Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Fireflies drawing crowd to Negri Sembilan's riverine village

THE night was still young at the fishing village of Kampung Sungai Timun, Rembau in Negeri Sembilan, located some 80 km from here.

A group of six tourists were seen descending a stairway leading to the village’s jetty before going onto a boat. They were on the way to witness the nocturnal dance of the fireflies that live within the Berembang trees along Sungai Timun's banks.

It is believed that the fireflies colony at Sungai Timun is much bigger any other firefly habitat in the country.

Kampung Sungai Timun Fishermen’s Association chairman, Alias Busu, said outsiders only recently know of this attraction after efforts were made to promote this village as a tourist destination although the village was long known for its lobsters or udang galah.

However since the state’s tourism authorities became aware of the village’s tourism potential, steps are being taken to develop it as a tourist destination.
Alias said the association is in talks with a tourism agency keen to include a trip to Sungai Timun in its travel package. However there are several factors that needed looking into first, he said. Among them is to seek a formula to ensure that the firefly population grow.

Alias said the river should also be free from pollution, to ensure that its ecology is not disturbed.

For the lucky tourists, while going upstream the river, they could be able to witness crocodiles sunning along the banks.

According to the Datuk Penghulu of Rembau Dahalan Abdullah, there are some 3,000 reptiles believed to be in Sungai Linggi and Sungai Timun.

“Usually the crocodiles would rest on the muddy riverbank at low tide where Sungai Linggi meets Sungai Timun. But do not be frighten, there have been no nasty incidents caused by these reptiles. They are believed to be friendly and ‘good’ crocodiles.

“Further the river has enough food for the crocodiles, like fish and lobsters,” said Dahalan.

Sungai Timun is also mentioned in the annals of Negeri Sembilan history.

The river is the route taken by Raja Melewar of Pagar Ruyung, Minangkabau in Sumatra for him to be proclaimed the Yamtuan of Negeri Sembilan.

Raja Melewar became the first Yamtuan of Negeri Sembilan in 1773, ruling from Penajis, Rembau.

Source : NST
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