LIPIS: Poor maintenance of the Pos Betau rest and recuperate (R&R) area along Jalan Koyan-Cameron Highlands near here is causing distress to the traders and disappointing visitors wanting to use the facilities.
For the past two years, road users who stopped at the R&R to use the facilities such as washroom and toilets were left disappointed as there was no clean water.
Vandalism of property, overgrown bushes as well as litter are seen everywhere with stray dogs rummaging through uncollected rubbish.
With fewer visitors stopping at the R&R, traders end up relying on the local population especially the orang asli community living in the nearby settlements to keep their businesses afloat.
One trader strives to persevere.
With no solution to the water issue despite having raised the issue with the Lipis district council, Zolkefly Sulaiman, 54, the sole food operator at the R&R, invested RM2,000 in a water pump two years ago to source water from a nearby river for his own use as well as for visitors.
“I used to hire members of the orang asli community to fetch water from the river.
It’s easier now with the water pump,” said Zolkefly who lives 30km away in Kuala Medang.
“As for water for cooking, I bring 40 litres from home.”
The other stall at the R&R is a sundry shop.
Zolkefly’s wife, Sumiati Sukinta, 41, hopes that the elected Cameron Highlands MP can improve the situation at the R&R.
She added that public apathy also makes the R&R a dismal stopover as the public throw rubbish indiscriminately despite the availability of rubbish bins.
The delay in the collection of rubbish for disposal exacerbates the problems, she added.
A vegetable trader, Hasmizan Latiff, 42, from Raub, said he used to stop at the R&R after it was opened in 2013 but hardly stopped nowadays due to lack of facilities and poor maintenance.
“I will stop in Ringlet instead even though I have to drive a bit longer,” he said.
It is also understood that the R&R was once popular as a transit point for foreign and local tourists to get a glimpse of the culture and arts of the orang asli community there.