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This is Kah Mun here from BRATs at the Kenong Rimba Park. I hope you still remember me. Anyway, here's the article I wrote about you. Thanks!
When you think about heroes of the jungle, you’d often think about someone like Tarzan, swinging around tree vines, yelling his famous battle cry and of course, the comical George of the Jungle.
Then meet H…….., a nature guide who is another person I would consider as a jungle hero. He can live in the jungle like Tarzan or George but really, the similarity ends there. He is definitely not the typical half-naked hero in the jungle who saves the damsel in distress; but rather, he tries to save the Malaysian rainforest as much as he can.
Our Malaysian rainforest is shrinking at an alarming rate due to illegal loggings by the ‘orang asli’. This comes as a rather surprising fact because these aboriginal tribes’ homes are in the rainforest itself. So why are they destroying their homes?
H…………and Abdul Rahman are like jungle heroes, striving to keep our precious rainforests alive.
“These ‘orang asli’ are not educated. They do not know much about the environment and its importance,” said H He adds that the orang asli get paid for logging and collecting the jungle’s resources illegally. With the money, they purchase chain saws, enabling them to carry out massive logging.
“Not only do they cut the trees down, they also litter in the forest. That affects the eco-tourism industry,” added H…., whose job as a nature guide depends on the number of tourists visiting the jungle.
It was his love for nature and an accidental opportunity to guide a Dutch man and his son in the jungle that made H…. a nature guide.
He said: “In the early 1990s, the eco-tourism industry was booming with a high demand for ranger guides. There were not enough guides, so I was asked to help out because I was familiar with the jungle.” When H….first started out he had no experience but was willing to gain more knowledge. He went through a short jungle guide course organised by the Tourism Development Centre and was certified as a nature guide.
After being certified as a jungle ranger, he got involved and worked together with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to help preserve the rainforest through various projects. “We did many community projects to help educate and raise awareness about the importance of maintaining the biodiversity in the rainforest,” he said.
The "jungle heroes" also know how to set small traps for animals, in case you're stuck in the jungle and need food.
He felt that as a ranger, it was his responsibility to care for the environment. Ever since then, he has never regretted his decision.
However, H…..’s parents were not too happy with his decision to become a nature guide: “Initially, my parents didn’t really like the idea. They would prefer me to have a steady job, especially one that allows me to come home every night.”
Like many other parents, his parents wanted him to have a proper job, at least one that does not endanger his life.
“If I had listened to my parents’ advice, I would not have become a guide. When I decided on my career, I was determined, and I remain committed to it,” said H…., who now has 20 years of experience as a guide. Yet, he would not recommend this job to youngsters due to its irregular hours with no fixed income. There is also little personal time for him to spare for himself. He has literally no time to commit to a relationship, which explains his being single at the age of 47.
On the other hand, a fellow nature guide Abdul Rahman, who is H…..’s friend, is already married with four children. Well, H…… himself confessed that he may be using his job as an excuse to not get attached.
Although he may not have much personal time, he still manages to set aside some time to draw comics, which he signs off with the name Ubilepih.
In his younger days, he drew cynical political comics that were published in magazines.
“As a youth, I was fueled by rage and anger towards politics which motivated me to draw these comics. But, these comics were eventually banned,” said H….. Nowadays, he draws comics with an environment theme to it.
It is definitely not an understatement to say that his artwork is amazing with a unique twist to it. I can bet that neither Tarzan nor George can even draw that well, only perhaps the primitive stick man. So, here is a note to Tarzan and George; move aside and make way for H….. , the true jungle hero in every way.