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Africa Group of Ambassadors in Malaysia Visit to <b>Bukit Merah</b> Orang <b>...</b>

Posted: 08 May 2012 12:00 AM PDT

newson May 8th, 2012

H.E. Amb. Samori Okwiya been received by YBhg Tan Sri Datuk Hj. Mustapha Kamal founder of Bukit Merah Orang Utan Isaland Foundation in Bukit Merah Lake Town Resort

The Kenya High Commissioner, H.E. Amb. Samori Okwiya led the team of 8 African Ambassadors and High Commissioners that visited Malaysia Orang Utan Island in Bukit Merah Resort and Belum Rainforest Resort. The Ambassadors were H.E. Gebhard Benjamin – High Commissioner of Namibia, H.E. Abdelmalek Bouheddou – Ambassador of Algeria, H.E. Cuthbert Zhakata – Ambassador of Zimbabwe, Her Excellency Ntsebe Idlett Kokome – High Commissioner of Lesotho, H. E. Anderson K. Chibwa – High Commissioner of Zambia, H.E. Bello Ringim – High Commissioner of Nigeria and Charge D'affaires of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco.

Developed by renowned Malaysian property developer MK Land through its founder YBhg Tan Sri Datuk Hj. Mustapha Kamal, the island, which opened in 2000, is the first of its kind in the world, and designed to resemble the orang utan's natural rainforest habitat as much as possible. As such, its red-haired residents are able to roam freely within their lush, jungle environment while visitors view them from safe, enclosed spaces built within a dedicated viewing area.

The High Commissioners and Ambassadors were warmly received by Tan Sri Mustapha Kamal, the founder of Bukit Merah Orang Utan Isaland Foundation and developer of the resorts and had the pleasure to experience for themselves the work that Tan Sri has undertaken within the boundaries of the two resorts; Bukit Merah Laketown Resort and Belum Rainforest Resort through his three foundations, the EMKAY Foundation, the Bukit Merah Orang Utan Island Foundation and the Pulau Banding Foundation.

The conservation exercise spearheaded by the Bukit Merah Orang Utan Isaland Foundation is geared towards protecting the threatened and endangered Orang Utan Species. The Bukit Merah conservation project is an excellent persuasion as it addresses the conservation of the Orang Utan species as an important issue. Upon the visit to the island, the group of High Commissioners and Ambassadors were exposed to all aspects of the Orang Utan's existence, including how they behave, eat, breed and socialize, and the dangers they face.

The main objective of this conservation exercise is to save the species from extinction. Losing this species can have disastrous impacts because the effects will be felt throughout the ecosystem. 

After the visit, H.E. Amb Samori Okwiya highlighted that The National Museum of Kenya is host to The Institute of Primates Research. The Bukit Merah Orang Utan Island Foundation in Malaysia and the Institute of Primate Research in Kenya can come up with viable synergistic cooperation in different ways.

Kenya, in particular, boasts an extraordinary variety of wild species due, in part, to its diversity of habitats. The Primatology, Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Field School is a collaborative research and training program between Rutgers University and multiple Kenyan research institutions including the Institute of Primate Research (IPR) and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).

The cooperation can focus on 

i). an exchange program with a curriculum that allows and is comprised of lectures, readings and discussions on important concepts in primatology and conservation biology.

ii). address reviews on important notions in primate behavioral ecology, and learn about primate behavior between the Orang Utan from Malaysia and the primates in Kenya.

iii). ensuring that participants will learn how to survey primates, study their social behavior and habitation.

The Ambassadors and High Commissioners with the Aborigines of Malaysia, locally known as Orang Asli.

The visit to the Visit Belum rainforest resort included breathtaking experience of a jetty ride around the Island and meeting Orang Asli villagers, the aborigines of Malaysia. The EMKAY foundation has devoted itself to educate these villagers by putting up toy library whey they can learn to read and write basic English and Math.

The guests also visited the research center developed by the EMKAY foundation that focuses mainly on treatment and care of endangered species of the animals that reside in the rainforest.  

In addition, The High Commissioners and Ambassadors each also planted a tree to mark their visit to the rainforest resort. In their remarks, the High Commissioners and Ambassadors expressed their gratitude towards the hospitality they received during their tour and the inspiration from the great work so far achieved by Tan Sri Mustapha Kamal's Foundation and the EMKAY GROUP's. 

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