Crown Prince visits Ulu Temburong National Park
By Narissa Noor

His Royal Highness Prince Hj Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Deputy Sultan, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, yesterday paid a working visit to Ulu Temburong National Park in Kuala Belalong, Temburong to take a first-hand look at the administrative development and progress of projects overseen by the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources (MIPR).

Upon his arrival at the Ulu Temburong National Park Complex, the Crown Prince was welcomed by Dato Paduka Hj Hamdillah bin Hj Abd Wahab, Acting Minister of Industry and Primary Resources, YAM Pg Anak Hj Abdul Wadood Bolkiah, Chairman of Sunshine Borneo Tours Sdn Bhd, and Dato Seri Paduka Hj Eusoff Agaki bin Hj Ismail, Deputy Minister at the Prime Minister's Office.

Dato Paduka Hj Mat Suny bin Hj Hussain, Deputy Minister of Development, Pg Dato Paduka Hj Abu Bakar bin Pg Seri Indera Pg Hj Ismail, Permanent Secretary at the Prime Minister's Office, and Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Hamid bin Hj Mohd Jaafar, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources, were also in attendance.

Embarking on his tour on a 'temuai', HRH reached the National Park's main jetty reception area and was greeted by Hj Metussin OKS Hj Tuba, Temburong's Acting District Officer, and Mahmud Hj Yussof, Acting Director of Forestry, as well as other senior officers from MIPR.

The Crown Prince then proceeded to the Information Centre to view a mini exhibition before signing a commemorative plaque and being familiarised with the park.

After a brief introduction of the park, HRH was presented with a souvenir by Dato Paduka Hj Hamdillah and Sunshine Tours Sdn Bhd.

Ulu Temburong National Park is spread over 50 hectares of lush green forests with public facilities and nature paths provided by the Forestry Department around 1991.

It is situated alongside the Temburong riverbed and Belalong River, housing an Information Centre, staff quarters, a surau, a few chalets for overnight visitors and many more.

HRH was then briefed on its infrastructure and the facilities provided around the complex, including the types of accommodation and the work actively carried out around the facility.

Travelling on the Belalong River, the Crown Prince proceeded towards the UBD's Belalong Field Research Centre where he was welcomed by the university's Vice Chancellor Dato Paduka Dr Hj Ismail bin Hj Duraman.

HRH heard a briefing on the centre's functions and roles and viewed the research exhibition while mingling with officers and staff of the centre. This was followed by a souvenir presentation from the vice chancellor.

Established in 1991, UBD's Belalong Field Research Centre serves to provide foreign and local students, as well as government officers and staff, with resources needed for environmental research.

Later on, the Crown Prince crossed suspension bridges to experience one of the most popular attractions of the National Park - the Canopy Walk. There, HRH was also briefed on the surrounding flora and fauna, as well as the facilities.

The 80-metre high canopy walkway can be reached by a series of 1,226 steps, at the top of which is a breathtaking panoramic view of the river and surrounding forest, the zenith of the Heart of Borneo initiative.

The visit concluded with a luncheon at the Two River Terrace of the Ulu-Ulu Resort. - Borneo Bulletin (22nd May 2008)