On 21st October 2008, I get the opportunity to go to Kota Kinabalu with Malaysian Airlines. Because the flight early in the morning I was asleep after departing from the KLIA. Approximately 30 minutes later I was awake and look out of the aeroplane’s window. Look under there, one of the interesting sight for me is view of a lake, in blue colour water, in the place surrounded with jungle greenery. “Where is this place?” I asked to myself.
Several minutes later, the flight flying across a scenery that familiar to me. View of number of aquaculture ponds rearing eel, which is located in coastal area of Rompin. Then I know that the lake with blue water actually is former mined iron ore mine in Bukit Ibam. Bukit Ibam in 1960an was famous because of iron ore mining activities and its company RompinCo. Then, in the early of the 1980s some business in producing green jade stone in Bukit Ibam existed. However, the business of producing green jade stone was not viable and force its closed down several year later.
Bukit Ibam then was busy with mining activities, is now deserted. Muadzam Shah has taken over its role as the administration centre. There are only a few activities such as the existence of TUDM’s radar complex, also plans to build the first in ASEAN and the 16th of its kind in the world of the Facilities Monitoring not worth USD29 million in Bukit Ibam.
There is an effort to revive the former mine which operated from 1962 and had produced approximately 22 million tonnes of haematite and magnetite ore and closed its operations in 1970. Now, Grange Minerals Sdn Bhd, a wholly owned Malaysian subsidiary, holds 51% project equity in a joint venture with a privately owned Malaysian mining company, Esperance Mining Sdn Bhd begins it mining operation. Following successful resource drilling, metallurgical test work and viability studies Grange Resources announced Joint Venture capital expenditure approval to develop the Bukit Ibam magnetite mine in June 2008. It is planned to commence production at a rate of 100,000 tonnes per year magnetite concentrate for sale on the spot market and shipping out of Kuantan Port. Hopefully Bukit Ibam will continue to survive!
Bukit Ibam is has the special place in my life. That’s was the place where my first career in the field of engineering begins. However, my destiny to serve in Bukit Ibam was to short. PWD’s Office in Bukit Ibam only required 2 technicians for waterworks, but the information provided by the Head Quarters, Bukit Ibam’s Office requires 20 technicians. Therefore, 3 months later I was transferred back to the Head Office in Kuala Lumpur. My life would be different if I continue to set work in Bukit Ibam. This is because I have felt harmonious living there and the desire to contribute my motherland Negeri Pahang Darul Makmur.
Another view of the eel’s ponds in Rompin thats create havoc when its begins its operations of pumping water from the ground to fill up the pond. Its effect ground subsided arround the area. Now the area regain nature.
A few minutes later I saw an island that I believe is Pulau Tioman. I never set foot to this beautiful island. Pulau Tioman is a small island and well known for its legend and history. Pulau Tioman is located 32 km off the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia in the state of Pahang, and is some 39 km long and 12 km wide. According to legend, Tioman Island is the resting place of a beautiful dragon princess. Whilst flying from China to visit her prince in Singapore, this beautiful maiden stopped to seek solace in the crystal-clear waters of the South China Sea. Enraptured by the charms of the place, she decided to discontinue her journey. By taking the form of an island, she pledged to offer shelter and comfort to passing travellers.
Pulau Tioman has eight main villages, the largest and most populous being Kampung Tekek in the north. The island has three of its peaks rising to about 1,000 metres and visible far out in the South China Sea. Much of its 114 square kilometers is covered with tropical rain forest. A narrow coastal strip is partly cultivated, and on it are found small villages and settlements, with a local resident population. The waters around the island are fairly clear divers can expect better visibility conditions in other waters, but one can generally expect between five and 10-metre visibility around Tioman. This, however, does not detract from the beauty of its coral reefs, which are a veritable underwater garden of colourful marine life.
Then, one and a half hour later, I safely landed in Kota Kinabalu International Airport.