FRASERS HILL: Residents here, young and old, have pooled together their efforts to conserve the natural environment and heritage of the hill station.
Calling themselves Frasers Hill Environmentally Sustainable Heritage (FRESH), the groups main thrust would include seeking proper waste management and recycling, energy and water conservation and composting among the local residents.
FRESH chairman Jason Netto said the group would embark on its maiden project to clean up one of the forest trails Bishops Trail while six other trails would be adopted by other resorts here.
Residents here are concerned about the state of the environment.
That was the main push for us to form this community-based project, he said.
FRESH was formed on May 30 with 20 members, whose age ranged from 18 to 78.
The groups oldest member, Tan See Seng, 78, a resident since 1941, said he was concerned with the rate of development at the hill station and the increase in temperature over the years.
Tan, who moved to Frasers Hill from Kuala Lumpur when he was 14, said that in the past, residents had to have a special heated room to dry their clothes as the weather was cold.
He said this was not necessary anymore.
There were more birds in the early years compared to what we have today.
I joined FRESH because I want to do my bit for the environment, he added.
Pahang state exco for Women and Family Development, Culture, Arts and Tourism Datuk Maznah Mazlan, who launched the project on Saturday, said the state government fully supported the residents' initiative.
Frasers Hill is very important to us. It is important to ensure that development here is sustainable and our environment protected for the benefit of all, she said.
The project is funded by HSBC Bank Malaysia and co-ordinated by World Wide Fund for Nature Malaysia with a three-year grant of RM350,000.
Maznah said corporate sector support for such initiatives was important to sustain the communitys activities.
The state has four hill stations Cameron Highlands, Frasers Hill, Genting Highlands and Bukit Tinggi.
We would like to support initiatives to conduct more scientific research and the setting up of more community projects at these stations, she said.
HSBC deputy chairman and chief executive officer Zarir J. Cama said the project was important as Frasers Hill was the source of many rivers, such as Sungai Selangor which flowed into Selangor and Pahang.
Maznah also launched the Frasers Hill 18th International Bird Race.