Public raise concern over poor state of Tasek Merimbun

National 2 minutes, 34 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

TASEK Merimbun visitors have voiced their concerns over the safety and poor maintenance of the ASEAN heritage park as a part of its walkway is damaged, cutting accessibility to other areas of the park.

A Universiti Brunei Darussalam student who visited the park recently said many trees have fallen along the walkway, making if difficult and dangerous for users.

“The public toilet (located by the river) was also in poor conditions. There were a lot of lizard droppings and some of the doors of the toilet cubicles were broken,” 24-year-old Daus Shahron said.

“It seems like no one is maintaining it,” added the student who previously conducted a study of Tasek Merimbun’s accessibility.

The student said it was “a shame” that the facilities were undermaintained, affecting the park’s potential in attracting new and returning visitors.

Yusuf Hj Osman, who visited the museum located at the park, said Tasek Merimbun was “quite unappealing” due to the lack of cleaning.

“I noticed a lot of cobwebs in the building and in the display where the stuffed animals were kept,” said the 28-year-old after his first visit to the park.

“I saw that the wooden walkway leading to Pulau Jelundong was also broken. The least authorities could do is put up signs as it is quite dangerous for visitors, especially young children. You wouldn’t want anyone to fall into the lake,” he said.

Pulau Jelundong is a small island located west of the lake.

Khairul Nurul Arsyad Hj Abdul Malik, penghulu of Mukim Rambai and chairman of Kg Merimbun Village Consultative Council (MPK), said the bridge was part of the One Village One Product initiative, but has long been abandoned.

“It was built in 2009 by members of the MPK, but after the walkway was damaged a few years ago, we couldn’t fix it as the Museums Department wished to preserve the pristine condition of the island (Pulau Jelundong) by not approving the repairs of the bridge to hinder people from entering the area,” he said.

The penghulu said no plans had been made to repair the bridge.

When contacted, an official from the Museums Department said he was unable to comment about the poor maintenance of the park at press time.

Last year, it was reported that the Museums Department had plans to collaborate with the Tourism Department to promote Tasek Merimbun as a tourist destination because it was often overlooked because of its distance from the capital.

Tasek Merimbun is located about 60 to 79 km from the capital, according to the museum’s brochure.

The park covers an area of 7,800 hectares with diverse forests such as mnixed-dipterocarp forest, peat swamp forest, fresh water forest and secondary forest.

It became one of the ASEAN Heritage Parks on November 29, 1984 when Brunei gained independence. The live specimen of the rare white-collared fruit bat was also discovered in the area.

Other attractions of the Tasek Merimbun Heritage Park include the diverse bird species that inhabit the surface of the lake and its natural surroundings such as kingfishers, hornbills, egrets and eagles.

The Brunei Times