TENOM: Four types of Rafflesia flower were discovered growing abundantly on the hillside next to Kampung Ulu Naluyan river about two kilometres from the main road junction of the Tenom-Keningau road by a nature activist, Gerald Baxter.
The discovery of the Rafflesia plant, the world’s biggest flower, was confirmed by Agriculture Department officer, Osman Marzuki, and his assistant, Jain Linton during a visit to the site on Monday.
“We now ask for the full cooperation of all parties concerned to maintain and protect this very valuable national treasure as a tourism product, as it is located in a cold environment and unspoilt tropical forests.
“However, we do not intend to prevent any development and exploration on the surrounding land by the owner. We only ask for cooperation so that it is treated with care because this is a national treasure. As it has not been exposed nor explored, we aim to keep the natural surroundings as it was,” he said.
The exact location where the Rafflesia flowers were discovered is on the slope of the bank of a small river bordering Sabah Parks area while in the area next to it is rubber plantation area alienated by Sabah Rubber Industry Board (LIGS) for development that is currently ongoing.
Meanwhile, Gerald Baxter expressed his joy at the discovery of a tourism product in the area that should attract more foreign and domestic tourists to visit the interior, especially in this district.
Baxter, who has a piece of land near the Tampasak waterfall, wants to make the area a recreation park in view of the tropical forests there maintained with the original trees like that of a genuine tropical forest park.