Friday, January 30, 2009

Pagar Makan Padi

It simply means "Fence Eating Paddy". A Malay proverb to depict that someone who was entrusted to protect but instead destroy what they are suppose to protect.

Long long time ago, there was a forest reserve in Penang, being declared a protected national park. Much development have taken place since. I would say, that most of the development were to cater for influx of mass tourism.

Here are some facts that are changing that park.

1. Sometime last year the park was closed after dark. This enable illegal foreigners to sneak into Penang from the west coast of the island. God knows what damages these foreigners will do to the flora and fauna.

2. Huge Tongkat Ali trees along the trail to Pantai Kerachut have mysteriously disappear. It is difficult to see large crab in the meromictic lake at Pantai Kerachut anymore. What else is missing could not be ascertained. How do they take out these trees and crabs when guards were stationed at the entrance? Pagar makan padi?

3. Foreign workers working on development projects are affecting the fauna and flora of the park. They were seen putting up mist net to catch birds and bats.

4. People who manned the park are not protecting the park as per se but merely "working for a salary". Many of the staff and rangers are from other part of the country, they are not locals. Incompentency.
I just hope that I can turn back the clock and put the park into its original status - just Pantai Acheh Forest Reserve, where the local forestry people could do a better job. Being a park really speed up its demise. Sad.

Just read this news from Bernama about the latest incident in Penang National Park.

January 29, 2009
Forest Fire Near Penang National Park

TELUK BAHANG, Jan 29 (Bernama) -- Fire, believed to have been caused by the current hot spell, spread across eight hectares of forest near the Penang National Park today.Thick smoke billowed as the raging flames which broke out about 11am, licked the forest.Twenty-six firemen in two engines from the Bagan Jermal and Teluk Bahang fire and rescue departments put out the blaze b y 6pm.Teluk Bahang fire and rescue department chief Ishak Abu Bakar said that earlier, the firemen were hampered in their efforts to put out the blaze due to lack of water supply.As a result, he said, the firemen resorted to using fire swatters to bring the fire under control in the hilly area.Ishak did not dismiss the possibility that the fire was caused by the current hot spell.-- BERNAMA

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