Tag Archives: cameron highlands

An “Eye-Opener” Journey into Heartland of Orang Asli

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Members of the Lions Club of Sunway and its branch club, Ipoh Riverview Club, had an “eye-opener” journey into the heartland of the Orang Asli in Cameron Highlands recently. It started at Batu 3 along the Tringkap-Kampung Raja Road.

“It was a narrow, winding and bumpy route. On top of that it was treacherous and we held onto the side bars of the four-wheel-drive for our dear lives”, described C.A. Lau, president of the Ipoh Riverview Club.

“Upon reaching the kampong where the dilapidated huts were a common sight, we alighted from the vehicles to be welcomed by the Orang Asli folks especially the children. They were curious of our presence especially when we were in our Lions Club T-shirts.”

The village headman, whom they had contacted earlier through a friend, came out and greeted the group.

He said the journey to the heartland was made possible by volunteers in Cameron Highlands who helped to ferry 1,000 kg of rice, 250 kg of oil and loads of dried rations. Well-wishers and supporters had contributed about RM5,000 for the project to be realized.

“It was an arduous task loading and unloading the goods. It was back breaking but it was all for a good cause. The pain was easily forgotten”, said Lau.

Rice, oil and dried rations were then officially handed over to the Penghulu. After that, the members took the opportunity to mingle with the children who swarmed around them.

“The undernourished children and living conditions dawned upon us how lucky we were. It was truly an enlightening trip that gave us new awareness of our roles as humans”, he added.

Jerry Francis

Bones May Cast Some Light to Jim Thompson’s Mystery

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The discovery of some fragments of human bones in a box from the old Tanah Rata hospital in Cameron Highlands could cast some light into the highly publicised missing without trace mystery of Jim Thompson – dubbed as the “Thai Silk King”, about 43 years ago.

However, it would be a costly and tedious effort to establish whether or not the bones belong to the missing Caucasian.

This hope of closing the chapter of the mystery was raised at a Perak Academy’s talk “He never left the hills – the real search for Jim Thompson”, delivered by Captain P.J. Rivers, a Research Fellow of Perak Academy at a hotel in Ipoh recently.

Thompson was an American businessman who helped revitalize the Thai silk and textile industry in the 1950s and 1960s and a former U.S. military intelligence officer. He mysteriously disappeared while going for a walk alone on Easter Sunday, March 26, 1967, while on holiday in the highlands resort. He was then 61 years old.

Capt. Rivers narrated in detail what happened and the massive search, which was triggered following the disappearance, without any success.

According to Capt. Rivers that when he was in Cameron Highlands about ten years ago, all the items from the old hospital in Tanah Rata were transferred to a new hospital and one of the items was a box containing the bones brought by Orang Asli who had found them in the jungle.

Capt. Rivers feels that those bones could solve the problem of the missing Thompson.

Firstly, it must be confirmed whether the bones belong to a Caucasian or not; if affirmative, find out whether male or female. If the bones belong to a male, further investigation should be done to confirm whether it is the remains of Jim Thompson.

Capt. Rivers ended his talk by saying that though this is a solution to the mystery, it is a costly exercise and doubts if anyone is willing to do it.

AJ