Sandakan (The Little HongKong)

June 24, 2010

The Batu Sapi (Bull Rock) Sandakan

Filed under: "SANDAKAN" aka The Little Hong Kong — Cedric @ 12:35 pm

Hi all,

Batu Sapi is a rock formation beside the river to the south of Sandakan, Sabah. This rock formation was created by water erosion, current and waves over millions of years. It now stands at the estuary surrounded by mangrove and the fast encroaching Sandakan town.

June 17, 2010

The Sumatran Rhino

Filed under: "SANDAKAN" aka The Little Hong Kong — Cedric @ 2:41 am

The Sumatran Rhino is the smallest Rhino.

The Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) is the smallest and most primitive of the 5 surviving rhinoceros species (2 species in Africa, 3 in Asia). It stands at about 120-145 cm (3.9–4.8 ft) high at the shoulder, with a body length of 250 cm (98 in) and weight of 500-800 kg (1100–1760 lb)

Like the African species, it has two horns; the larger is nasal horn, typically 15–25 centimetres (6–10 in), while the other horn is typically a stub. A coat of reddish-brown hair covers most of the Sumatran Rhino’s body.

The Sumatran Rhino in Sabah is one of the 3 subspecies. Scientifically known as Dicerorhinus sumatrensis harrissoni, it is also commonly known as Eastern Sumatran rhinoceros of the Bornean rhinoceros. This subspecies is named after Tom Harrisson, who worked extensively with Bornean zoology and anthropology in the 1960s. The Bornean subspecies is markedly smaller than the other two subspecies.

The most endangered animal in Malaysia!

The Sumatran rhinoceros in the most critically endangered animal in Malaysia; less than 30 individuals are estimated to remain in the whole of Sabah!

The decline in the number of Sumatran rhinos is mainly due to poaching for the high value of rhino products. Their horns, which are highly valued in traditional Chinese medicine, fetch as much as US$30,000  per kg on the black market. The rhinos have also suffered from habitat loss as their forests have been cleared for lumber and conversion to agriculture.

Sumatran rhinos were once found throughout rainforests, swamps and cloud forests in India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. They are now critically endangered, with only 6 substantial populations in the wild: 4 in Sumatra, 1 in Sabah and 1 in Peninsular Malaysia.

I like to be alone.

The Sumatran rhino is a mostly solitary animal except for courtship and child-rearing.

It is the most vocal rhino species and also communicates through marking soil with its feet, twisting saplings into patterns, and leaving excrement.

I have the oldest rhino genes!

Of the living rhinoceros species, the Sumatran rhino is the oldest, first emerging more than 15 million years ago. It was closely related to the Woolly Rhinoceros (Coelodonta antiqutatis), but not to the other modern species. The Indian and Javan rhino emerged 2-4 million yrs ago.

Although only the Sumatran rhino remains in Sabah, 10,000 yr old fossil remains of the Javan rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus) have been found in the Madai caves, Kunak, in the east coast of Sabah.

Sumatran rhino facts:

  • Many rhino trails look like drains, 3-4m deep. Generations of rhinos have used these trails and the animals seldom deviate from them,
  • Pictures of rhinos in the wild show that the skin is smooth. However, in captivity, the rhino becomes hairy, maybe because it doesn’t push its way through vegetation anymore. The hair can grow quiet long,
  • Sumatran rhinos are very agile and quiet in their forest environment and may reach speeds of 40 km/h (25 m/h),
  • The males have territories of about 50 square kilomoters in size. Females have smaller territories (10-15 square kilometer).  

June 11, 2010

Don’t be serious, be sincere.

Filed under: My Note — Cedric @ 3:27 am

Don’t just have career or academic goals. Set goals to give you a balanced, successful life. I use the word balanced before successful. Balanced means ensuring your health, relationships, mental peace are all good order. There is no point of getting a promotion on the day of your breakup. There is no fun in driving a car if your back hurts. Shopping is not enjoyable if your mind is full of tensions.

Life is one of those races in nursery school where you have to run with a marble in a spoon kept in your mouth. If the marble falls, there is no point coming first. Same is with life where health and relationships are the marble. Your striving is only worth it if there is harmony in your life. Else, you may achieve the success, but this spark, this feeling of being excited and alive, will start to die.

One thing about nurturing the spark – don’t take life seriously. Life is not meant to be taken seriously, as we are really temporary here. We are like a pre-paid card with limited validity. If we are lucky, we may last another 50 years. And, 50 years is just 2,500 weekends. Do we really need to get so worked up?

It’s ok, bunk a few classes, scoring low in couple of papers, goof up a few interviews, take leave from work, enjoy with your friends, fall in love, little fights with your loved ones. We are people, not programmed deviced. Don’t be serious, be sincere.

June 2, 2010

Sandakan Memorial Park

Filed under: "SANDAKAN" aka The Little Hong Kong — Cedric @ 7:35 am

During late 1941 and early 1942 Japanese Forces swept south in a series of victories that brought the Second World War to South-east Asia and the Pacific. Many Allied service personnel become prisoners of war. In July 1942 nearly 1500 Australian POWs were shipped from Singapore to Sandakan and forced to build a military airfield at the command of the Japanese. In 1943 over 770 British POWs arrived, followed by a further 500 Australians. All of these prisoners were housed here at the Sandakan POW Camp.

In late 1943 there were about 2500 prisoners at Sandakan. In January 1945 the first of three “Death Marches” took place when prisoners were force-marched 260km to Ranau. The Marches claimed large numbers of POW lives. At the end of the war only 6 were still alive – and they survived because they escaped.

The Returned & Service League of Australia begin the task of preserving the site and this park has now been developed by the Australian Government with the co-operation of the Government of the State of Sabah as a memorial to those who suffered and died here, on the Death Marches and at Ranau.

The pathway will take you up to a commemorative pavilion and memorial, and then back along the road the prisoners of war took as they set out on the Death Marches.

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