Into The Unknown

Wong Poh Yoke

I know very little about Malaysia despite being born and raised in this country. Although I have travelled extensively in Peninsular Malaysia for work since 2020, my first time setting foot in Taiping was April 2022. That’s when I learnt about Maxwell Hill (Bukit Larut), the colonial hill station which receives the highest rainfall in Peninsular Malaysia and her stretch of pristine forests which must still hold immense biodiversity of flora and fauna.

Being a nature enthusiast, I chose biodiversity on Maxwell Hill as my topic with a particular focus on a floral species found there. This video I produced records my journey of discovering Impatiens curtisii, an endemic forest herb which can only be found on Maxwell Hill (Bukit Larut) and Gunung Hijau at altitudes of 900 to 1,200 metres above sea level. The name “Impatiens” originates from “impatient”, which refers to the immediate instant bursting of the mature seed pods when touched.

In my journey, I realised there were even more “unknowns” largely due to the lack of information and scientific study; a situation that many flora and fauna species suffer from in many of our forest ecosystems. This lack of “knowing” leads to our own ignorance of loss.

I have so many questions in mind but struggled to find a definite answer which is almost nonexistent at this point. Similarly, with the occurrence of global climate change and frequent landslides on the hill, the fate of both this endemic forest herb and Maxwell Hill remains unknown.

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