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.