The cliff of Pulau Tioman

LONG after gaining fame through the 1958 Hollywood classic South Pacific, Pulau Tioman, which filmmaker James Michener chose as the location for his fictitious island of Bali Hai, has been luring even more tourists from near and far.
  Apart from its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters, which are a haven for snorkellers and scuba divers, the island has much to offer in terms of places of interest.
  Kampung Genting, a village between Kampung Nipah and Kampung Paya on the island’s southwest, is believed to have been founded by a group of travellers from Kampung Juara on the eastern coast.
  Local islander Syed Rizalman Syed Abu Bakar, 40, says there are many versions on how Kampung Genting got its name.
  The one that was related to him by his elders was that families from Kampung Juara had migrated southwest after their village was hit by a water-borne disease.
  “They referred to it as wabak (outbreak), which we have identified as cholera,” said Syed Rizalman, who owns the Damai Tioman Resort at Kampung Genting.
  He said the village was then part of Kampung Paya and there was a small cape nearby.
  “One day, the cape was hit by strong waves that caused part of it to break off and what was left became a cliff. That’s why it is called genting.
  “The second story says there was a river near the cliff that was called Air Raja. Water always flowed in this river even during critical (genting) periods of drought, thus attracting villagers from all over the island.”
  The word genting can have many different meanings, such as cliff, roof and critical times. Syed Rizalman says the village has its own unique practices, adding that sometimes, graves can be found in the premises of some houses and shops, such as the one in Sun Beach Resort. In the past, it was a tradition for people to bury their dead within the house compound.
  Some Kampung Genting villagers still observe this tradition although there is a cemetery nearby.
  Rizalman said Kampung Genting also houses the mausoleum of the second Raja Bendahara of Pahang, Tun Mohamad Tun Abdul Majid.
  Tun Mohamad, who ruled Pahang as a vassal of Johor from 1802 to 1803, was married to the daughter of Sultan Mahmud Shah III of the Johor-Riau-Lingga-Pahang empire.
  In 1803, as Tun Mohamad and his wife were sailing back to Pahang, a fierce thunderstorm caused their ship to capsize near Pulau Tioman.
  Tun Mohamad and his wife drowned and their remains were brought to the island for burial.
  Rizalman says there are also two long grave sites in the village, believed to be the final resting place of original Kampung Genting villagers.
  “There is also a cave named Gua Kelamin, where it is believed that childless couples who pray there will eventually be blessed with a child.
  “Then, there is Batu Depa, which got its name when a man measured the stone with his hand.” Another interesting site is Batu Kasut, which can only be seen during an extended period of low tide.

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