Meet Nash, Rumah Tiang 16 host

Abdul Nasir Jalaludin, “Nash”, 52

Abdul Nasir Jalaludin, “Nash”, 52

Founder, Rumah Tiang 16

Nash is the founder of Rumah Tiang 16, a boutique homestay in Lenggong, one of Malaysia’s four UNESCO World Heritage Sites. 

“My dream is to see Lenggong become a model of community-based tourism. I’ve seen many examples of how tourism done right can bring prosperity to a community, and my hometown has so much to offer the world!

Because of my extensive exposure to hospitality with fine hotel brands for almost two decades and my own travels, I learned that culture is something that people cannot copy. I believe that promoting a cross-cultural experience is an important pillar of tourism. 

As a Pattani descendant, I try to inject cultural elements into the whole Rumah Tiang 16 experience. For the past few years, I’ve brought in locals to share their skills and knowledge in heritage crafts.
Out of the nearly 300 guests of 25 nationalities I’ve hosted, 90 per cent are from other ethnicities. They are always curious about life in a traditional Malay kampung. I’ve seen the delight in their eyes when they try their hand at weaving, making bedak sejuk — a traditional Malay skin powder — when they’ve experienced a true forest-to-fork lunch, or the simple act of sarong donning! Many guests become self-appointed ambassadors, promoting Lenggong after the Rumah Tiang experience. This is my ‘booster jab.’
By showing locals that their traditions and heritage is invaluable, and considered a treasure by outsiders, I hope to encourage the younger generation to learn and inherit this precious heritage, turn it into a sustainable living, and carry it into the future.
I am very lucky to come across a few families who are willing to share a piece of their lifestyle with visitors. Without them, I would not be able to come up with the quintessential Rumah Tiang 16 homestay experience that showcases the “stars” of Lenggong in archaeology, anthropology and ecology.
Kampung folks are usually very shy. They don't have much, but they have enough. With rice and salt at hand, people in the rural area can survive. For their protein, they can just catch some fish or do some trapping for bush meat. The locals feel very happy that people from the world over come to experience the little things that they have.
I truly believe the very essence of a nation lies in the pockets of the pockets of the rural population, in the interior, not in a big metropolis.

  •  Alexandra Wong 
  •  Ansell Tan 

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