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    Tioman Island

Tioman Island (locally known as Gunung Daik Bercabang Tiga) is a small island located 32 km off the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia in the state of Pahang, and is some 39 km long and 12 km wide. It has eight main villages, the largest and most populous being Kampung Tekek in the north. The densely forested island is sparsely inhabited, and is surrounded by numerous coral reefs, making it a popular scuba diving spot. There are also a lot of resorts and chalets around the island.

Its beaches were depicted in the 1958 movie, South Pacific as Bali Hai. In the 1970s, TIME Magazine selected Tioman as one of the world's most beautiful islands.

Apart from its diverse marine life, the inland rainforest area, encompassing approximately 12,383 hectares, in Tioman is a strictly enforced nature reserve. There are several protected species of mammals on the island, including the Binturong, Long-tailed Macaque, Slow Loris, Black Giant Squirrel, Red Giant Flying Squirrel, Mouse deer, Brush-tailed Porcupine, and Common Palm Civet, from a total of 45 species of mammals and 138 species of birds, including the majestic Frigatebird. Moreover, Tioman has species that are endemic to its shores. The soft-shelled turtle and the Tioman walking catfish are both unique and can be seen on rainforest walks.

The island is served by ferries from the Malaysian mainland, and a propeller plane service by Berjaya Air from the Seletar Airport in Singapore and Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Kuala Lumpur.

 

    History

Tioman has been used for thousands of years by fishermen as an important navigation point and a source of fresh water and wood. During the past thousand years, it has played host to Chinese, Arab, and European trading ships, and often porcelain shards can be found on beaches around the island.

In more recent history, Tioman played host to both the British and the Japanese during the Second World War, and the waters around the island are littered with war remains (including HMS Repulse and HMS Prince of Wales).

 

    Legend

According to legend, Tioman Island is the resting place of a beautiful dragon princess. Whilst flying from China to visit her prince in Singapore, this beautiful maiden stopped to seek solace in the crystal-clear waters of the South China Sea. Enraptured by the charms of the place, she decided to discontinue her journey. By taking the form of an island, she pledged to offer shelter and comfort to passing travelers.

 

    Politics

Tioman Island lends its name to the state constituency of Tioman, comprising the island and part of the Rompin district including the town of Kuala Rompin. Its representative to the State Legislative Assembly is YB Mohd. Johari from Barisan Nasional. Its representative to the Malaysian Parliament is former MOSTI Minister Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis, also from Barisan Nasional.

 

 

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