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Lojing Highlands
Ben van Wijnen


Lojing Highlands

Kelantan is absolutely beautiful. From the Titiwangsa mountain range in the West to the beaches on the coast of Kelantan it's absolutely beautiful. In the South-eastern part of Kelantan, at the foot of the Central Titiwangsa Range, the Lojing Highlands are the continuation of the Cameron Highlands laying 12km up north. It has an altitude from 610-1,500m above sea level.

The logging trails were the first access roads into Lojing. The early settlers were started by the Temiars beside Sungai (River) Belatop and Sungai Brooke. It was also believed that the head of an Asli family, called Ajing was the first pioneer at Sungai Belatop. The area was named after him, and Ajing then became Lojing.
The biggest flower in the world, Rafflesia (Rafflesia kerrii), also known as Bunga Pakma, and the icon for the Lojing Highlands.


Agriculture in the Lojing Highlands

From Simpang Pulai (Ipoh) there's a East-West Highway up the fantastic mountain road to the Blue Valley to Kampong Raja in the Cameron Highlands. From there it is about 45 minutes downhill to Gua Musang. The downhill road is super fast. In the Lojing Highlands you can see the clouds are below the road level. You drive above the clouds. In the December monsoon the weather is particularly foggy and cloudy.


Gua Musang

A lot of changes are taking place in this area which has significant impact on agribusiness and economic growth. 10 years ago these vegetable and flower farms were not all there. Cameron Highlands is located in Pahang. Lojing is the continuation of the Camerons into Kelantan. Lojing Highlands was opened up under the KESEDAR scheme. The area was first logged out (with its usual amount of controversy involving the PAS government as well). After that, the vegetable farmers from nearby "land starved" Cameron Highlands moved in. The place is now flourishing with huge areas of vegetable, flower and bee farms. The Camerons farmers needed more land and Kelantan has made space for them in Lojing.

Until today non Kelantanese are not allowed to own land in Kelantan. This is the main reason for Kelantan's economic backwardness. These new farms on Lojing are possible leased lands. And the government is generating huge amounts of economic activity.
If you drive through the Lojing Highlands at nite, it is like driving through Cinderellas Castle because all these "greenhouses" you see in the picture are lit up with yellow lights from the inside (for plant growth and heat). The mountain slopes are lit up with thousands upon thousands of these lights. It is an amazing sight.

After Lojing, you reach Gua Musang. Gua Musang is not exactly a sleepy hollow. It is a really nice town. Here is the new District Police HQ. It is still quite new. Almost ALL new construction in Kelantan is under taken by the Federal Government.
Here is a new tractor dealership in Gua Musang. Most obviously these tractors (I believe 'Made In China') are meant for the new vegetable farms on the Lojing Highlands. Until today, Tapah in Perak is the staging area for many vegetable farmers on Cameron Highlands. The road connections from the Camerons go down to Tapah (and Simpang Pulai in Ipoh). Now Gua Musang is playing this role for the Lojing Highlands. Tractor dealerships, fertiliser suppliers, farming equipment suppliers are all setting up shop in Gua Musang. There is a new prosperity in the town. See what happens if we allow land to be developed.


The KFC in Gua Musang

 

 

   Ben van Wijnen

 

 

 

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