Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Interested to become an Independent Power Producer

Fancy having solar panels for the roof?

I don’t know about you. If I have a terrace house and RM30K to spare, I would be bidding for a place to become an independent power producer.

The program allows successful applicants to use the building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) energy system to convert solar energy to electricity which can then be sold to TNB (Tenaga Nasional Bhd). Imagine now, you are the boss selling electricity to TNB!

The use of solar energy reduces carbon in the environment and thus sustains our environment.

Why Bid? The full cost for the system will be more than RM60K. By bidding, you will be given discount. For short term, you won’t recover the money spent on the system. You could only able to recuperate the cost after 30 to 40 years period. Anyway, this should not be the reason why you should not install the system.

You should install these solar panels (the BIPV system) because it helps the environment. It helps sustain a cleaner earth – for a better world to live and for your children.

The second round of bidding will end on Oct 1, 2007.

For more information, please check this link

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Psychopathic Man

Today I want to share with you a heart breaking news on the smuggling of 76 Leopard tortoises (Geochelone pardalis). The tortoises were found strapped down on their shells and their heads tied back to prevent any movement in the clay pots! (The Star, 26 June 07). Two died due to stress. They were sent from Tanzania to Malaysia in two parcels. The incident took place on June 12 but was only reported today by the Wildlife Department.

The Wildlife Department also reported that the Indian Star Tortoises which were seized at the KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport) on 26 April 2007 would be sent back to India today (26 June 2007!) – ONE month free “makan”(food) and sight-seeing in Malaysia for the tortoises!!

In the report, nothing was mentioned about the recipients and the senders. This can only meant that the recipients will not be hurled up for questioning! And I can be sure these wildlife smugglings will continue to happen again as a bigger tortoise can fetch as much as RM1000 (about US$300!).

Man can be as psychopathic as in bonding up the tortoises. Imagine taping up the tortoises’ head to prevent movement! That is the psychopathic nature of man. When there are demands, there will be men who are willing to do however cruelty to animals to enrich themselves. Are men heading to doomsday? The apocalypse is just on the horizon. We are seeing disaster after disaster. We were already been forewarned. Beware when the tortoises could speak!

Indian Star Tortoise: Hi Leopard Tortoise, you just arrived huh?
Leopard Tortoise: Yes, and where are you going with all the luggage?
Indian Star Tortoise: I am going home to India. I have been staying in Malaysia for one month. Very song (enjoyable) staying in Malaysia. Got good food, stay in air-cond room and no need to cari makan (find food)! (One month in Malaysia the tortoise can even speak the local slang!)
Leopard Tortoise: Wow! So syok, like that huh, I also want to stay here for a month holiday!
Indian Star Tortoise: Why is your neck with abrasive marking?
Leopard Tortoise: Oh, that bastard tied me up. That psychopathic man even taped up my head so that I can’t move my head up. Then he put me in a small pot with my brothers and sisters.
Indian Star Tortoise: Yeah, very cruel indeed. I wish those men will be doomed for the rest of their lives.

A pet Indian Star Tortoise.

P/S: If there is no demand there will not be any smuggling. Are pet lovers the main factor in the smuggling trade? Are you an exotic pet lover? Don’t be an accessory to murder. Be forewarned!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Trash Stories

Yesterday (18 June 2007), I read in the paper of a celebration at FRIM (Forest Research Institute Malaysia) for the World Environment Day 2007.
It reads “Message lost on participants” and “Rubbish strewn everywhere

Imagine, participants of a conservation project throwing trash everywhere!!!!
Hypocrisy in us?

Case 1
I saw this lady with a black plastic bag, all tied up. She was standing near a rubbish pan with a broom. Then, the captain announced the departure of the ferry from Penang Island to Butterworth. The lady periodically looked over the deck. I was puzzled. The ferry moved further away from the pier. Then about 50 meters away from the pier, that lady flung the black plastic bag into the sea!
That was the scenario at 2.30pm on 13 June 2007. The lady was the sweeper in the ferry. There were dustbins. All the collected rubbish and cigarette butts were filled into the plastic bag….and disposed into the sea! A few years ago, I saw a man sweeper just emptied the rubbish pan into the sea. I believe all our trash placed in the dustbins would actually end up in the sea. So, the next time you are in the ferry – you may as well throw the rubbish into the sea! Right?

Case 2
It was 7 pm. We were on a ferry from Koh Lipee to Pak Bara, Thailand. I did not like the cold evening wind at the upper deck. So, I went to the lower deck at the back of the boat. The crews were busy cleaning up the deck. Then, suddenly, our rubbish (earlier we were eating fruits and had disposed our rubbish into the bins) was emptied into the middle of the sea. So, the next time you are on a boat – you may as well throw the rubbish into the sea! Right?

Case 3
Few years ago, when I landed at Koh Tarutao (Thailand), I was greeted by 4 recycle bins – one each for rubbish, bottles, tins and papers. Good, so I threw my empty plastic bottle into the recycle bin.
I lead my group into the jungle trails around the island. Then, we were surprised to find a rubbish dumpsite on the island. We saw all the bottles, tins, papers and rubbish – all at the dump. The trashes were not mixed as they were emptied from different bins. So, the next time you see all the colorful recycle bins – you may as well throw any rubbish into any bin! Right?

Why - when we are supposed to care for the environment, we do otherwise?
Why - when we have rubbish bins but we took the short cut by dumping into the sea?
Why - when we took the trouble to separate our trashes but they were simply dumped?

Do all the boats, ferries and cruises on the sea throw their trashes into the sea? Do you have an answer? Share your answer here.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Penang National Park - FOUR years later at Teluk Duyung

Penang National Park was declared in April 2003. As of June 2007, it will be more than 4 years. There were many changes - BIG development but little in upholding the concept of national park.

The other day, a friend told me that the beaches are clean, the area well kept and his double thumbs up for PNP! Eager to share his joy and to know the truth, I personally visited Teluk Duyung @ Monkey Beach @ Muka Head (they mean the same beach). These were my discoveries:-

BIG development. New office at the entrance to Penang National Park. Congratulation.

The signboard reads :

1. Enter and do activities (eg Research, camping) in the National Park with permission from the authority.
2. Take good care of flora and fauna /biodiversity /natural resources in the National Park, let them live free.
3. Pets or exotic plants will interfere and disturb natural ecosystem of the National park.
4. Ensure the cleanliness of the National Park, littered rubbish will be sore to the eye and experience.
5. Cook only at fire place, beware, fire can cause forest fire and scared the wildlife.
6. Authorised nature guide are well trained, they will enrich your experience while you are here. 7. Keep the tranquility of National Park, keep your voice down, you might encounter with interesting wildlife.
Now you know, you are starting on hike into some of the most beautiful wilderness our country has left. Only you keep it that way.

This direction sign at USM's station. Nice?

My friend was "right" - clean beach. Everything perfect. They called it "show room", "book cover", "the front" or the "face". Everything must look good from the front!
But WAIT....please continue below to see the worms!!

New toilets being erected as they please. There are more toilets over the other side.
Suddenly rubbish appeared.

No 5 of the notice above....."beware, fire can cause forest fire and scared the wildlife".

Notice No 3 reads:

Pets or exotic plants will interfere and disturb natural ecosystem of the National park.

Here you can see chicken rearing.
Coconuts harvesting too.

Nice bamboo hut built by immigrant workers! Perhaps a new tourist attraction in Penang National Park!

Where do the bamboo sourced from?

"Imported from Burma".

Nice bridge. Where do you think they get their material to build the bridge?

From here. By chopping the tree!

Note the background...rubber tapping!

Notice No 2 reads:

Take good care of flora and fauna / biodiversity / natural resources in the National Park, let them live free. (Talk only!)

Aquaculture in the park.
They talk about banning aquaculture near the entrance to PNP....about the pollution & silting from the fish in the cages. How about this one? Right inside the park!

FYI, I was shooed out by the foreigners when I took this picture. I think the foreigners have more right than me now!!!

Puppies in the park!

Notice No 3:

Pets or exotic plants will interfere and disturb natural ecosystem of the National park.

I wonder how many wildlife these puppies have killed - frogs, crabs, rodents, musang (civet cat), etc

This one infront of the rundown old Boon Siew bungalows.

On the trail back, (which nobody can miss it), I saw this eye sore - it is a cozy corner for the anglers!

Conclusion :
I would want to ask my friend again. Perhaps he is colorblind!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Langkawi Given Geopark Status

Langkawi is the first island in SE Asia to get Unesco endorsement! It was accorded the geopark status on June 1, 2007. Malaysia will be the 49th site of National Geopark in one of the 16 countries.

Left photo shows a typical mangrove attraction in Langkawi.

According to Kedah Mentri Besar, there were 3 key criteria set by Unesco which Langkawi fulfilled.
1. Large mangrove park
2. Natural resources such as beaches and islands
3. Multi-racial culture

The new status should help boost the island’s profile in conjunction with Visit Malaysia 2007 and Visit Kedah Year 2008. (The Star, 8 June 07)

Left photo shows the granite formation of some islands off Pantai Rhu.

MB also added that the state will work closely with the Tourism Ministry to promote eco-tourism in Langkawi.

One of the criteria of a Geopark is Protection and Conservation. It explores and demonstrates methods and best practise of conserving the geological heritage.

Left, you will be able to see the rocky features of the mountain during the ride on the Langkawi cable car.

By right, we should be setting up a sustainable management team to help ensures adequate protection measures, consultation with relevant department, effective conservation and provide means for physical maintenance to this natural heritage.

For now, it will be "free for all". A lot of development dollars from the Tourism Ministry could be channeled to develop the geopark.

Our Penang's Sg Jelutong tourism project was one example of "unwise money spent"....but nevermind because it did not hurt any fragile natural heritage.

Langkawi Geopark will be a different story altogether. Any unwise development will surely damage the fragile resources. Hope this won't happen. Hope those that were given the power have some senses in their decisions - for the betterment of the geopark and not for their greed.

But in Bolehland, "apa-apa pun boleh". Lets wait and see.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Is Your Neighbour Missing?

Have you seen a pangolin in your backyard some weeks ago? Your dog could be barking at it in the middle of the night. And you would have been happy to see one....but you were angry because you loose your sleep. And today your friendly neighbour is no where to be seen? Well, your pet dog will have to spend more lonely nights.

Probably, your neighbourly pangolin could be on that "Noah's Ark" heading for China.

This story really frightened me:

'Noah's Ark' of 5,000 rare animals found floating off the coast of China

I am a Chinese. Believe me, Chineses eat everything that moves!

But not me! Oh, forgot to tell you, I am not from China.

If you find that the common animals like lizards, turtles, tortoises, snakes, bears, pangolins and others missing from your compound, your estates, the forests, then chances that they could be caught and smugglered out of Bolehland!

In Bolehland, rules can be bent. Eyes can "tutup satu mata" (close one eye). "Bocor" (Leakage) can be fixed with taxpayers money. And the story continues...

Coastguard : Ok, pangolins, cicakman (lizard man), ninja turtles and you look funny(some kind of civet cat which the coastguard haven't seen)...give me your passports!!

Pangolin : Sorry, official....I..I...don't have passport.

Coastguard : What? No, passport, no entry. Go home!

Pangolin : But I was forced to come, mah! I live happily in one of the kampung (village) and I played with my neighbour dog. I missed the dog now. Can I go home?

Coastguard : No way. Who dare to own you? You look so ugly with all the scales. I guess you taste good too. Aprodisiac huh? Yum..yum.... Ok tell me how you come here!

Pangolin : I was caught one night by a man who spoke some kind of foreign language. Then I was taken to a "towkay" (business man). Then this towkay put me in a case with others like me.

Coastguard : What do you mean "others like you"?

Pangolin : Others animals that cicakman, that turtle ninja and my brother from that Kampung Babi Hutan.

Coastguard : Don't you have stringent custom regulation in your country to check on your passport?

Pangolin : Got, got, many, but just for show only lah. Remember, we are Bolehland. "Boleh" meant "Can" everything also "can".

Coastguard : Don't play-play with me! What do you meant "everything also can"?

Pangolin : You see, without passport I can also come don't you think I slipped out of my country with somebody "tutup satu mata"?

Coastguard : Oh, I see....good, then I can "makan" (eat) you tonight. Nobody can claim you are from Bolehland as you don't have passport. Hee, hee, hee....!


The coastguard had a good meal. You lost a friendly neighbour. Your neighbourhood is quieter now. You can sleep well. Some towkays were richer by a few hundred dollars. Your grand children will only able to see pangolins in books.

Is that what you want?

Everyday Should be World Environment Day

Everyday should be World Environment Day. It should not be only 5th June - today only! Agreed?

I am amused by the many campaigns, pledges and clean-ups across our Bolehland!

Here are some of the campaigns and pledges:-

This guy has pledged to cycle for the next four Sundays! Then the rest of the Sundays?
Another one has pledged to carpool when they leave for Kuala Lumpur today. I wondered wouldn't it be better if they take coach?

Then there is this father either taking his son to botanic gardens or talking about trees in their garden. I wondered why they didn't do it for the past 364 days? Why only today?

A famous actress pledged to switch off his wireless device for an entire day just to save energy!

A corporate company will plant 5 million trees...and then (surely) to be cut and uprooted by contractors in the years to come.

Send your SMS for your green pledges. Yes, this one will make the local telcos langhing all the way to the banks. No wonder every quarter, telcos posted higher income year after year. And don't you think it is a waste of energy too?

A lawyer pledged to walk to Top Hill for his trekking routine. According to him, it is not a one-off activity. That's very good!

Then we have a government body on a river clean-up campaign. They plan to use friendly bacteria to combat pollution in rivers - and on selected rivers only! And by 2020, the 189 river basins in the country will be cleaned! Its a very noble project. But can they? I doubt!

The above were some of the pledges and campaigns found in the STAR (5 Jun 2007) paper today.

Am I pessimist?

What you have read about the pledges and campaigns were only nipping at the end of the problems. What about the sources?

Why is there no pledges -
- not to throw rubbish & cigarettes' butt?
- to use only public transport?
- that industrialists will not discharge affluent into drains?
- we will not consume exotic animals?
- not to use wireless devices for the whole year and years after(why only today)?
- why are industrialists chopping more trees to build wider roads, bigger industries, huge plantations, housing estates and timbers?

Everything boiled down to ONE source! The INDUSTRIALISTS!

While we think of rectifying our environment, the industrialists have many plans. This cartoon by CW Kee, in Kee's World, The Star 5th Jun 2007.

Industrialists rule! So, no matter what we do. No matter what pledges we may have. Whatever intention we may have for the good of our environment; will not have any significant impact as long as industrialists rule.

Everything is interelated. Just take the car industries.

Politicians want to show off that Bolehland can produce her own cars. Then they started building a factory. The factory sourced motor parts from smaller industries. Smaller industries were built. They produced auto parts beside the industrial wastes. The wastes were discharged indiscrimately into the drains. The drains flow into rivers. Fishes die. Fishermen's suffered from lack of catch. They spent more on fuel to cover wider area. Meanwhile the fishes that were eaten contain cancer causing chemical. More citizens seek medical treatment. More hospital doing better business. More researches on treatment. More industries to produce treatment flourishes. More by products of industrial wastes....and the list goes on.

You see, everything is related. So if you want to halt all the ailments - nip the sources. The INDUSTRIALISTS!!!!!!!!!!

Am I hypocrite? Yes, I am!
I use a wireless device.
I use petrol motorvehicles.
I use energy.
Many more in the list.
But at least, I am reducing what I am doing EVERYDAY not only TODAY.

Writing this blog uses energy don't you think so?
They said if you can't beat them, you join them!

You know the world is heading towards catastrophe.

At least do something. If you are an industrialists, you have to decide between - your greed for more money or speedier environment catastrophe?

You decide. As for me, I have loose hope of a turnaround in our environment.

We can't.

Because there are now more mouths to feed. More people wanting to be rich (that include me, don't you too?). More people depended on industries to work. More materialistic population.

I hope more people will heed this call - live life moderately. Agree?

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Limbless Lizard

There were many new scientific discoveries in Maliau Basin, Sabah, Malaysia. During our trip from 27 April to 3 May 2007, we encountered many different species of fuana and fauna - some I haven't seen before in my life.

When I first saw this "snake", I thought it was a new species. Later, I noticed that it had abdomen resembling a lizard. A snake lack the stomach as seen in a lizard. Note the shape of its abdomen. The side markings on its' facial resemble that of a lizard.

Notice this photo shows two sections - abdomen vs the tail.

But it was very strange to me that a lizard did not have legs. It was only after I read the news about a new discovery in India. (Try searching the internet for LIMBLESS LIZARD).

Is this a new species from Malaysia? It was about the same size as the India's specimen about (7-inch) long. The lizard looks like a small snake. It was found at the rim of the mountain in mossy forest - cool retreat and soft soil. Check the India's story for the similarity - the features and some side markings too!

For more pictures of the Limbless Lizard, check this video:

For gallery of Maliau Basin, Sabah, Malaysia : Click Here