All posts by Ashley Yeong

The World of Nepenthes

The World of Nepenthes

Diverse and carnivorous, pitcher plants fascinate for their killing abilities and beauty but they also need better protection.

Writer: Ashley Yeong

Editor: SL Wong

Published: 7 February 2024

PITCHERS are the Nepenthes’ deadly weapons. Hence its common name: the pitcher plant. For this tropical species devours its prey. Leaves shoot from the center of the plant, each with a thin tendril at the tip of the leaf and a pitcher-trap at the end of the tendril. In these pitchers is digestive fluid.

(Feature image: Nepenthes alba is only found in Peninsular Malaysia, especially in high mountain forests such as Gunung Tahan in Pahang. | Photo by Ikhwanuddin Mat Esa)

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Empangan di Negeri Perak Ancam Keramat Batu dan Perkuburan Moyang

Beberapa siri empangan kecil berikutan peralihan hijau negeri Perak cetuskan bantahan komuniti Orang Asli. Diterjemah oleh Shazni Bhai.

PERJALANAN pacuan empat roda melambung-lambung sepanjang laluan berliku mendaki Gunung Korbu di negeri Perak. Empat puluh minit ke pedalaman terdapat binaan konkrit didirikan berketinggian 5 meter atau hampir 2 tingkat.

Binaan itu adalah sebuah empangan hidro elektrik mini, yang akan dikerah bagi menjana 7 megawatt (MW) tenaga boleh diperbaharui untuk grid kuasa elektrik.

Ini adalah salah satu empangan hidro elektrik mini yang akan dibina di seluruh negeri ini. Walau pun bertujuan untuk memenuhi komitmen tenaga boleh diperbaharui kerajaan, konflik dengan komuniti Orang Asli dilihat makin meningkat.

(Imej utama: Tenaga boleh diperbaharui dijana oleh empangan hidro mini di Sungai Korbu, namun untuk siapa dan apa korbannya? | Foto: Ashley Yeong)


Perak Dams Threaten Stone Spirits and Ancestral Graves

A series of small dams that is part of Perak’s green transition is making Orang Asli communities go up in arms.

IT IS A bumpy truck ride along the winding path up Gunung Korbu in Perak. Forty minutes in, a concrete structure stands 5 m, or nearly 2 floors, tall. This structure is a mini hydroelectric dam, tasked to generate 7 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy for the electricity grid.    

This is one of the mini hydroelectric dams to be built throughout the state. While helping to meet the state’s renewable energy commitments, they appear to be in increasing conflict with Orang Asli communities.

(Feature photo: Renewable energy is generated by the Sungai Korbu mini hydro dam, but for whom and at what cost? | Image: Ashley Yeong)


Securing Water in a Harsher Climate

El Niño sparks concerns of dry taps in Malaysia. And as global temperatures increase, so will droughts and heatwaves, experts say. In response, government agencies are coordinating water assets and integrating water management for better water security.

EL NIÑO is back, casting its fiery spell upon Malaysia once more.

Last observed in 2019, this natural phenomenon is often synonymous with hot and dry weather in Malaysia. During particularly strong El Niño events in 1997 and 2015, millions of Malaysians endured water rationing – some for months – as dams dried up.

Now, experts are sounding the alarm as they predict this El Niño weather might last until March 2024 and intensify. To shield ourselves from the impacts of El Niño, it is now more vital than ever to ensure our water resources are well prepared. But can we?

(Photo: Air Hitam Dam is one of three dams on Penang Island. Authorities had to do cloud-seeding in June 2023 to replenish the dropping water levels at the dam. | Image from Google Earth Pro, June 22, 2022)