Friday, August 25, 2006

From Malaysia: Follow HHDL on the Environment

As published on; August 25, 2006

By Harban Singh

I read so much of concern and rumbling for the environment when it is obvious that Malaysians cannot come to a consensus where the environment is concerned.

This is seen in Perak’s Belum forest reserve which is yet to be gazetted to a national park after umpteen years and the chief minister of Pahang echoing his controversial view of compensation if logging is ceased in his state.

It really does not reflect well on us Malaysians.

It shows we are a very long way from achieving a developed status as envisaged in Vision 2020. We still take our rich biodiversity for granted. This which is found in our very own rainforests, the oldest in the world (older than the Amazon’s and Congo’s).

Imagine having such assets which can be utilised in a more sustainable way for the better of mankind rather than for short-term logging. What about the indigenous people? What about the habitat of our flora and fauna?

Does anyone care for them?

Do we want to be a ‘cursed generation’ despised by the next generation for the greed, apathy and the blatant raping of our dear environment? We need to change our mindset and be more transparent and honest on the consequences of our actions or inactions. Eighty percent of the logging in Indonesia is illegal.

I wonder what the percentage is in Malaysia. Obviously there is cold hard cash to be gained from logging but what about the environmental crisis signs such as the shortage of water, erosion, landslides, serious river pollution, increased global temperatures just to name a few?

I would like to quote an excellent message by His Holiness The Dalai Lama, which should be viewed holistically by all Malaysians. It is especially dedicated to include all the politicians, heads of states, CEOs, decision-makers, parents, teachers and education syllabyi planners who significantly influence and determine the future of our environment.

"Nature’s law dictates that, in order to survive, bees must work together. As a result, they instinctively posses a sense of social responsibility. They have no constitution, no law, no police, no religion or moral training but, because of their nature, the whole colony survives.

"We human beings have a constitution, laws and a police force. We have religion, remarkable intelligence, and hearts with a great capacity to love. We have many extraordinary qualities but, in actual practice, I think we are behind those small insects. ‘In some ways, I feel we are poorer than the bees."

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