27 March 2019 (Rabu) – The Malaysian Hash Council (MHC) has advised its members to cease conducting any hash activities within the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) campus in Kepong.
MHC Chairman Chong Boon Ee said the council will issue a reminder to all its chapters to conduct their activities without breaking any laws, rules and regulations. Founded in 1996 by a group of senior Hashers, MHC has 220 hash chapters nationwide.
Chong and MHC Honorary Secretary Rajinder Agnihotri were invited to FRIM, Kepong, on 25 March, for a discussion on the issue of encroachment by HHH members.
They were greeted by FRIM Corporate Communication Head Toh An Nee and led to the Hopea Meeting Room. The aim of the meeting was to seek the cooperation of MHC in solving the recurring problem. Also present, FRIM Media Officer Lim Chung Lu and Forest Plantation Programme staff Siti Noratikah Mustafa.
|Liza (second from right) showing photos of encroachment to (from left) Rajinder and Chong while Toh (far right) looks on.
FRIM Administration Director Liza Ismail, who joined the meeting later, provided details on cases involving several HHH chapters, encountered by the FRIM enforcement team, in recent years and the trails of papers littered as well as damaged plants and vandalised property. She also showed pictures taken during the various enforcement operations.
After repeated warnings were ignored, she led the FRIM enforcement team with support of the police to conduct an operation last January which saw 13 members of Friday Hash House Harriers & Harriettes caught in FRIM campus. They were brought to Desa Jaya Police Station but released the same night after agreeing to sign a written apology and pledge never to repeat the action.
Following that, FRIM Director General Dato’ Dr Abd Latif Mohmod has warned that there would be no further compromise for trespassers.
|From left: Siti Noratikah, Toh, Rajinder, Chong, Liza and Lim posing for a group photograph.
Liza explained that FRIM is a research institute which opens its doors to the public for recreational activities. However, FRIM is also a natural and national heritage which harbours many threatened or vulnerable flora species of the country. Thus, she added, it is important to ensure the conservation of the FRIM forest for the future generations.
Chong said the council is aware of the January incident and had advised all chapters to ensure compliance with the relevant laws and regulations in conducting their activities. He believed those who had encroached FRIM campus were groups not linked to MHC such as the Friday HHH. In response to complaints on the use of papers to mark hash running trails, he said the practice is effective in preventing members from getting lost. However, he added, the role of a sweeper has been introduced to run last and pick up the papers.
He said MHC will issue an advisory notice to all chapters nationwide to respect the rules set by owners, stakeholders of various forests, including FRIM.