Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Pahang (Jawi: ڨهڠ) is the largest state in Peninsular Malaysia, and as a result contains quite a large range of geography and industry. Its state capital is Kuantan, with the royal seat at Pekan. The Arabic honorific of Pahang is Darul Makmur ("Abode of Tranquility")
The physical geography can be broken into roughly three sections: the highlands, the rainforest, and the coastal areas.
Peninsular Malaysia straddles a rich quartz vein that is associated with the mountain range in the center. Rainforest covers much of the highlands, but it tends to be thinner, with more deciduous trees. Ferns are also extremely common, thanks mainly to the high humidity and fog that permeates the area.
The Cameron Highlands area in the west is home to the tea plantations. The area is the highest on the mainland, and the climate is temperate enough to have distinct temperature variations year round. The area is also known as a major supplier of legumes and vegetables to both Malaysia and Singapore.
Genting Highlands is known as Malaysia's playground. It is home to several hotels, a theme park and Malaysia's only casino. Genting Highlands was developed by Lim Goh Tong who envisioned a hillside getaway destination for people wanting to get away from city hustle and bustle and is conveniently situated 40 minutes from the capital of Kuala Lumpur and is accesable with the Karak Highway . The border of Genting straddles both the state of Pahang and Selangor.
Fraser's Hill was used as a British summer getaway to escape th tropical heat. It is distinctive that the road to and fro to Fraser's Hill is a single lane up the hill and traffic is controled and limited to a single direction at certain hours. It is now a small hamlet with British architectural buildings and also a holiday destination.
There is also a population of native Orang Asli who live in the area, although most have been relocated from the forests to other areas.
The south of the state is home to the country's largest national park, Taman Negara. This largely primary rainforest is extensive, and is home to many rare or endangered animals, such as the tapir, kancil, tigers and leopards.
Rainforest covers 2/3 of the area of the state, and the peninsula's highest point, Gunung Tahan, is located within Taman Negara. Since the equator is so close, the rainforests in Malaysia are among the oldest in the world: roughly 130 million years old.
Two famous lakes are found in Pahang. Tasik Bera is a Ramsar site and is important for its rich freshwater peat environment, home to various flora and fauna. The Semelai orang asli lives in the area and continues their traditional way of live, hunting, fishing and making use of their natural environment.
Tasik Cini is home to a legend whereby a dragon was believed to reside in the lake. Talks were also abound about a lost city that sunk beneath the water. Recent excavations by the museum and antiquities department of Museum Negara has found traces of human habition. Famed for its lotus blooms, recently controversy has sparked with mismanaged tourism development resulting the massive die off of trees and recent findings of pollution in the water.
The largely mountainous state flattens out towards the coastline, and this is where the state capital Kuantan is located. There are also many islands offshore with extensive reef systems. Pulau Tioman is famous for its coral reef.
Club Med is also a favourite tourist destination and is situated a little of the state capital of Kuantan. Fine stretches of beach can be easily found as one drives from Kuantan heading to Terengganu.
There still exists a traditional fishing industry along the coast, and there are long stretches of sandy beaches. Keropok which are dried fish cakes are a welcome favourite among locals and traditional industry includes the mass processing of dried fish and seafood as well as the famed keropok lekor . Fishing is a majot industry for the villagers found along the coastline and is sold daily at the various fish markets in the state.
For decades, Pahang's main industry centered on timber production, a large forest swatches supported massive balak production and wood products were the state's main export. Yet a decline in mature trees due to intensive harvesting lately has caused a slowdown and the practice of more sustainable logging.
Raub in the central Pahang area was the only profitable gold mining operation in Malaysia but reserves were soon exhausted and the mines were shut down. Recently, newer technology has made extraction profitable again and operations are being carried out once more.
Sungai Lembing in the heydays was a large center for shaft mining of timah or better known as tin. Miners would dig underground tunnels to reach the ore and bring them up by the cartloads to the surface for smelting into jongkangs . Now tin is no longer mined and the mines are mostly flooded, Sungai Lembing is now a dying town with not many prospects except tourism of its tin mining days.
Industry mostly centers on wood based products and petrochemical processing. Kuantan port is one of the busiest ports in the east coast and transportation networks allow for the fast transportation of goods through the state.
Evidence for nomadic tribes living in the area go back to the Mesolithic Era. In more modern times, the tin and gold deposits of the Tembeling River attracted the marine traders of the Srivijaya empire in the eighth and ninth century, and Pahang covered most of the southern half of the peninsula.
After the Srivijaya empire collapsed, around the eleventh century, it was claimed first by the Siamese, and then the Sultanate of Malacca, until the Portuguese arrived in 1511. It was then the subject of controversy between the Portuguese, the Dutch, Johor, and Aceh, until the influence of the Europeans and the Acheh declined in the early 1600s. However, Sultans of Pahang, descended from the Malacca and Johor royal dynasties, have ruled the state almost continuously from 1470.
Area: 35 964 sq. km
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