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Selandar

Selandar

Selandar is a small town in the Malacca state of Malaysia.

Kampung Bukit Senggeh (KBS) is one of the villages located near Selandar. KBS has been divided into four sections namely, Ayer Keroh, Rejang, Chembong and Bukit Senggeh Hilir. It is bordering to Batang Melaka, Machap Baru, Felda Bukit Senggeh and Pondok Kempas. KBS is well known for its Bukit Batu Lebah (Bees Hill) a scenic hill and among the highest in Melaka. From the middle of Bukit Batu Lebah there is a rocky platform, big enough to accommodate about 100 people and from here you can have the scenic view of KBS, and its surrounding areas. It is also a perfect place for you to set up a tent if you wish to stay overnight. On the horizon, the straits of Malacca can be seen and please do not forget to bring along your binoculars in order for you to be able to see the ships plying the straits!. Just at the below side of the rock that act as a platform, there is a giant beehives where this hill actually got her name. No one is dared to harvest the honey due to the belief that the bees are guarding the hill itself may cast a spell if ones harvest the honey.

Other interesting place located at the middle of the hill is the giant rock shaped like a ship. Local folk story said that once there was a sailor but due to his arrogance he was cursed to become a rock together with his ship. The many shapes of giant rocks at this level will sure make your trip a remembered one. There is one small cave for you to pass through and it is believed that you will not be able to pass it if you disrespect to your mother.

Kampung Bukit Senggeh is an ideal location for you to unwind during the weekend and currently there is an effort by the state government to turn this village into a tourist area by constructing chalets at the foothill of Bukit Batu Lebah. The chalets are supported by a recreation park and it is suitable for the day visitors and campers. The access route is through KBS main road, then taking Jalan Rejang after you pass the mosque and KBS Rural clinic. If you intent to climb up the hill, a jungle track is provided to guide you until at the middle level of the hill. The economic drive for the local community is rubber tapping, palm oil planting, cattle and goat rearing and farming. Most of the villagers are elderly whereas the younger ones left the village to work in the industrial areas or as a government servants in Melaka City, about 35km away. Effort to increase the number of populations in KBS were hindered due to the lack of industries nearby. Other minus point is due to its road system that is in circular pattern where there is only one access road and it is considered as the end point. Other ideas to set up the higher learning institute and to have the public housing scheme was mooted in the late 90s but it were never materialized due to some political and individual land issues.

There is a primary school named Sekolah Kebangsaan Bukit Senggeh upon entry to KBS with a total student of about 150 pupils ranging from Primary Year 1 until Primary Year 6. The numbers are dwindling year by year as it failed to attarct or to keep the productive age population to reside nearby KBS.

Environmental wise, the activity of sand dredging at several locations of KBS are slowly degrading the water catchment quality for the Chin-Chin water treatment plant located about 30km downstream near Jasin. Logging activities and the construction of power transmission grid line slowly caused soil erosion to some parts of Bukit Batu Lebah and Bukit Batu Tiga, near the Orang Asli (aborigin people) Settlement. In years to come, probably the huge pond created as a result of sand dredging can be turned into sports recreational area. Avid angler already turned the disused dredging pools into fishing spot in Chembong. There was an effort to set up a large chicken farm several years back but due to the resistance from local community and with the help of the media addressing the environmental impact to the surroundings and negative health effect to the community, the project was called off in 2006. However, the recent development in 2008 shows that there is still an effort by the developer to construct the chicken farm. Current activity on site is to dredge the sand and to construct huge retention pond. Tje pond is suspected to be used later when the chicken farm is in operation.

Selandar itself is an expanding township where new housing such as Jus Permai, Jus Perdana, Taman Pelangi, Selandar Public Housing scheme, Taman Ayer Pasir is fast expanding its populations. High end orchard cum residential area such as Lembah Selandar is also in the construction stage. A bungalow plot housing was constructed at Bukit Gondol overlooking Selandar Town is progressily towards the end of construction. Higher learning Institutes such as Selandar Community College (opened in 2004) and Industrial Training Institute (2004) was established by the Government to spur the growth of the human capital. Boarding Religious School is managed by the state Religious Affair Dept. located just about 500 meters from the town center and just in front of it, is a Selandar Secondary School (SMK Selandar, established in 1981). Integrated school for the secondary education was set up in Batang Melaka about 8km away from Selandar Town.

In terms of infrastructure, there is a complete link connecting Selandar to the nearby district township such as Jasin (20km away via Felda Tun Ghafar access road), Durian Tunggal (18 km away), Alor Gajah (22km away) and there is a major road upgrading works currently in progress between Selandar and Machap and scheduled to be completed in 2008), to Batang Melaka and further away to Gemencheh about 20 km northwest of it. Access to Simpang Bekoh is a breeze with the completion of the new state road back in 2003. Now it takes less than 30 minutes to reach Tangkak, a 'fabric town' located at the northern part of Johor. In other words, Selandar is well connected with the road network as it is located right in the middle of the inner road system between Masjid Tanah and Nyalas and between Batang Melaka to the south in Merlimau.

Nearest railway station is at Batang Melaka located north of Selandar. Only mail train will make a stop at this station thrice a day. Bigger station is further located at Tampin, about 40km away. With the ongoing railway double tracking job, Batang Melaka station will also get some spillage of the benefit when more train will be scheduled to make a stop. Benefit to the Batang Melaka town, Gemencheh and Selandar will be felt in a long run.

The Selandar Community Clinic building is the newly upgraded facility and it is able to cater for an emergency cases. In the planning stage is the new Mosque Building and Fire Brigade building for the benefit of local community. There is a fixed line telephone exchange and many mobile communication towers are located strategically around Selandar to cover it with latest 3G, wifi and broadband facilities. Electricity supply covers almost to all areas including Orang Asli Settlement in Jus, Bukit Seraya and Bukit Batu Tiga. The same goes for the piped treated water which is managed by the State Water Authority.

The absence of big industrial areas and industries around Selandar is mainly because Selandar is gazetted as a water catchment area for Melaka. Jus Dam is about 5km away while Durian Tunggal Dam is about 18km away and the third one is the Chin-Chin water intake located about 25km away.

Selandar is also identified as a major fruits producer by the state government when more than of forest land was gazetted as the agricultural land and named Melaka Tropical Fruit Farm. Currently the park is producing mango variety of Malacca Delight, rambutans, durians, star fruit and other tropical fruits meant for the local and export market. Dragon fruit was also cultivated along the road leading to Alor Gajah.

Selandar is gaining its popularity with its successful schools, namely SMK Selandar and SBPI Selandar, which is some of the excellent schools in Malaysia.

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