Monday, August 14, 2006

The Sensintrovert's Merdeka Series (2): Malaysia's World Heritage Sites

Part 1 of the series here.

Well, in this second part of the series, do you know that Malaysia has 2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites already and 3 others were submitted in their tentative list? Here's the description of the two sites:

Gunung Mulu National Park

Picture source.

Date of Inscription: 2000

Brief Description

Important both for its high biodiversity and for its karst features, Gunung Mulu National Park, on the island of Borneo in the State of Sarawak, is the most studied tropical karst area in the world. The 52,864-ha park contains seventeen vegetation zones, exhibiting some 3,500 species of vascular plants. Its palm species are exceptionally rich, with 109 species in twenty genera noted. The park is dominated by Gunung Mulu, a 2,377 m-high sandstone pinnacle. At least 295 km of explored caves provide a spectacular sight and are home to millions of cave swiftlets and bats. The Sarawak Chamber, 600 m by 415 m and 80 m high, is the largest known cave chamber in the world.

Justification for Inscription

Criteria (i), (ii), (iii) and (iv): The concentration of caves in Mulu's Melinau Formation with its geomorphic and structural characteristics is an outstanding feature which allows a greater understanding of Earth's history. The caves of Mulu are important for their classic features of underground geomorphology, demonstrating an evolutionary history of more than 1.5 million years. One of the world's finest examples of the collapse process in Karstic terrain can be also found. GMNP provides outstanding scientific opportunities to study theories on the origins of cave faunas. With its deeply-incised canyons, wild rivers, rainforest-covered mountains, spectacular limestone pinnacles, cave passages and decorations, Mulu has outstanding scenic values. GMNP also provides significant natural habitat for a wide range of plant and animal diversity both above and below ground. It is botanically-rich in species and high in endemism, including one of the richest sites in the world for palm species.

Kinabalu Park

Picture source.

Date of Inscription: 2000

Brief Description

Kinabalu Park, in the State of Sabah on the northern end of the island of Borneo, is dominated by Mount Kinabalu (4,095 m), the highest mountain between the Himalayas and New Guinea. It has a very wide range of habitats, from rich tropical lowland and hill rainforest to tropical mountain forest, sub-alpine forest and scrub on the higher elevations. It has been designated as a Centre of Plant Diversity for Southeast Asia and is exceptionally rich in species with examples of flora from the Himalayas, China, Australia, Malaysia, as well as pan-tropical flora.

Justification for Inscription

Criteria (ii) and (iv): The site has a diverse biota and high endemism. The altitudinal and climatic gradient from tropical forest to alpine conditions combine with precipitous topography, diverse geology and frequent climate oscillations to provide conditions ideal for the development of new species. The Park contains high biodiversity with representatives from more than half the families of all flowering plants. The majority of Borneo’s mammals, birds, amphibians and invertebrates (many threatened and vulnerable) occur in the Park.

The other 3 tentative sites are:

* Historic Centres of Melaka and Penang (2001)
* The Tanan Negara National Park of Peninsular Malaysia (2004)
* Lanjak Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary (LEWS) and Batang Ai National Park (BANP) (2004)

Unfortunately, except for Penang and Melaka, I have not been to other sites before despite being in Malaysia for almost a quarter of a century. What about you?

Also, a month ago, there were news that a group is trying to petition for the Big Foot to be listed as the UNESCO's World Heritage (Site?). Read all about it here. But unfortunately, after the revelation hoax photo, their website was closed down and here's the message:

Down but not out, the Search continues..

Dear Visitors,

First of all, would like to thank all of you for assisting us in the identification of the hoax photograph. The respective winner of the Award will be contacted via email.

Given that the current evidence for the existence of a hominid is weaker,we are currently closing down this site temporarily pending the investigation of the alleged hominid/hominoid cave and skull. Initially the focus is on lobbying the JWPS on the release of the photograph.

Now that we have completed the mission, Vincent Chow will focus more on the fieldwork and exploration. Please email us if you wish to be updated about the expeditions via the SMS technology.

Email to

Something is still out there..

The Founders

Missing Big Foot already? Worry not. You can still read KTemoc's Bigfoot's Kow-Tim-Yee! or TV Smith's exclusive Interview with Big Foot.

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