LIPIS: Poor maintenance of the Pos Betau rest and service (R&R) area along Jalan Koyan-Cameron Highlands near here, has caused distress and disappointment among the traders plying business in the area as well as visitors wanting to use the facilities there.
For the past two years, the road users who stopped by at Pos Betau R&R to use the facilities such as washroom and toilets, were left disappointed as there was no supply of clean water provided.
If that is not enough, vandalism of property, overgrown bushes as well as litter is seen everywhere after stray dogs rummage through uncollected rubbish.
Hence, it is highly understandable that fewer visitors are stopping at Pos Betau R&R and the traders end up relying on the local population, especially the Orang Asli community living in the nearby settlements to keep their businesses afloat.
Even more sad as the problems, particularly, the dry taps that they have been experiencing for the past two years, have been forwarded to the Lipis district council a few times and are yet to get due attention.
Hence, with no solution to the problems in sight, a food stall operator Zolkefly Sulaiman, 54, the only one operating at Pos Betau R&R, took the initiative to invest about RM2,000 from his own pocket to buy a water pump two years ago to channel water from nearby river for his own use as well as for the visitors.
“Prior to this I hired members of the Orang Asli community to transport water from the river and now with the water pump, it facilitates the visitors to use the toilets and surau,” said Zolkefly who travelled 30 km daily from his home in Kuala Medang to operate his food stall at Pos Betau R&R.
“As for clean water for cooking purposes, I bring 40 litres of water from home for our use at our stall,” said Zolkefly adding that only he and a sundry shop owner, 50, operate businesses at the R&R area.
Meanwhile, Zolkefly’s wife, Sumiati Sukinta, 41, expressed her hope that the candidate given the mandate in the Cameron Highlands parliamentary by-election this Saturday would help resolve the matters soon, as she felt embarrassed to have to explain the situation to visitors who stop at the R&R area.
She also added that lack of civic awareness among the visitors only exacerbated the problem when they threw rubbish indiscriminately despite bins that had been provided for their convenience.
The delay of the relevant party to collect rubbish as scheduled also contributed to the problems, she added.
One of the vegetable traders met, Hasmizan Latiff, 42, from Raub, said prior to this, he used to stop at Pos Betau R&R area after it was opened to public in 2013 but hardly stopped nowadays due to lack of facility and poor maintenance.
“I will stop in Ringlet instead even though I have to drive a bit longer,” he said.
It is also understood that Pos Betau R&R is frequently used as a transit point for both foreign and local tourists who are using Jalan Koyan-Cameron Highlands to get a glimpse of the culture and arts of the Orang Asli community here.
The Cameron Highlands parliamentary by-election on Saturday will witness a four-cornered fight involving Pakatan Harapan’s candidate M.Manogaran, Barisan Nasional’s Ramli Mohd Nor and two independents, namely, Sallehudin Ab Talib and Wong Seng Yee. — Bernama