THE Scouts Association of Malaysia Penang is looking to build a proper campsite at the Penang National Park in Teluk Bahang.
Penang state commissioner Zulkafli Kamaruddin said the proposed campsite measuring 58.22sq m would consist of an activity zone, recreational zone, a camping site and a scouts dormitory.
“We will adopt the concept of glamping, and everything at the site will be built or set up using materials like canvas or wood.
“We will not build anything using concrete here, as the land is within the Penang National Park and we want to preserve whatever nature has already provided there, ” he said during a visit with Yang di- Pertua Negri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas at the site recently.
Zulkafli said they submitted a planning proposal to the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) early this year.
“As the land is within the Penang National Park, we will need to obtain approval from different departments and government agencies before we are able to carry out the plans.
“We are hoping for some good news soon, ” he said.
Besides MBPP’s approval, Zulkafli said the plan would also need to go through the Wildlife and National Parks Department, the Department of Environment and other relevant departments.
He said the proposed land for the campsite was part of a 5.8ha leasehold land owned by the Scouts Association of Malaysia Penang since 1986.
“In this plan, we are proposing to use only 56% of the owned land, as we want to preserve nature as best as we could.
“Before 2006, we used to have a coronation camp at the Waterfall Road near the Botanical Garden.
“But it was later returned to the Penang government in 2006. Since then, we have no sites to use as Scout camps or campsites.
“With this proposed plan, we hope to have a proper campsite that will not only benefit our 15,000 Scout members, but also for others who wish to camp, ” he said.
National Scouts deputy chief commissioner Datuk Ahmad Shazilly Ismail Bakti, who was present, lauded the effort of Scouts Association of Malaysia Penang.
“The history of Scouts in Malaysia began in Penang in 1908 and since then, the Scout movement has developed all over the country.
“Now it has become the most popular and active uniform bodies in Malaysia, with many Scout histories kick-starting in Penang.
“But since 2006, Penang no longer has a campsite and we hope that effort to create a proper campsite will be fruitful.
“This is because with a proper campsite, the Scout members will be able to carry out various activities.
“Through camping activities, each Scout can then be trained physically and mentally, to form their discipline, personality and to increase awareness towards nature, ” he added.
State youth and sports committee chairman Soon Lip Chee, who was present, hoped the plans would come to fruition this year.
“If successful, the campsite will not only benefit the state Scout members, but also Scout members from other states and it can even benefit the public, ” he said.