Cameron Highlands is known for its teas, chilly weather and unfortunately, landslides.
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Recently it was announced that a new tourist destination worth more than RM100 million would be built on top of Cameron Highlands in Pahang.
The newly launched ‘ESCAPE Cameron Highlands’ theme park is set to become the region’s first outdoor ski attraction in the middle of the tropics and is scheduled to be completed in 2023.
The theme park is said to take on a European theme, with a set of five aesthetically different villages made to attract local tourists and people from Southeast Asian who are looking to escape the ASEAN heat.
The park would feature a ski lift that would take visitors up the top of a 1.2km dry ski track (basically means an artificial track with no snow) and guide them through scenic routes down the hill.
Speaking at the launch of the project, Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said the theme park would breathe a breath of fresh air into the nation’s tourism industry by offering something truly unique and help people reconnect with nature.
ESCAPE Cameron Highlands will do so much more than revitalize Cameron Highlands as a major tourism hub. This timely development will kickstart the revival of Malaysia’s domestic tourism industry, as a whole, which has been greatly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic since last year.Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.
The theme park’s developers, Sim Leisure Group, explained that the project would adopt low impact development approaches in its design and construction while proliferating Cameron Highlands’ natural beauty and provide a fun get-away for everyone.
The ESCAPE concept in a nutshell advocates the re-discovery of childhood and re-connection with nature. It reintroduces the benefits of play and enhancement of motor skills by introducing. the nostalgic activities of yesteryear in a contemporary but natural environment. We have been doing this with ESCAPE Penang and ESCAPE Petaling Jaya, but I can guarantee, it will be quite unlike anything in ESCAPE Cameron Highlands.Sim Leisure Group Executive and ESCAPE Founder Sim Choo Kheng.
But y tho?
However, it appears that some Malaysians aren’t too cool with the idea of turning the Pahang plateau into an alpine ski resort.
Why do we need a theme park in Cameron Highlands for gawd sakes. Just keep it green and sustainable. Beautiful parks for picnics. Fresh fruits, vegetables & tea. We all need that for our mental health. pic.twitter.com/ichuZt3fbc— Susan Lankester (@suelanks) August 3, 2021
Sentiments online show netizens to be opposed to the idea of opening up another theme park in the country.
No theme park in Cameron Highland plse.. the one in genting is already one too many…— ed edi (@PakNaNa18) August 4, 2021
Many argue that the attraction would ruin the natural beauty of Cameron Highlands and worry that the project would lead to environmental degradation.
There goes the green & rain encatchment area – here comes more landslides. Msia have enough theme parks, some are dying/dead. Kayangans won’t be skiing here & marhaens can only drool coz fees wld definitely be high. Let me guess, foreign tourists? Seriously?Nasib lah labu..😶— Nani Ahmad (@NAN1AHMAD) August 4, 2021
I can already see the landslides 💀— Running after pigeons (@ladykirat) August 4, 2021
Some also say that Malaysia was trying too hard to emulate other parts of the world instead of capitalizing on what we have.
We are trying too hard to be new zealand. https://t.co/fJXCVhZFO1— 🏴PENAT🏴 (@brenn_dutt) August 4, 2021
They could’ve made it into an eco-travelling destination. 😪 https://t.co/6R1nhx0Yj7— Ahsatan Lutazan 🍀🏴 (@nztlntsh) August 4, 2021
Thousands of Malaysians have also signed a petition against the project in order to preserve the area’s ecology.
Cameron Highlands is credited as one of Malaysia’s very first and oldest tourist destinations – famous for its tea, chilly weather as well as its vegetable farms and flower orchards.
Its unique ecosystem also serves as a water catchment area and home to over 700 species of rare plants and animals.
Experts have pointed out that unchecked development of the highlands has lead to sever environmental and economical consequences among which involve natural disasters.
Typing out trending topics and walking the fine line between deep and dumb.