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Monday August 10, 2009

Museum wants Bukit Marak saved

KOTA BARU: The Kelantan Museum Corporation will investigate the extent of damage done to Bukit Marak following the indiscriminate excavation activities around the hill for the past four months.

Its director Alimi Omar said he was not aware that the locals were cutting the hill and selling the earth.

“l will get to the bottom of the matter,” he said yesterday.

Alimi was commenting on a report by The Star on Wednesday about the excavation activities, which if left unchecked would slowly erase the hill.

The hill is believed to be connected to the myth and legend of Putri Saadong.

Situated about 24km south of here, Bukit Marak is also one of the last hillocks in this district.

Apart from the possible loss of the hill which is filled with huge granite boulders, the excavations would also bring untold dangers like landslides and mudslides during the monsoon season.

Kelantan Tourism Malaysia director Muhammad Zaki Taib has urged the state government to save Bukit Marak as it had the potential to become a tourist attraction.

He said the hill shared many similarities with the popular tourist attraction Pulau Dayang Bunting in Pulau Langkawi.

According to folklore, Putri Saadong was the adopted daughter of Che Siti Wan Kembang, the legendary warrior Queen of Kelantan who ruled during the 14th or 17th century.

It was believed that the princess, the daughter of Sultan Jembal, was brought up by Che Siti under mystical surroundings of Bukit Marak after Putri Saadong’s mother passed away.

Che Siti then matched the princess with Raja Abdullah and after their marriage they lived on Bukit Marak.

Putri Saadong was forced to leave Bukit Marak with the King of Siam who threatened to kill her husband.

Raja Abdullah, in turn, had vowed not to remarry and waited for her return.

After years of waiting, Raja Abdullah took another bride and when Putri Saadong returned to Bukit Marak to find that her husband had a new wife, she killed him in a fit of rage with a golden hairpin.

After the incident Putri Saadong left Bukit Marak and disappeared.

Visitors to Bukit Marak can still visit the famous pool where Putri Saadong was believed to have bathed in.

Apparently, at the peak of the hill, there exists three unique granite rocks which resemble Putri Sadong’s favourite musical instrument.

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