Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Water creatures of Lipat Kajang.

Ikan haruan (snake head fish)

Lipat Kajang was rich in water creatures until ………… the people got greedy and the environment was damaged.

These water creatures such as the abundant of river, pond and ‘sawah’ fishes, water nymphs of some insects, prawns (big and small), fresh water clamps, tortoises and even crocodiles.

When I was a young lad in the kampong, every time we wanted fish my grandmother just used to go to our big pond a few hundred meters from our house and just drop a fishing line. After a few hours she would come back with bagful of pond fish such as ‘ikan potak’ (a small version of ‘belida’) and ‘ikan kepar’ (a small version of black tilapia) or sometime bigger fish like ‘terboi’ or ‘temperas’. When we wanted more fish my uncle used to cast net in that pond and we got more fish, sometime he got big fishes like ‘ikan haruan’ (snake head fish) sometime called ‘ikan bercat’ by the kampong folks and the fries (and bigger) called ‘anak boteng’ or ‘ikan keli’ (cat fish) or even ‘ikan kelabau’. ‘Haruan’ was easier to catch, by setting night hooked line trap or if we wanted immediate ‘haruan’ my uncles used cast and drag fishing methods. In some shallow clear and slow flowing waters one may even see beautiful fighting fish called ‘ikan mengkarin’ by the local. ‘Ikan sepat ronggeng’ may also be found by the plenty in the shallow ponds or the ‘sawah’.

And the big and fast flowing Pahang River had more fish, bigger fish. ‘Ikan lampang’ for the wanting, cast you net and you get a basketful of them. ‘ikan tilan’ (a family of the eels), and other smaller fish. My uncle used to use hooked and baited line traps to hook bigger fish like ‘ikan kerai’ ‘ikan pating’ or ‘ikan juara’, ‘ikan belida’, ‘ikan tenggalan’, ‘ikan lais’ or even bigger fish such as ‘ikan tamalian’ (rarely though) and ‘ikan kaloi’. These were big fishes, maybe a few kg in weight.

Crocodiles and alligators, they say that there a few of them in this part of the Pahang River but they never (cross your fingers or touch wood) bothered us..

One of the creatures which we like to catch in our big fresh water pond was the nymphs of dragon flies. They were easy to catch, in the shallow waters of the ponds and they are good for bait. We could catch small fresh water shrimps at the same location as bait too.

We used to get a lot of river prawns, big size they were, with long claws. These were easy to catch, mostly from the holes in floating logs (which were normally tied together to form a secured jetty from where we did everything, from bathing on to using the downriver end as a toilet. And sometimes we caught these prawns in the holes of big bamboo left stationery on the river bed. And sometimes by using casting net especially in the shallower part of the river. But be warned, they say that if there were a lot of these big prawns, a crocodile is always lurking nearby.

One kind of fresh water clamp was always available (when the river water is low) in the Pahang River. The local called them ‘kijin’, the bigger ones were about 4 in. in diameter but mostly only about 2 to 3 in in diameter, on average. At least those that we could catch. These clamps normally bury themselves in the mud or sandy soil by the river’s edge; and to get at them they used to inch their way on these river edges. On a half days work they might catch a basketful. These clamps were found especially under rotten fallen logs on these river edges. Cases have been known where crocodiles disguised as a log and a person may hug that ‘log’ to search for clamps. The ‘log’ just moved away but no case have been known in the kampong where crocodile harmed anyone.

Alas now such easy fishing is no more as people (the public) get greedy. Firstly the river water is all polluted due to logging and development upriver. And there are cases of overfishing for commercial purposes. Fish do not grow to big sizes anymore, they get caught before they are even big enough. Prawns may still be available but they also do not grow big enough due to overcatch.

Many fresh water ponds have now dried up (maybe due to hotter weather) so there is no longer fish available in these. Where ponds do not dry up, kampong people tend to overfish. This results in such ponds failing to sustain fish (and other creatures). The ‘sawah’ or padi fields are no longer worked so that the source of food for many species of fishes are not there now, source of food such as young padi stem or padi root. And when they use insecticide or over fertilized with chemical fertilizers if they plant padi they kill the fish fries and thus no big fish is made available.

Probably the only water creatures that survive are the frogs. There are plenty of them in the kampong. And in smaller rivers in the kampong frogs can grow quite large and are caught (for their legs) by some youth to be sold to the Chinese for good price.

Water creatures in the kampong may just be a history one of these days, and the younger generations in the kampong may not even see any of them in the future. Or if they see them they may not even be able to identify them or to name them.

Of tortoises? I don’t know if they are still around. They used to be quite plentiful.

Lipat Kajang people (or decendents) are encouraged to participate& contribute (Orang Lipat Kajang, atau keturunan, di jemput memberi sumbangan idea)


  1. Assalamualaikum. Alhamdulillah it's good to share a thought on Lipat Kajang. She has always been deep inside.How can I forget my childhood.The first swim in the river.Groping for fish in the muddy water not knowing whether it was fish the slimy thing your finger running on. How the boys scare the elder folks riding home,at midnight, on their bicycle by stringing rope across the road. Once the poor fella approached the spot, a white shadow would glide across and the story about a scared white folk would break the next day. But that was long time ago, when everybody were poor,with little money but they were generous with whatever they have. You can walk into your uncle's or aunty's kitchen & ask for food.But now she was not herself. She was a product of prejudice,lack of leadership or simple human weaknesses. She has nothing to fear except herself,my Lipat Kajang.

  2. Salam. why we cannot get 'nasi' from auntie's house now? sometime our children do not even know who their aunties and uncles are. children too busy schooling to score many2 As, uncle and aunties never 'balek kampong' or if children are in town, they never visit each other ......."malu lah", and uncles and autie too busy making money ..... "nak beli LCD TV". sometime many people in towns do not know that they are close cousions but they don't care.
    "aku hal aku, dia hal dia"

    talking about 'ghost', i have never seen a ghost. but fallen rubber trees in moonlight shines.
    years ago Teh Seman and I (Teh's younger brothers following), we walked back to LK after the night 'kenduri, when Abang Mat married CikGu Senah in Kerdau. the moon was full that night and sky was clear. the big 'pokok ara' was still at the 'kubur' LK. so we walked slowly passing it. nothing happened. PakNgah Mat Yamins (arwah) house was still not there. further on on the left were two 'pokok kabong'. many say that 'pokok kabong' has 'hantu'. walking pass it, still nothing happened. but just further from that 'pokok kabong' we saw something white shining in the mooon light. we just ran untill we reached Teh Seman's house (tok munkin Salleh). the next morning we wanted to see if the 'ghost' ws still there. it was only a fallen rubber tree, exposed to the moon light.
    my late Cu Derus always used to say "never walk by the graveyard at night, because if you meet a ghost and you stab it it will smell to high heaven ...... busuk sebusuk nya". never found that out.

  3. Maybe we all should introduce ourselves properly so that we can accord proper respect & addess proper titles?Someytime ago, I used to do a pesentation to Peladang Pusat Bandar Damansara,where I met Pak Uda Zakaria, the finance director. He didn't recognise me but I could guess who he was. At the end of the presentation, I asked him where he was from,and he saig Tloh. I think I had the cat in the bag, and asked him,Lipat Kajang? Ofcourse the answer is yes.

  4. Salam. Agreed, we should introduce ourselves. My photo is in the blog, I think, when you click on the Contributors, below the clock. In the kampong I am known as Yunus. Reading the input in the blog, you can guess who I am and what I did and what I do. I am now retired, living in KL and sometime I go to Kuantan. I rarely go back to the kampong now because I have no more base. But off and on I do pop in into the kampong, to see the old place and to visit some of my remaining relatives and close friends.

  5. w'kum salam
    anonymous ni sape ? perkenalkan juge lah diri awok
    kite smue di Kg LK taade orang lain, serumpun

  6. Will save my identity till our teh tarik. Maybe I am wrong but I sensed a disenchantment in mylias writing. Though at the end of the day, we will be like strangers in LK cos not many people that we know are still around. Missing the early days. It's still possible to be close to LK. The hope is in the younger generation. when I had so much time on my hand in LK years ago, I was wondering why not one of LK illustrious sons came forward with their two cent worth. Actually we are stakeholders as much as they(folk in LK) do, in LK. Our legacy will not be judged by how much fortune we made or successful we are but how in what small way we can, make a difference. There are still people who need help.

  7. I am not disenchanted. I am just disappointed at the (still) 'backwardness' of Lipat Kajang. Every time I go back to Lipat Kajang I see the same scenery. When I compare my visits to some other places (off the track kampongs) in Malaysia where I see some progress, if not material wise its spiritual wise. In Lipat Kajang I do not see any (or am I wearing blinkers?). I see some big houses coming up, but who own the houses? Is that what progress is all about?

  8. i don't suppose anyone who knows about Kg LKP the way that we have known it, inside out i believe (because we were born there, brought up there and we "go home" as often as we could), can be disillusioned or disenchanted, in any way ....but
    disappointed, regret, pity...yes

    and now comes the.....empathy

    we all (well, maybe not all, but i am) have become empathic (not sympathetic)....and that is why we are making efforts to first identify ourselves with the truth and the realities about Kg LKP, and see if we can do anything, in a very responsible way, to make Kg LKP a bit recognisable, to say the least, and perhaps to be a better place for whoever in the generations to come decides to settle in, a place which their ancestors had discovered to be suitable ground for breeding his/her (their) genes;

    its doubtless pitiful that some unscrupulous "scumbags"(as they should be "respectfully" nicknamed), in tightly-knit echelons, have spoiled the luck and the future of all the people of KG LKP, and must these people who carry the same genes as us (i presume so but DNA tests can always define)be allowed to continue plundering and quietly "depriving" the community that we all belong to?
    i have gone far and wide in and outside of the "Bolehland" to be able to look, observe, understand, compare and contrast.....and conclude that something is very wrong, not about Kg LKP itself which is rich in resources, all in abundance, but about some of its "sons" ....
    and the consequence....Kg LKP is as good as non existent, not recorded or mentioned anywhere, i am willing to bet with anyone who can find any mention of our Kg LKP in any recorded history or archive

    of course there are many vantage points at present from where one can look and observe Kg LKP more positively, and that is why i suppose "orang luar" (with strong connections with Kg LKP) can see "potentials" about Kg LKP and are willing to invest their economic interests there, right in the kampong,
    like i have said before, the smarter ones among us had decided to become "harapkan pagar pagar makan padi" - "leaders" with no sensibilities, and what sort of legacy can one hope to carve, with "betrayal" attitudes?
    my apology for being a bit strong in my voice, but that is why we all are disappointed, and we have every right to be disappointed

    want to have teh tarik with me, anytime, no problem, KL PJ or Shah Alam or Temerloh, Mentakab, Kerdau?
    just e-mail me ....
    for those in the same generation as me, i am "abang" or "adik" depends on age, kita orang kampong suka panggil nama aje kalau pelaghih (sebaya)pangkat adik
    for those in the next (younger) generation, i am "pak uda" or "pok de" .....and i am from ulu lanjut,
    born and bred anak Kg LKP,
    i have lived in KL, and now Selangor, for many many years now and i don't have a base already in Kg LKP (they've all gone except one ailing step mother and some cousins) but i hope to return and build a pondok somewhere there in Kg LKP and be snugged there quietly
    hope that gives you a rough idea of who i am, i've introduced myself

  9. Quote: and the consequence....Kg LKP is as good as non existent, not recorded or mentioned anywhere, i am willing to bet with anyone who can find any mention of our Kg LKP in any recorded history or archive

    I started this blog in good faith, to let the world know that LK exists. Looking at our visitors, I see that people outside LK, even in the other parts of the world visit us, maybe by accident but ....... I have good faith that they were searching for something which LK have.

    Ulu Langat ....... I have a g0od friend in Dr Wan Mahmud just behind Bandar Bt 18. And an old CikGu at Dusun Tua, CikGu Mat Nor.

  10. My two cent here; probably it's called the enau syndrom? When the kinship was loose, times was hard,those people don't feel beholden to anybody, everybody for himself,then everyone should share the blame. There's no code of behavior or ethic. Leader who shirked responsibility(make sure his charges are looked after), the have who don't extend their hand to the havenot,the wise not acting wisely & lacking the caring & concern among fellow LK. Am not defending anything,only trying to understand. Maybe the silent majority who don't to upset the leaders?

  11. silent majority takut tak dapat 'subsidy' dan 'peruntukan'. agaknya itulah sebabnya mereka jadi 'silent majority'. can't blame them really, they have this attitude of 'menenag budi pada pemimpin'. In English they say 'you don't bite the hand that feeds you'. sebenarnya saya tak faham mengapa banyak tak berani bersuara, banyak yang yes-man.

  12. firstly what "anonymous" said is the simple truth about LK (our LK, like it or not),
    "But now she was not herself. She was a product of prejudice,lack of leadership or simple human weaknesses. She has nothing to fear except herself, my Lipat Kajang." (loud and clear)

    scondly i must declare that i am no politician neither a political scientist, not also an anthropologist or a social scientist, so i cannot bludgeon the prevailing scenario in LK with any "expert" comments or criticism, constructive or otherwise, pro or contra...

    i see what is glaring and i hear what is distinct, and i dare to speak my mind (about my LK) without fear or favour, come what may, it will not tickle me even a bit, let alone deprive me of any stake in that small piece of precious motherland

    all of us love that motherland

    kinship was loose, yes, kinship has always been loose, sometimes skewed, obliterated and even dissented for the sake of some deceitful interests, other factors are equally contributing to the lack of any sensitivity about "kinship"

    times were hard, times were not always hard for LK people but opportunities have always been manipulated, and hijacked

    nobody owe anybody nothing, responsible to no one, very true
    - hence the "free for all" and that "all" unfortunately for the LK people was and has always been just the fortunate "few"

    no rules to abide by, i suppose we all do have some sense of morality in us, the Quran was handed down by Allah SWT 15 hundred years ago to teach and guide human beings to live and act along His faith, and if only we all abide by His rules....

    no blame whatsoever to be shared and nobody to be blamed, maybe it has just been sheer "bad luck" for the naive LK community
    as quoted above - victim of prejudices, lack of (honest sincere God-fearing) leaders, and fell prey to human weaknesses !!!

    memang dik kerana banyak sangat pokok enau di LK tu maka timbul lah enau syndrome, yang bestnya tu ialah not only these enau trees shoot right up to the sun and do not care two hoots about other trees, they also cantas (chop off) the shoots of all the surrounding trees, until they become deprived of any sunshine at all....
    these enau trees can hoot and can cantas, just like humans, beware!

    neither am i accusing anybody nor defending any anything, it is not "the majority" that is silent, it is "the privileged minority" who are silent, for reasons best known to no one but themselves

    as for us here, some are excited some are adamant some are not even perturbed by LK's "bad luck" but i am sure our intention(s) is very clear and concise

    hopefully all the ideas that can be gleaned from inputs in this blog can be successfully actioned, and that our LK can have some worthwhile contents to be Google or Yahoo searched

    this may even be my 1 sen worth
    (altho' 1 sen no more in circulation)...salam hormat

  13. Maybe, just maybe what LK need is hope. A small hope. People need to be reminded that all is not lost. There is so much potential for LK yet will the stakeholders buy it? Maybe we do a pilot project, a small one, to illustrate the point. People need to be shown the way to rise above themselves. Let say we want to bring TV3 to LK to capture the joy of catching fish in the mud, for urban kids who never step in the muck. There's money to be made for the folks. The village CEO has to buy the idea & sell the idea to his charges. He of course must be beyond reproach? Once people realise that it pays to keep the enviro clean, the paya full of fish etc etc.

  14. I still have hope. That is why I keep writing, with the hope that people (especially from lipat kajang who has internet access and others whom people talk to about lipat kajang and all our wild ideas) will read and give more ideas on how to develop lipat kajang.
    I know for a start that there are people now actively trying to develop lipat kajang with new ideas and schemes, and again hopefully the folks of lipat kajang see and cooperate with these people. and people of lipat kajang must must be prepared to have a paradigm shift, from being "backward" (as compared to a few other places) to being "I want to modernise in my thinking, my attitude and my surroundings".

  15. right from the very onset, i have spoken about "paradigm shift" which is the main "problem" to be handled, before we go on to anything else
    "anjakan paradigma" amat mustahak
    - optimis, percaya dan mengharapkan hasil2 yg positif dalam menghadapi kesusahan, cabaran dan krisis
    - bersemangat (enthusiastic), mempunyai minat yang tinggi, tenaga yang positif, keghairahan dan motivasi diri
    - kepercayaan, percaya pada diri sendiri dan orang lain dan kuasa Illahi (rahmat dari Allah SWT) yang memberi kekuatan dan panduan bila diperlukan (sentiasa memohon dan berdoa kepada Nya)
    - maruah (integrity), bertindak diatas penglibatan/penjerumusan sendiri kepada kejujuran (keikhlasan), keterbukaan, keadilan, dan hidup kerana dan untuk satu piawaian yang tersendiri
    - keberanian (courage), kesediaan untuk mengambil risiko dan mengatasi ketakutan/kesangsian walau pun hasilnya masih belum pasti (tapi dapat diikhtiarkan)
    - keyakinan, meyakinkan diri sendiri terhadap kebolehan sendiri, kemampuan sendiri dan potensi diri sendiri
    - istikhomah/tekun (consistency/determination), tanpa jemu-jemu mengejar satu impian/sasaran, tujuan, perjuangan
    - kesabaran, kesanggupan menunggu / menanti satu peluang keemasan, kesediaan atau penghasilan untuk diri sendiri dan orang lain
    - tenang, mengekalkan ketenangan dan mencari keseimbangan setiap masa dalam bertindakbalas terhadap kesusahan/kesulitan/masalah, cabaran, atau krisis, dengan mengambil masa untuk merenung dan memikir
    - tumpuan (fokus), disasarkan melalui penetapan sasaran dan keutamaan

    dan paling mustahak - ilmu, iman dan amal berlandaskan hukum-hukum Allah SWT
    celik, tidak jahil (berilmu)
    beriman dan yakin dengan rahmatNya
    tidak membuang masa dan membazirkan tenaga dan keupayaan
    beramal/berdo'a dan bekerja keras dan tidak lesu dan malas
    sikap dan pendirian yang positif

    again, i am not a psychologist nor a productivity counsellor, its just what i can figure out to be good traits in a new paradigm perhaps suitable for that community young and old alike

  16. correction
    "ikan lampam" not "ikan lampang"

    ikan lampam pekasam, se kilo RM25