1990s by a person named Mr. Weng Meng Hui, a Taiwanese. Together with a colleague, he invented this game of woodball and introduced some basic rules for its conduct during playing.

The first woodball course in the world is the Grand Garden Woodball Course in Taiwan. And since then woodball has expanded and is now played in more than 25 countries worldwide. Woodball has also been recognized as a sporting event by the Asian Olympic Council in 1999.

In Malaysia, woodball was first introduced in 1995 and the first woodball course is the OUG Woodball Garden Course in Kuala Lumpur. It was built in 1996 and later upgraded in year 2002. It is a championship course and many local, regional and international tournaments are regularly held here. The Malaysian Woodball Association is located in Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysia, having been acknowledged as having the most international standard woodball courses, and perhaps the best in the world, has been appointed to organize and host the 2nd World Cup Woodball Championship in year 2006. The 1st World Cup Woodball Championship was held in Chinese Taipei in 2004.


The International Woodball Federation ("IWbF") is the governing world body for the game of woodball, with members from the woodball associations and bodies from different countries.

The IWbF establishes the rules and regulations governing the conduct of the game and also holds regular regional and World Cup Woodball Championships.

Woodball is similar to golf with all the excitement and thrill, although this game is far less complicated to learn. It is said that the woodball game is actually a cross between golf and the game of croquette. It is a lawn game but can still be played indoors or on any open spaces.

Like golf, competitive woodball is played on a course, with a tee area, fairway and putting area. For championship courses, there is normally a stipulation that the course should have at least four curving courses (two left and two right), to add extra challenges and excitement to the game.

Woodball is played with a swinging tee-shot and putting strokes. And just like golf, the player who completes the course (known as "gate" in woodball) with the fewest strokes wins the game. The length of a gate, from the starting area to the gate, ranges from 30 yards (par 3) to over 100 yards (par 5) or from 20 meters to 100 meters.

But unlike golf, which uses a number of driving clubs and a putter, a player uses only one club called a "mallet" which is made of wood (what else) for teeing off, fairway playing and putting.

And the ball for the woodball game is larger (3 ¾ inch in diameter) and heavier than a golf ball. Of course it is made of wood (hence the name of the game) and spherical in shape. As a result, the ball doesn’t fly when driving, as in golf, but instead it only bounces and rolls on the grass or ground. 

Instead of a hole to complete the strokes as in golf, woodball uses a gate, which is like a tiny soccer goalpost. The gate is formed with two wooden bottle-shaped stumps, which are fixed apart on the ground and it is crossed with a swinging gatekeeper, when the ball rolls in between the two stumps.

In a woodball game, each team consists of 2 to 4 players. In some international tournaments, 6 players are allowed in a team, but the results of only the 4 best players in the team are used when tallying the strokes.

When playing on the woodball course, the objective is to complete 12 gates, or some other designated number of gates. In international competitions 24 gates or more are normally played.

Depending upon the number of players, it normally takes about 90 minutes to complete 12 gates.

A short trip to Ramsar Site - Tasik Bera

This afternoon, on the way to Muadzam Shah town in Rompin from Triang, I stopped  for a while at Tasik Bera, a Ramsar site which is the biggest natural freshwater lake in Peninsular Malaysia. Together with me were my office-mate, Pn. Aizatul Adzwa and an officer from Pahang State Education Department, Tn. Hj. Kahadin. 

We have to visit four schools in four days regarding the curriculum transformation. These schools are part of 500 schools that being selected by the Curriculum Development Division, Ministry of Education Malaysia (my office) to run the 3-months pilot test for our new curriculum that will be implemented next year. 

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Seminar on Marine Mammals Conservation in Malaysia

Last Thursday, 9 April 2009, Maritime Institute of Malaysia (MIMA) organized a seminar on 'Marine Mammals Conservation in Malaysia: Adopting Sustainable Management Strategies'. 

Thanks to MIMA for inviting me to join the seminar as participant. By attending this seminar, I gained a lot of new information that I can use to fulfill my primary science curriculum development task at Curriculum Development Division, Ministry of Education Malaysia. Although I am working as education officer, but as a marine science graduate and environmental educator of Malaysian Nature Society, it is important for me to gain new information on marine issues especially the issue on marine mammals. I had the experience to work on marine mammals before when I became as one of the volunteer for WWF Malaysia (World Wide Fund for Nature Malaysia) to gain informations from Pulau Redang residents on marine mammals sighting in the year 1999/2000 through interviews. I also had experiences to sail my boat with almost hundred of dolphins (bottle nose and Irrawaddy) around my boat when I conducted research at Pulau Langkawi in 2001. I was a WWF Malaysia Scientific Officer during that time, conducting research on traditional fisheries and mangrove forest of Langkawi Archipelago. Later, months after the sighting in Langkawi, I managed to see a school of dolphins swimming in the South China Sea when I was conducting research on marine turtles at Kuala Setiu Bharu in Terengganu. 

Below is the notes regarding the seminar as stated by MIMA:

"Seminar on Marine Mammals Conservation in Malaysis: Adopting Sustainable Management Strategies

9 April 2009 (Thursday)

MIMA Seminar Room, Kuala Lumpur


Cases of mammal stranding or death indicate its presence and points to possible threats. For example, several incidents have been recorded and the more recent ones include the stranding of injured Bryde's whale in shallow waters off Kota Kinabalu in December 2006; a strayed dugong calf first time sighted in the waters off Terengganu (Pulau Kapas) in August 2006; a newborn dugong (named Si Tenang) caught accidently in a fisherman's net in  Pasir Gudang, Johor in 1999. One other recent unfortunate incident is of a ten meter long Bryde's whale found beached at Sungai Nenasi estuary, Pahang in October 2008. The marine mammals were unable to be saved in most of the incidents.

Marine mammals belong to the endangered animal species and are currently protected under the Fisheries Act 1985 and the Wildlife Act 1972 in Malaysia. The list of 20 species of marine mammals licted in the act are however obsolete because they were based on sightings and reporting of stranding and carcases found.While laws exist to protect some species, the list is by no means complete. Although great concern and public outcry has been shown over the fate of these marine mammals, the scarcity of research, information on species composition and distribution of marine mammals are little known; thus hindering the effort to draw an appropriate management plan for marine mammals in Malaysia. Furthermore, plans for their rescue are also non-existence. Presently, the information about marine mammals in Malaysia is merely based on limited research and autopsy of carcasses.

Although marine mammals are still being sited around our waters, the overall population numbers of marine mammals continue to dwindle over time at an alarming rate. There are various threats involved on marine mammals' survival. Traditional hunting for meat, starvation, vessel collisions, dynamite fishing, entanglement in fishing gears, disease, and degradation of seagrass areas caused by sedimentation and pollution from coastal development and palm oil plantations, and other anthropogenic threats are amongst the main reasons for the decline. One of the most critical deficiencies in marine mammal conservation today involves the lack of a proactive, forward-looking approach to conservation and management of resources, besides hindrance by the lack of data, including information on health and demography of marine mammals stocks. Besides that, a prevailing theme of marine mammal conservation involves declining quality of ecosystems and over-utilization of resources needed to maintain healthy marine mammal stocks.

Indeed, it is an opportune time to have sustainable and effective management of marine mammals, besides giving priority to dedicated efforts to educate the public and implementing realistic conservation and management strategies to avoid their extinction. Looking at this important issue, the Maritime Institute of Malaysia (MIMA) is organising a Seminar on "Marine Mammals Conservation in Malaysia : Adopting Sustainable Management Stretegies" on the 9 April 2009 as an efffort to educate and discuss realistic conservation and management strategies for marine mammals.


The objectives of this Seminar include:

  • to heighten awareness on the need for marine mammals conservation in Malaysia;
  • to identify the issues threatening marine mammals survival and respond of countries on the matter;
  • to review the current status of rehabilitation of stranding marine mammals in the country's waters; and
  • to learn about international responses and initiatives taken for marine mammals' conservation and options for improvement of management in Malaysia."

Canopy walk

On 5 April 2009, as part of the training of trainers workshop conducted at Nature Education Centre FRIM-MNS-SHELL, the participants of the workshop had given the opportunity to try explore the forest on the canopy walkway.

The canopy walkway was built in 1992 on the hillside and spans for about 200 meters. The entire walkway consists of 4 bridges suspended from tree to tree by an elaborate array of ropes. The walkways are just planks hardly a foot wide placed on aluminium ladders supported by the ropes. These 4 bridges are connected by 3 platforms as high as 30 meters from the ground. A word of caution, be prepared! Mentally and physically. The hike up the canopy walk may be streneous to many; it is an uphill hike most of the way.


Training is the process of acquiring the knowledge, skills, and attitude that are needed to fill
the gap between what people want to do, and what they are able to do now. It is considered as one of the way on how people gain new knowlegde or upgrade their knowledge. 

In order to dissimenate knowledge on wetlands and tropical rain forests to the teachers, Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM) and Malaysian Nature Society (MNS)  organized a 3 day- 2 night teachers workshop on Environmental Education Outdoor Activities. The workshop was held at FRIM-MNS-Shell's Nature Education Centre, here in Kepong. The participants were School Nature Club teachers from Terengganu, Pahang and Penang. My daughters, my wife and I also joined the workshop that had been held on 3 to 5 of April 2009. (We also joined the same workshop a week before that conducted to the teachers from Johor, Melaka and Negri Sembilan).

During the workshop, we did a lot of activities such as environmental game, nature trail trekking along Denai Sebasah, wetlands flora and fauna identification activities, night walk, blind trail and presentation on Science Garden and 5 R's activities. We also being brought to experience the canopy walk. At Denai Sebasah, the participants also managed to plant several trees and for my team, we managed to plant a Gapis tree (Saraca spp.). 

I also took the opportunity to conduct a short meeting with the teachers from Terengganu state regarding this year activities planned for Terengganu School Nature Clubs members.

To all facilitators and teachers, thanks for the opportunities given to my family and I to join this valuable workshop.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Solar System Exhibition at FRIM-SHELL-MNS officially launched

On 27 March 2009, around 7.15 p.m., the solar system exhibition at FRIM-SHELL-MNS Nature Education Centre had been launched by the three agencies representative. FRIM was represented by Dr. Abd Rahim Nik, MNS by Dato' Seri Salleh Mohd Noor, the President and Shell was represented by Puan Aishah. Concurrent with the launching of the exhibition, there was a presentation on 'Environmental Education - South Africa perspective', given by two professors from South Africa.