Sunday, March 11, 2012

Visit to RMAF Museum & Zoo Negara

Yes ! I finally had my first day off for the month of March so I decided to utilise my time by doing some casual photography ( something I am very keen to do but usually don't have the time due to my work schedule). So yours truly thought it would be a great idea to visit the RMAF (Royal Malaysian Air Force) museum near Sungai Besi.

Unfortunately, packing for this excursion wasn't that easy. I needed a high telephoto lens for the zoo, so the Zuiko 50-200 SWD was my best bet despite encountering more AF issues. For low light situations, the Nikon D3's high ISO capabilities together with some fast primes would be the best tool for the job. Using two cameras at the same time is no easy task !

After a brief security check, the RMAF museum is to your left. Like most Malaysian museums, they all look pretty old and under equipped, perhaps due to lack of funding. Hmm, I wonder where all the taxpayer's money has gone to. Oh, seeing the pitiful condition of the aircraft, I think they should also change their tagline to 'Where It All Begins Ends'.

There were a few guys shooting a model in the scorching heat.

I remember visiting a military museum while I was in Melbourne. The whole place was air conditioned, and there were plenty of articles about the planes on display. In the RMAF museum, all you get is the good ol' Malaysian sun. The faded paper articles haven't been replaced for years. That's alright I guess. I wouldn't be in the mood to read something in this heat anyway.

To diverge a little, two F5-E fighter jet engines (which is the same aircraft as this one ) were stolen a few years ago, and the perpetrators haven't been caught ! You may read more here.

The sabre jet fighter was one of the most prolific aircraft during the Korean war.

Cannon guns from the Harrier aircraft, I presume.

There were no museum attendants around, so the public (aka. school kids) were free to walk and sit in the cockpit of the aircraft. I don't think the museum will ever notice if something goes missing or breaks !

Its really hot in here !

You're invited to live your flying fantasies in this broken aircraft. You can see the watermarks on the cockpit window due to rust.

After the museum, I drove through Ampang to go to Zoo Negara. There were a lot of cars on the road (its the weekend anyway), so it took me quite a while to reach the destination. This would be my first visit to the Zoo in more than 15 years.

Although I reckon some parts of the zoo were the same as it was the last time I came for a visit, I was irked by the fact that we had to pay for almost everything ! Allow me to state some figures :

Entry ticket - RM 20 for adults with My Kad (Malaysian Identity Card). Non card holders - approx RM 35.
Zoo Map - RM 5
Drinks - RM 2.50 / can
Food - Minimum RM 5
Shuttle bus - RM 4 per ticket

There were also numerous donation boxes everywhere. Very soon, they'll even charge for using the toilets !

The depressing thing is although we're paying so much for everything (don't forget the sponsors eg. Maybank, ING, AmBank ), the zoo still looks as dingy and scrawny as before. Where has all the money gone to ? Why isn't our government supporting our National Zoo although they clearly have the funds to do so?

This sponsorship signage and the animal are clearly visible, which is great.

This is the Maybank sponsored enclosure. The sponsored creature is unfortunately hardly visible. Not great :s

I think this image is a perfect description of the next general election in our country.

The solitary animals look very restless. I guess the animals regard their enclosure as a mental asylum, regardless of the ideas of protecting them were noble in the first place.

I'm also experimenting with black and white imagery to highlight the expressions and forms of the animals. I hope I'm successful so far.

Being forcefully separated is painful, isn't it ?

The visit to the RMAF museum and Zoo Negara has been a 'wonderful' eye-opener for me, which left me pretty tired at the end of the day. Carrying two pro bodies is not an easy task for sure !

If you'd like to view more images, please click here. Thanks~


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