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ROMPIN: A lake located in Bukit Ibam, near here, is fast becoming a popular tourist attraction due to its clear blue waters, green surroundings and an old quarry as a backdrop. Popularly known as Tasik Biru or Blue Lake, the body of water was once the site of Malaysia's largest quarry, which was among many large holes formed by iron ore mining activities in the surrounding hilly area. State Tourism and Culture Committee chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Sharkar Shamsudin said the lake, nestled among old mining sites, is becoming the talk of tourists due to its picturesque views. "The lake offers a breathtaking view and scenic backdrop for photography. Tourism Pahang is in the midst of planning some minor developments at the site to bring convenience to visitors. "We will build a viewing deck or a platform so visitors can move closer to capture pictures. The platform can be built near the lake, but we have to consult the relevant authorities to ensure the move will not pose any threat to visitors," he said when contacted by the New Straits Times.

Sharkar said picnic spots, tables and huts for the public to shelter in will be built so that visitors can spend more time at the lake, rather than just visiting to take pictures. "There are no activities at the lake area, so maybe we can provide some basic infrastructures and an information board on the history of the lake. However, no water activities will be allowed here," he said. Sharkar said the lake will be included in tour packages for those planning to visit Rompin, which is already popular for billfish fishing activities and the Endau-Rompin National Park. "We have several attractions in Rompin, including padi farming activities, popular freshwater prawns and the sailfish challenge for fishing enthusiasts. Now we have the blue lake as the newest attraction in Rompin.... we will continuously promote the lake," he said. It is believed that iron ore mining activities increased the amount of heavy metals in the water, resulting in chemical reactions between the rocks and the soil, which gave rise to the lake's vivid colour.

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