Friday, May 30, 2008

District office to sell golf course?

I CAN'T imagine why anyone would want to play golf in the jungle of Kuala Lipis. It may be a novelty in the beginning, but it has apparently worn off. I stumbled upon this yesterday on my way from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Baru via the Gua Musang road.

The signage reads Empang Jaleh Golf Club, located within the Kuala Lipis district. If you take the Gua Musang road to the east coast, just before you reach Kg Badong, about 290km from Kota Baru, you can't miss it.

The signage says the club is located 7km from the main road. I turned in feeling very curious every step of the way. If I'm a true golfer, I'd have been quite upset at what I saw.

If the club is built by the district office, I'd be even more upset, especially if it was constructed using the rakyat's money. I hope I'm wrong, and if so I readily apologise. Spread over a large area in the jungle (one chap told me it covers some 100 hectares), the club is said to be tendered out soon by the Kuala Lipis District Office.

Does this mean the District Office owns it? Much money must have been spent to construct roads to the club house and the 18-hole course. I've not been able to get any information on the golf club, except that everything has been cleared out except for the club house which have seen better days.

There must have been a lot of trees felled when the course was built. Logging you say? I don't know and I intend to find out. The area must have been a jungle before the trees were cut and the wood sold.

If the property is built and owned by the district office, I certainly want to know what business it has in operating a golf course which is no longer in business. As I said, I hope I'm wrong. I can't imagine how much money was spent to built it, including very good roads which leads to the golf course.

A notice was also put up to inform everyone that the golf course is closed to golfers by order of the district office. I suspect the whole operation could have been a joint venture which is now fast turning to be a white elephant, hidden though it may be.

I also saw a small signage which reads 'Penjom Gold Mine' not far from the turning into the golf course. A couple of chaps whom I believed were paid to 'look after the club' said the army would use the aea for training from time to time.

Otherwise, the golf course is nothing more than a big hole in someone's kitty. I was told tender documents would be out soon but I can't see much interest in it. I doubt if we can discover our own Tiger Woods or Michelle Wee from this venture.


Anonymous said...

Mat, incidentally the Fraser's Hill Golf Club near the Jeriau Falls at the Hill Resort is also closed for good.

Dont know under who's jurisdiction this property comes under but it is, indeed, a crying shame for such a gem of a golf club & course to have gone under...probably due to bad management.

Fraser's Hill is unique as it is partly under the Perbadanan Kemajuan Bukit Fraser (PKBF) and the Majlis Daerah Raub.

As for PKBF I heard it has been very much toothless in managing the tourism resources of Pahang State, which, incidentally, is under its jurisdiction.

Words have it that the lethargy was partly the legacy of the 'former' State Tourism EXCO, Datuk Maznah, who is now a Deputy Minister.

It seems that Datuk Maznah is reluctant to let go of this state portfolio although a new exco has been sworn in recently.

The former exco, it is claimed by insiders is still living off the funds of this state body, where her car, petrol, etc is still supported by PKBF.

Perhaps, a good illustration of the lethargy that is PKBF is the dismal state of the state's official tourism website, It has been in that condition (STUCK TO THE RAILS WITH NO WHERE TO GO) since years ago.

Visitors shudder at the thought of using the purported informative website to guide them to the beauty that is Pahang.

Anonymous said...

You are absolutely right about a some well-heeled people reaping sacks of money from this JV project. I know this case very well, having headed a banking institution in the district when the course was under construction. almost everything you say is true to the letter. The timber tycoon got his timber and his vast concession. The highest ranking political figure in Pahang, the local MP, ADUN, the District officials and even the palace were involved and each obtained their share of the spoils. Lipis had a small 8 hole course before that, located right in the middle of the small town. The course was cheap to maintain, and very convenient. After the Ampang Jaleh course was built, the old course deteriorated and parts of it was turned into a playground. On your next visit, see for yourself the old town course, which would have served Lipis's needs very well.


Anonymous said...

dude, used to be mining area, tree all gone.

Anonymous said...

Maran golf club!!! Is it built by Maran DO? Whose money?

Iskandar Syah Ismail aka DR Bubbles said...

Pak Mat,

I was born in Jerantut but spent my childhood years in Penjom and Bukit Kerani (Clerk Settlement) before my parents to live in Jerantut when they retired.My father was born in Padang Tengku,not so far from that golf course.

I still consider myself as Orang Lepih.When talking about my Kuala Lipis, I sometime don't know whether to laugh or to cry.

I remember when Datuk Siti got married not so long ago, the whole town led by district office prepared the event at padang MDL as if it was a state event.

I could only wish they could applied the same gusto to develop Kuala Lipis in proper manner.

Kuala Lipis is rich in history.Kalau lah depa ada some kind of common sense to take advantage of it,lama dah maju.

mn said...

A.kum Datuk,

1. Senang jer nak selesaikan masalah ini?

2. Kita kumpul secupak buah cerry masak, selepas itu kita taburkan dalam padang golf ni.

3. Sebulan selepas tu, kita boleh lihat beribu-ribu pokok cerry tumbuh merata! Hingga tak boleh kawal lagi.


Sdr Tok Mat,

Has always been the case of bapa borek anak rintik.

The chaps at the Pejabat Daerah lavished themselves with a golf course using taxpayers' money.

The chaps in Putrajaya lavished themselves with executive jets, expensive house renovations, blacktie parties and foreign holidays.

But do not despair. While the US has Tiger Wood to carry their golfing banner, we may have real tigers roaming the district golf courses.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Am not a K.Lipis resident, but have always loved this quint town.
In fact propoerly run, this is the
perfect place to spend your holidays.

You have the rainforest around you, the rivers and clear streams,
the Bird Sanctuary nearby and
everything 'nature'

These are the true assets of Kuala Lipis not golf courses.