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LAST_UPDATEThu, 21 Sep 2017 10am

This Humble M'sian Forest Guide Has  Given A Speech At A Swiss University And Appear As An Expert On A Global TV Nature Show

Little did anyone know, this man’s deep understanding and knowledge of the jungle opened up a whole new world to him when he was invited to give a speech on nature and the charms of our National Park when he was just 29 years old, in Kantonsschule Zurcher Oberland University, Switzerland.

Roslan Abu Kassim, 53, had piqued the interest of a Professor in the aforementioned University when he was a tourist here, due to his deep knowledge of the jungle, Harian Metro reports.

Roslan recounts the fateful encounter with the professor in an interview with the local Malay news daily.Pic: FacebookPic: Facebook

“I didn’t know that he was a professor, until he told me that he would like me to speak as his guest at the University he worked in, and was even willing to give me money for the flight tickets, as well as making sure everything was ready for me when I was there.

“While I was there, one of the most unforgettable things for me has to be when I was giving my speech in my limited English, with the help of a slideshow.

“But I was touched when I saw the audience’s reaction to my speech. They were excited to hear my stories about Taman Negara in Pahang, and some of them even came here three years after hearing my speech.

“I am not a highly educated man, my University is the jungle, my Lecturer were the Natives," he said when interviewed at his home in Kuala Tahan.

Roslan's expertise on Malaysia's natural treasures is well knowned locally.

Before this, he was also given the opportunity to represent Malaysia for the World Travel Mart (WTM) in London and Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin (ITB) in Berlin, Germany during the 1990’s, as well as various tourism exhibits in ASEAN countries.

He was also Malaysia’s representative for the Birdfair in Rutland, England, last year.

Even more impressive, he was twice invited to be in the Discovery Channel show “River Monsters” in 2010 and 2016.

A picture of Roslan with Discovery Channel's River Monster's host, Jeremy Wade. Pic: FacebookA picture of Roslan with Discovery Channel's River Monster's host, Jeremy Wade. Pic: Facebook

Roslan who is widely respected by his peers as the chairman of the Persatuan Pencinta Taman Negara said that, everything that he enjoys right now is due to his undying passion and interest for nature.

“Every single piece of knowledge and experience I have, I learned from the Natives. There are no better teachers than them in learning all varieties of survival skills, the intricacies of the jungle, and plants.”

“ Everyone can study the theory, but for experience we need to get our hands dirty and experience the real deal ourselves.”

“My father was a Forest Ranger and I often followed him into the jungle and that made me master the intricacies of the jungle.”

“After my father passed away, I kept going back to the jungle and sometimes even stayed with the Natives in the National Park, so that I can learn more about nature, as I was working as a tour guide then.,” says Roslan, who was exposed to this field inadvertently after his father passed away when he was 15 years old.

According to him, if Taman Negara were included in the Community Based Tourism Programme (CBT) which aims at getting the community involved in the Ecotourism industry, he will once again be awarded the opportunity to represent Malaysia, and to speak in the programme in ASEAN countries this year.

- Malaysian Digest