FRESH is the community of Fraser’s Hill in Malaysia. Residents in Fraser’s Hill as well as non-residents who find Fraser’s Hill to be a part of their lives share their thoughts and aspirations for their community.

Many of the members of FRESH were born, grew up and now in their 70s and 80s still live in Fraser’s Hill.

The community is small, with about 900 residents and yet boasts of about 1,500 (not verified) on the electoral rolls. That tells us something, many of the folks are away dibawah (on the lowlands) pursuing their careers. The neighbourliness in the small community means everyone knows everyone else. An orang dagang (outsider) stands out visibly.

This blogger is not alien to Fraser’s Hill, an orang dagang who first visited these hills as a boy with the parents and then on numerous treks in the jungle as a boy scout in the teens. Over the years, Fraser’s Hill has been a favourite holiday destination. Finally taking up residence on the hill.

I’ve learnt a lot from the hill people. Don’t be decieved. Their initial apparent hostile greeting breaks into a warm smile very quickly and turn out to be friendly beyond expectations.

Fraser’s Hill remains a pristine environment with not much encroachment into the jungle. The preservation can be seen on the Gap to Fraser’s Hill road constructed in the early 1900s. More than 500 immigrant workers toiled to build that road with picks, shovels and cangkuls (hoe). Compare that with the destruction when building the new road in the 2000s.

Hill people would love to share this environment with the world as tourism exerts huge pressure of human needs on the environment and people. At the same time, the Hill People want to selfishly guard the natural beauty of the hills and the unique identity of the community.

This aspiration to preserve the natural environment and the close relationship among them has now been expressed with the formation of FRESH.

To reach FRESH, email fresh.my@gmail.com

After the last Annual General Meeting, this is the team who will manage FRESH for 2006/2007


Photograph courtesy of LeowHH, WWF Malaysia.
Man on the Hill

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