Thursday, August 03, 2017

Jerejak -3

If there is any conservation that aught to be looked into seriously on Jerejak it is the remnants of what used to be the living quarters of the former employees of the prison system there.

These dilapidated buildings hidden back from the main path and almost engulfed by thick foliage may seem a sore eye to most but to those with an eye for the natural aesthetic beauty that is man made and nature in synchronicity will find this spot worth their time and money.
The Japanese society took great pride in the preservation of such similar sites in Japan, such as old and broken down temples or farm huts with its natural surroundings, protecting such photogenic sitse from man dire need to 'development'.

What can be done with this site is to create a walkway for an easy and safe excess for tourists or visitors alike. This path may include a sand path and stones or pebbles path for the therapeutic meditation which alot of people seek in this day and age. Aesthetically and environmental friendly fencing.(bamboo), can be installed to keep people from wandering into the buildings and so forth. Provide all the pertinent infos including the historical, flora and fauna and the aesthetic values of the site at the entrance, this is very important as it should set the mood for the walk.

Or, of course you could bulldoze it all to the ground and build another SPA facility or a cafe. 'tepok dada tanya selera', it is all in who has the say off course after all money talks, bullshit walks, if there is money to be made by development why not. Who gives a hoot about preservation or heritage conservation of some old broken down buildings in the mosquito infested nowhere section of Pulau Jerejak.

Selling coal in Newcastle as the saying goes is what will be the outcome when you upgrade the Island environment and in the process destroying it ecosystems and environment and replace it with what is available everywhere else like an added SPS or swimming pool etc. The asset of this island is its natural beauty and the government and all those with vested interest should dwell into this matter with conservation and preservation in mind, at the end of the day Insha"Allah it will be what makes the money.

Old houses that have been left to nature to are like old bonsai or rock gardens in their sense of beauty. The scene in itself can evoke a sense of 'Aware" as the Japanese or Sabi and Wabi sense of the aesthetic. Nostalgic, the sense of impermanence in life,like viewing the autumn leaves or the fall of Sakura petals to the ground. Most of our children have or will never feel this is we keep getting rid of our natural landscapes.

The Malays are (were?) very sensitive to the spiritual context of nature just like the Japanese and most other Asian cultures, sites like these evokes more than mere natural beauties it preserves their sense of 'awesomeness in nature'. Spirits dwell in these kind of environments for them, and in our modern day society these are about the last sanctuaries left for these spirits to exist as man encroaches more and more into their domains.

Heritage preservation is not merely the preservation of old buildings made new but also that which is decadent through time bearing a wealth of historical as well as cultural investments. They preserve as testimonials towards the relationship between man an environment physically as well as spiritually.

To Those who are artistically inclined these sites are a source of knowledge in their search for artistic expression. For nature lovers the flora and fauna surrounding the area is a gold mine.
Penang island itself is slowly but surely running out of such spaces due to development or privately owned thus depriving excess to the general public, it is imperative that such sites should be placed among the sites that we strive to conserve for the future generation.

1 comment:

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