Unplanned visit to Kulim – Bukit Hijau

USM Penang, August 11th –  At around 10 o’clock in the morning, Mahmoud Haddad, Farouq Odeh and I went to DTSP square to collect our convo robes. Btw, Mahmoud went on behalf of our friend, Younes. We got our heights and head circumferences measured then we went to Bilik Jubah, which is located under the main library. We got our robes and convo bags. The bags were sold at RM5 per piece. Mahmoud asked them for discount. They responded with laugh. Yeah, nice morning joke.
We went outside and tested our robes. "I think Younes’ head is bigger than mine", Mahmoud went back to Bilik Jubah to change the convo cap (a.k.a mortar board). Due to a traced stain at the shoulder part of my robe, me too went to change. While adjusting their robes, a cameraman came and snapped their photos. Oh yeah, campus celebrities of the year. It’s very common to see USM photographers snapping pictures of foreign students. I’ve seen many pictures of Mahmoud Haddad in USM magazines already as well as his friends. I think he’s quite a popular figure here.
Finished with our robes, time to go back. Hey, wait a minute. Why don’t we go to my place in Kulim? We can see my work place at Kulim Hi-Tech, Intel, Universiti Kuala Lumpur (MSI) and perhaps I can show them Bukit Hijau. They agreed. I asked them to contact Homam, so that Homam can join us too. Mahmoud immediately sent an sms. Unfortunately there was no reply, perhaps Homam is sleeping. So only three of us went to Kulim.
We arrived at Kulim Hi-Tech Park at around 11AM. I showed them around the high technology industrial area. Intel Malaysia (inclusive of Intel Penang and Intel Kulim) is currently the biggest Intel manufacturing facilities outside US. A quarter of the current manufacturing area in Kulim is currently occupied by Intel. It’s huge man. Others are Fuji Electric, Silterra, Celectica, Infineon, AIC, etc. Electronics Cyber City.
Then I showed them University Kuala Lumpur engineering campus (a.k.a. UniKL – Malaysian Spanish Institute). UniKL-MSI is a technical institution focusing on automotive manufacturing industry established by Malaysian Government with the collaboration of Spanish Government. Located in front of UniKL-MSI is another technical institution known as Politeknik Kulim.
After finishing the Hi-Tech Park tour, then I took them to my rental house located 7 km away from my work place. We took 15 minutes rest. We had our lunch at a restaurant nearby. Then we began our journey to Bukit Hijau. I just want to show them how simple journey to Bukit Hijau is. From Butterworth-Kulim Highway, go straight ahead. Follow signboard to Baling. You might see a few junctions, just go straight ahead, never turn left or right until you see a signboard to Bukit Hijau. From there the distance is only 12 km.
We arrived at Bukit Hijau around 1.40 PM. After seeing an open surau, Mahmoud immediately prayed there. Farouq and I had our ablution nullified for hours, so we planned to do it a bit later. We walked to the first and second waterfalls. Took a few pictures. Continued walking. We saw a few Arab tourists (from Gulf countries). We walked until reaching the end of the waterfalls. Beautiful especially the view of the cascade falls. We snapped a few photos.
However UiTM Penang’s students spoiled the beautiful scenery. There were a few couples among them busy playing in the water. Some of them wear hijab but were so intimate with their boyfriends. This is very wrong. This is not Islam. You guys destroyed the reputation of Islam and your Malay culture. Aargh…
Khalas. We left Bukit Hijau Recreational Park and stopped at a mosque nearby. Farouq and I prayed Zohor prayer, while Mahmoud busy surveying the kampong surrounding the mosque. We finished our prayers. It’s time to go back I told them. "There are so much rambutans here. Can we get some or perhaps buy from them?", Mahmoud asked. Okay habibie, why not? So we went to the villagers there and told our intention to buy fresh rambutans from them. They said, you can take as much as you want. It’s free. But you have to knock the rambutans down from the trees using bamboo pole by yourselves. We honoured Mahmoud for the duty. Not professional but acceptable for a non villager & first timer. Mahmoud tried his best until he cut his hand. Poor Mahmoud. On the other hand, Farouq and I were happy collecting the rambutans. Finally we thanked the pakcik, makcik and their friends. They are really nice people.
On the way back we dropped by a corn farm and bought some fresh corns. It’s a nice journey. I wish Homam was there with us.

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