By Ili Aqilah
Without a doubt, Gua Tempurung is one of the must-visit attractions in Perak. The cave holds more than enough allure in its unique-shaped stalactites and stalagmites and activities fit for adrenaline junkies. However, have the authorities done enough to cater to the needs of its visitors?
During the recent Anak Perak Carnival held at Gua Tempurung on January 28 to 29, the place was packed with members of the public eager to enjoy the luscious greens and majestic views of the cave. Despite the hot weather, the guests did not appear to be affected by the heat.
Kudos to the responsible party for providing enough garbage bins; however it was a shock to see the poorly-maintained prayer rooms. The rooms, used by Muslims for their daily prayers, were not only smelly but was also dirty. Both prayer rooms, for males and females were placed separately but the condition of the female prayer room was by far the worst.
The prayer veils or Telekung available in the room were filled with spots of mould and had an awful damp smell. The floor was sticky and the ceiling had several spider-webs laced around it. Upon our second check a week later, the condition remained the same.
“It is hard to ignore how terrible the room looked. Even the place where visitors take their ablutions was dirty. As it tends to be overcrowded, something needs to be done about the air-ventilation system. It can get cramped easily these days with numerous upcoming events held here,” said Zarith Satina Sani who came to the Tempurung cave during the Anak Perak Carnival 2017.
Unlike the prayer rooms, the toilets at Tempurung Cave are far cleaner and it appears the public doesn’t mind paying the hefty 50 sen per entry.
“The male prayer room does smell and cramped due to poor air ventilation. The toilet on the other hand was kept clean and smells excellent. I personally wouldn’t mind paying 50 sen for the toilet,” said Ahmad Nazmi, another visitor to the carnival.
With the Visit Perak Year 2017 happening all year round, Tempurung Cave’s prayer rooms must get clean and the management needs to do it as soon as possible. Although it is only used by Muslims, such bad upkeep may slowly affect the cave’s reputation among its Muslim tourists.