Monthly Archives: August 2008

51st National Day Celebration

Today August 31, 2008 falls on Sunday and all Malaysians are on holiday to celebrate the 51st National Day. Many people are gathered early the morning here at the Dataran Merdeka to celebrate the great occasion.

The theme of this 51st National day is Perpaduan Teras Kejayaan (unity is the pillar of success), which began on Aug 16 and ends on Oct 18. The closing ceremony will be held in Sabah.

The mood of celebration for this 51st National Day has dismissed from previous years. There are too many quarrels among the politicians nowaday and this has caused many Malaysians difficult to forgive their arrogant remarks.The current political situation from Barison Nasional (BN) has disrupted many activities when the attention should be focused on other more important things.

The government has to bring back the true spirit of Merdeka as proclaimed by the first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, our nation’s founding father.

On this 51st National day, I hope Peace and Progress will continue to prevail in Malaysia-my home country. Malaysians with different backgrounds should be more united and maintained harmonious relations among people that include Malay, Chinese, Indian, and people from Sabah and Sarawak.

Changing Malaysia

A photography exhibition themed “Changing Malaysia,” was opened today by Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal at the 1 Utama Shopping Centre on August 23, 2008.

The exhibition was held in conjunction with the 51st National Day celebrations, presented by The Star and Petronas, is at Highstreet, Ground Floor (near Parkson), until Sept 7. 2008.

A total of 192 photos were displayed at the exhibition. It featured 160 shots by The Star photographers reflecting changes seen in various aspects of daily life that make Malaysia what it is today. And 32 photos from the “Malaysia@50: A Day in the Life of Malaysia” photography contest.

A walk through the display will give an idea of how the built environment has been transformed, with photographs showing not only the new structures that dot today’s urban landscape but also how modern buildings stand in stark contrast to heritage homes.

Also included will be scenes capturing the way Malaysians live, work and play as well as others that look at how change has touched both the young and the old.

Standing Tall: At 459.1metres, the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur can stand tall as the landmark of Malaysia today. Commissioned by Malaysia’s fourth Premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the towers which are among the tallest in the world took six years to complete, and stand on the site of what was once the Kudalari Turf Club. – KAMARUL ARRIFIN/The Star

The skyline of Kuala Lumpur has undergone a drastic change from say 20 years ago. While the Petronas Twin Towers might not be the highest building in the world anymore, but they’re still the highest twin buildings scraping the sky. – AZHAR MAHFOF/The Star

The sunset at Sepang F1 where the Japan GT car was racing.- S.S.Kanesan/The Star

Seri Saujana One of Putrajaya’s magnificent bridge.- Raja Faisal Hishan/The Star.

Modern Bar…..Kiss the sky as you sip your drink at Luna. -Art Chen/ The Star.

The KL Tower stands majestically in contrast to a row of abandoned pre-war houses. In our rush to build higher and bigger and “better” have we failed to preserve our own architectural heritage and wonders? – Glenn Guan/The Star

Dances presenting an item at the Barisan Budi Malaysia concert at Istana Budaya, Kuala Lumpur. The performing arts scene has flourished, with more exciting productions coming up, both traditional and experimental. – Azman Ghani/ The Star

Photograph these free-flying lake birds in Zoo Negara during feeding time

When I entered The Zoo Negara from the main entrance, I saw some free-flying lake birds mostly painted storks hopping along the road near the lake. I am not aware what they are there for and I thought it was a timely opportunity for me to take out my camera for the shoot.

I heard some sounds coming from a moving van. It was the Zoo workers delivering foods for these free-flying resident birds.

It was around 9.40am in the morning. I realised why all these free-flying lake birds were waiting along the road. These free-flying lake birds are intelligent and they know they can get some free meals here at this hour.

Later I found out that many of these free-flying lake birds are not residents here. some of them from nearby areas and will come back here every morning for their food.

School holiday has started now and if you want to have a family outing for your young children perhaps it is a good idea to take them to Zoo Negara and to photograph these free-flying lake birds during their feeding time. Go early and wait for your photo opportunity at this feeding spots.

All these pictures are taken on a rented Canon 1D Mark lll and Canon 70-200mm F2.8 telephoto lens.

Click to view some of these enlargement pictures of these painted stork birds from my other blog Pixellens

One Year anniversary

Today, August 12, 2008, is exactly one year since I made my first posting on Visuallens.

It was a difficult start since I have little knowledge about blogging and writing. I started Visuallens using a free WordPress platform. I’m thankful to my photography friends who are helping me to pass through this journey.

I really try my best to learn during the first few months. I was aware that the contents and photos are important. And I have to keep on improving in order to succeed.

A great deal of work went into the development of Visuallens. I always make an effort to make sure the photos are of high quality before I posted them on the blog but it wasn’t like that earlier on.

Since January 12, 2008 exactly 5 months after launching Visuallens, the site got 13,206 views and it received a Google PR4. This really has given me some great encouragement to continue in my blogging. I have to upgrade my photography equipment especially the camera and lenses in order to have some quality photos.

The blogging experience has given me serious thought and also some fun in meeting those who share the same interest in photography.

On August 1, 2008 Visuallens received another good news. It was promoted to Google PR5. It has a total 51,900 views and I really feel great for the moment when my friends congradulated me for this achievement.

Some of my friends have given up their mouse as they get tired when there is no breakthrough. There were also time when I just sit in front of my computer and I don’t know what to write and post. But I know I have to keep on as Visuallens will have the opportunity to attract more readers resulting in more visitors and getting to know new friends.

I am at the crossroads now as some suggest to me that I should go for my own web hosting.

That’s all I have to say about the first anniversary and many thanks to all the support given to Visuallens. Reading and commenting for this past one year. I have made some great friends on the Net through this blog.

I’ll continue this incredible journey and hope Visuallens will continue to provide great enjoyment to visitors with its postings.

The free-flying lake birds

The Zoo Negara is situated 13km from the centre of Kuala Lumpur, and it is open daily from 9am to 5pm. Tickets for Adults is RM 15.00 and Children RM6.00. If you are a senior citizen ( 60 years and above ) you pay RM6.00 and if it is your birthday you get a FREE ENTRY!

There are some complains that the tickets are a bit too expensive but I really understand and accept it as Zoo Negara is run by a non-governmental organization. They have little help from the government and the cost of maintaining the place is too expensive nowadays.

However they have to get their funds from the gate collections and public donations to maintain their daily expenditures. They have to pay the salaries of the workers and to feed a total of over 5,137 animals comprising 459 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish.

How to got to Zoo Negara

By Light Rail Transit System (LRT) :

– Alight at Wangsa Maju Station, Kelana Jaya Line
– Board a taxi to Zoo Negara

By Bus :
– Metrobus number 16 from Central Market, KL
– Rapid KL number U34 from Putra LRT Station, Wangsamaju, KL
– Rapid KL number U23 from Titiwangsa Station, KL

Enter the main gate and turn left, walk a short distance and you will see a big lake in front of you. Do you know the name of the lake? It is The Tunku Abdul Rahman Lake and it was named after the first prime minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman.

The lake is home to over 300 free-roaming birds. They are Painted storks, Milky storks, Ibises, Egrets, Swans, Pelican and many others. I can see there are some bird’s nests on the trees and I am wondering whether these birds are there to lay their eggs.

In South-East Asia all large waterbirds are decreasing in numbers because available breeding sites are being taken over by developers who are felling trees. The trees provide nest sites and it’s a pity these sites are losing ground to urban and industrial development.

Many of these free-flying lake birds are not residing here in the Zoo and they come from other places nearby like Glombak, Kuala Selangor, and even Fraser Hill. They are looking for food whereever they can find to survive.

Don’t forget to visit the orangutans at The Ape Centre, and meet the longest type of python in the world – Reticulated Pythons and many others at The Reptile Park, and also The Tunku Abdul Rahman Aquariums.

The Bornean and Sumatran Orangutans

According to the, the Bornean Orangutan, Pongo pygmaeus, is a species of orangutan native to the island of Borneo. Together with the slightly smaller Sumatran Orangutan, it belongs to the only genus of great apes native to Asia.

The Bornean Orangutan is more common than the Sumatran, with about 45,000 individuals existing in the wild; there are only about 7,500 of the Sumatran species left .The Bornean Orangutan has a life span of about 35 to 40 years in the wild; in captivity it can live to be 60.

The Bornean Orangutan lives in tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests in the Bornean lowlands as well as mountainous areas 1500 m in elevation. It lives at different heights in the trees and moves large distances to find trees bearing fruit. Its diet consists of fruit as well as shoots, bark, mineral rich soil and bird eggs. It also eats insects but to a lesser extent than the Sumatran Orangutan.

The Sumatran Orangutan, Pongo abelii, is the rarer of the two species of orangutans. Living and endemic to Sumatra island of Indonesia, they are smaller than the Bornean Orangutan.

Compared to the broadface Bornean Orangutan, the Sumatran Orangutans possess a lighter and longer pelage, a longer face, a smaller stature, and flanges that are covered in small white hairs

The Sumatran Orangutan is more social than its Bornean counterpart. Males and females generally come together only to mate. Groups of these orangutans gather to feed on the mass amount of fruiting on the fig trees. However adult males generally avoid contact with other adult males. Rape is common among orangutans. Sub-adult males will try to mate with any female, though they probably mostly fail to impregnate them since mature females are easily capable of fending them off. Mature females prefer to mate with mature males.

Newborn orangutans nurse every 3 to 4 hours, and begin to take soft food from their mothers’ lips by 4 months. The first year of its life the baby clings to its mother’s abdomen by entwining its fingers in and gripping her fur. Babies stay with their mothers until they are about 8 or 9 years old and have a long childhood compared to other apes.

Interval birth rates for Sumatran Orangutan were longer than the Bornean ones and are the longest reported interval birth rates among the great apes. Sumatran orangutans give birth when they are about 15 years old. Infant orangutans will stay close to their mother for up to three years. Even after that, the young will still associate with their mother.

Lets watch the youtube footage of the moment how the mother orangutan gives birth a baby.