Fascinating nature of Penang Hill
Doris Lim walked in the footprints of Malaysia’s renowned naturalist, Irshad Mobarak and appreciates just how many variants of green it takes to knit a rainforest together with its flora, fauna, and wildlife.
Malaysia’s renowned naturalist and educator, Irshad Mobarak towers over most Malaysians at 1.9M, a ruggedly handsome figure garbed in his famous khakis, trekking shoes, with binoculars slung casually around his neck.
Irshad spearheaded the first walk and talk series recently at The Habitat located in the forest reserve of Penang Hill which is over 130 million years old.
About 25 guests drank in the beauty of the rainforest on top the 735m-high peak as the noise of George Town fades and is replaced with the chatters of unseen monkeys and the sharp shrill of cicadas’ song.
We listened intently as Irshad took us on a storytelling journey, his forte as he jokingly remarked was, “My best work is actually done, walking.”
“If I can get you to fall in love with Nature, I would have won your heart and you will be a friend of Nature for life,” said the former banker-turned-naturalist.
As a young boy growing up in Seremban, the senior Mobarak would take all his ten children out to Nature as often as possible.
From an early age, Irshad had an emotional affinity toward nature and saw his mission to protect the rainforest, birds, and plants on his island home of Langkawi where he has lived for over 20 years.
Irshad started his talk with the love story of the cicadas.
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