Geographical Index > United States > Malaysia (International) > Article # 508
Media Article # 508
Monday, June 12, 2006
[Freddie Long: "A lot of witnesses in Johor"]
By R. Sittamparam
New Straits Times
JOHOR BARU: Queries about the Johor Bigfoot continue to pour in from all over the world, with many Malaysians claiming to have seen the creature.
State Tourism and Environment Committee chairman Freddie Long said the State Government’s Bigfoot Steering Committee had recently received some new information.
"However, we have to conduct more studies and get scientists to verify the information collected so far," he said.
"A lot of people in Johor have reportedly seen the Bigfoot or its physical evidence such as giant footprints."
Speaking at the annual general meeting of the Malaysian Nature Society Johor branch on Saturday, Long said he had received lots of email queries on the matter.
"Once the study is completed, we will provide a report to the scientists overseas."
Long said the State also looked forward to working with non-government organisations such as MNS Johor to study and preserve the rich biodiversity of its ancient forests.
"Our immediate co-operation with MNS Johor is in setting up a bird sanctuary at the Bunker Trail in Gunung Panti. The site has become famous worldwide as a premier bird- watching spot.
"I have instructed the State Forestry Department to demarcate a 120ha area, which is home to about 300 species of birds, for the sanctuary."
He added that the bird sanctuary would be part of the Gunung Panti National Park, which would be gazetted soon.
The New Straits Times was founded in 1845. The NST is the oldest newspaper in Asia. It was the first newspaper to report on the giant ape incidents in Malaysia in the 1960's. It was also the first paper to report on the more recent rash of incidents.
The comments by Freddie Long suggest important developments in Johor:
1) There is new information suggesting additional witnesses in Johor, apparently both visual witnesses and track witnesses.
If there are only five purported witnesses in peninsular Malaysia, such a small number would cast doubt on the existence of bigfoots there at all. A stable, permanent population of bigfoots in the forests of Johor would undoubtedly result in more than five human witnesses (visual witnesses, auditory witnesses, and track witnesses). Thus, it is very relevant, scientifically, and very encouraging, to hear the state goverment indicating that there are more witnesses in Malaysia than were known at the beginning of the year.
2) The state goverment will investigate new, credible information, or at least oversee investigations of new information.
3) The state government is motivated to share the information publicly, but it is also motivated to only release information in which it has some degree of faith.
4) The state government is sharing information with an independent environmental group -- the Malaysia Nature Society.