Monday, December 15, 2008

Pulau Jerejak raped by PBA

Pulau Jerejak today

Pulau Jerejak was one of the Penang State Park since May 2007. Although not officially declared like Bukit Panchor State Park, it is still a state park. But look at the sorrow state now. If you use Penang Bridge, you can see this ugly hill development by PBA.....yes the same agency under Penang State Government. Although I should think that the project was by the previous Barisan Najis, I don't understand why our C-A-T government is closing both eyes. And for your information, PBA is building some kind of a reservior. Do you need one there?

Here are the reasons why a reservior is not necessary:

1. There is no villlage in Pulau Jerejak - just a resort and a shipyard. Do you need a reservior? Using public money to fund private companies?
2. Pulau Jerejak don't have high mountain/hills. Do you think there are enough water to fill the reservior?

3. There is already a reservoir in Pulau Jerejak (at the resort's hanging bridge). Why build another white elephant?

4. Water is now pumped from Penang Island to the Jerejak island and stored in a tank. Why the need to damage the island?

5. If you notice the hill cutting, it will cause mud flow and affect the island ecosystem. How can a state park has such massive hill cuttings development?

Will somebody explain what is the use of naming Pulau Jerejak a State Park? Stupid isn't it?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Elephants 'die earlier in zoos'

Elephants 'die earlier in zoos'

Zoo elephants have a very repetitive, boring lifestyle
A new study comparing wild, captive and working elephants has found that living in zoos can significantly shorten the animals' lives.

Writing in the journal Science, researchers say obesity is a major cause of death in adult zoo elephants.

They also cite stress as the key factor in the death of young captive animals when they are moved from zoo to zoo.

They say ideally zoos should not take on new elephants if they cannot provide suitable environments.

Still births

The study focused on the lives of female elephants, comparing more than 4,500 individuals. The researchers looked at wild elephants in Kenya's Ambosseli National Park, working elephants in the Burmese logging industry, and zoo elephant populations in Europe.

For African elephants, the average lifespan in captivity was only 19 years compared with 56 years in the wild.

Rates of mortality amongst zoo-born Asian elephants were two to three times higher than for those born in the logging camps.

Ros Clubb from Britain's Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) says diet and lifestyle are the key factors influencing elephant lifespan in zoos.

"The vast majority are overweight in zoos, this could explain the high still-birth rates and why they're dying early. Bigger mothers have bigger calves and more of these are still-born," she said.

Early death was also more likely to occur in captive animals born in the wild or transferred between zoos. Dr Clubb says this is probably caused by the stress of being taken away from their herd, mothers or family group.

"In the wild they live in large stable groups, separation does cause stress; we know this from studies of other species," she said.

Working elephants

Khyune Mar, now at the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences at Sheffield University, used to work for Myanma Timber Enterprise, the commercial arm of Burma's forest ministry.

The company uses elephants to haul logs from the forests. Analysis of the lives of these working Asian elephants was based on data Dr Mar collected in Burma.

She says their longer life expectancy - more than 40 years compared with less than 19 in zoo elephants - can be put down to their lifestyle; for half the time the Burmese working elephants are allowed to act naturally.

"We keep working elephants in the workforce for no more than six to eight hours a day. For the remaining hours we let them loose in the forest, they live like wild elephants, they can meet and mate with wild elephants, they have a full elephant life, good exercise and good food," she said.

Dr Mar says there are lessons from the treatment of these working elephants that could be taken on board by zoos.

"They have a very monotonous lifestyle, every day is the same for zoo elephants, they have to live in the same compound, with limited roaming, this makes them more stressed," she said.

"They need a huge home range, more systematic enrichment, bigger compounds, grooming areas, mud wallows, hills."

She says its important to allow them the freedom to behave naturally and has a straightforward message for zoos.

"If the zoo does not have space, its simple - don't take elephants."

The report's authors say transfers of elephants between zoos should be avoided, calves should be kept with their mothers for as long as possible to avoid stress-related death, and there should be regular screening for signs of obesity.

UK zoos

A separate study looking in detail at all the elephants in UK zoos has found significant health problems and evidence of widespread psychological distress.

Researchers from Bristol University studied 77 animals in 13 zoos and found that almost half of the elephants displayed abnormal behaviour.

This included repeatedly swaying the trunk, pacing backwards and forwards and retracing their steps over and over again.

"Some of the animals were born in the zoos and must have developed it there," said Chris Sherwin, from Bristol University's Department of Veterinary Science.

"It's possibly their way of coping with stress, but almost certainly indicates they're in an environment which is inappropriate for their needs. This is not behaviour you see in the wild."

The report says unless the animals' health and psychological suffering can be addressed, the ethics of keeping elephants in zoos must be questioned.

"In my opinion, given the correct housing and care it would be ethically acceptable to keep a few elephants in a few zoos, but certainly not the numbers we have in all the zoos we have now," Dr Sherwin added.

The Zoos Forum, the UK government's independent advisers on zoos, will consider the new findings and report to the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) within six months.


Saturday, December 06, 2008

Ban Hillside Development - Talk Only of Bolehland

History repeats. Very true. But how many would want to learn from history? None. Not if the Barisan Najis is still the government. We must change the present government to a responsible one - that walk the talk!

Lessons from Highland Towers lie buried in Bukit Antarabangsa rubble
6 December 2008
By Baradan Kuppusamy
Source: The Malaysian Insider

DEC 6 — One of the first actions the government took when Highland Towers collapsed in 1993, killing 48 people, was to announce a ban on hillside development.

Today the government announced another ban on hillside development following the tragedy in Bukit Antarabangsa where at least four people are dead, many injured and nearly 5,000 evacuated and a large upscale housing area declared a disaster zone.

This latest tragedy happened about a kilometre from the Highland Towers disaster that struck 15 years ago almost to the day.

In between the intervening years hillside development has been taking place and at an alarming rate despite the tragedies. Every November/December when heavy rains start, landslides happen and policymakers usually passed off the tragedies as an "act of God".

The forgotten lessons of the the Highland Towers tragedy, if complied with, would have saved many lives.

The official inquiry that followed and the drawn-out court case over the Highland Tower tragedy highlighted the failure of the local authorities to control indiscriminate hillside development.

It also fingered hillside development laws that were rudimentary at best and worst, the Federal Court held in 2006 that local councils were not liable for damage caused by landslides and collapses — virtually giving local councils total immunity against negligence suits.

The court found that the specific causes of the collapse were damage done by water that was diverted by another development project up the hill and which flowed behind the Highland Tower blocks.

The same reasons can be expected for the Jalan Damansara landslide yesterday and today's tragedy at Bukit Antarabangsa — damage done by uncontrolled, unmanaged water flow and rudimentary retaining walls unable to bear the sudden increase in load — mud, boulders, debris — that were loosen by water.

The Federal Court in the Highland Towers tragedy noted the same cause and effect, saying "an extensive area of land was denuded of trees and water flowed over this area carrying eroded soil, silt. These caused or contributed to the collapse of Block 1 of the Highland Towers."

But the lessons are not learnt and the tragedy is repeated, said lawyers involved with the Highland Towers case.

"People, policymakers, local authorities and developers did not learn the lessons," said a retired lawyer who was briefly involved in the case. "The reason is the huge profit that is to be made."

"The profit in upscale hillside development is enormous all round and everybody — officials, developers and lawyers — are willing to close an eye," he said.

"The structures look strong and they are strong but unless you manage the surrounding area of a hill and control all the development activities, damage would be done over time leading to a tragedy," the lawyer said.

"A hill is a holistic structure… you cannot develop one side and ignore the other sides. Geologically, everything is inter-connected on a hill," he said.

The shocking part of the Highland Towers tragedy is that local councils were absolved for their failures and held not liable for losses suffered by anyone should a building collapse.

Coming as it does from the Federal Court, the matter is decided unless it is reviewed by the same court. As such the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council then and now is absolved and not liable because the decision still stands.

In the Highland Towers case the council was held not liable for losses suffered by the 73 residents of Block 2 and 3 and in the deaths of the 48 when Block 1 collapsed.

The 2-1 ruling held that local authorities like MPAJ were given full immunity under Section 95 (2) of the Street, Drainage & Building Act 1974 (Act 133) from claims for the pre-collapse period.

The majority decision delivered by Justice Abdul Hamid Mohamad said that if the local councils were made liable, it would open the floodgates to further claims for economic loss, and this would deplete the council's resources meant for the provision of basic services and infrastructure.

He held that it was unfair for rate payers' funds to be used to pay negligent suits.

"In my view, the provision of basic necessities for the general public has priority over compensation for pure economic loss of some individuals, who are clearly better off than the majority of the residents in the local council area," he said.


December 6, 2008
Be prepared for more landslides, warns environmentalist

KUALA LUMPUR: The authorities should be on alert to take remedial measures as more landslides are expected during this rainy season, an environmentalist cautioned.

Centre for Environment, Technology and Development chairman Gurmit Singh told Bernama that landslides were common occurrences in Malaysia and most of them could easily be avoided if professionals, developers and civil servants were responsible enough to carry out their duties with care and diligence.

He was commenting on the massive landslide in Bukit Antarabangsa which had claimed three lives as of 3pm Saturday.

He said following the collapse of the Highlands Towers in the vicinity in 1993, which took 48 lives, the authorities had decided not to approve anymore hill slope development projects.

He said that unless all those involved in the development, including the authorities, engineers, architects, surveyors and developers, took their responsibilities seriously, such incidents would continue to occur.

Meanwhile, president of the Bukit Bandaraya Houseowners Association Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahman said the Damansara area was also prone to landslides.

The latest incident was on Thursday when the retaining wall behind the CIMB Commerce Square and the CIMB Amanah building building in Damansara collapsed following a landslide which buried 11 vehicles at the parking lot.

Abdul Aziz, a practising lawyer and former managing director of national carrier MAS, said his association had alerted the City Hall on the water seepage in the area but no immediate action was taken. - Bernama


A price paid with death
07 December 2008
Source: The Malaysian Insider

DEC 7 - Pricey plots of land for priceless views equals profits for the developers.

If that is not a good reason enough to develop hill sides, denude the land and damage the delicate balance of nature, what else could it be?

The Bukit Antarabangsa landslide is the third such incident in a week in the Klang Valley, where death and destruction is followed by a deluge and dirge of headlines and comments to prevent the future wrath of Mother Nature.

Four deaths in Bukit Antarabangsa. Two in Ulu Yam Perdana. Forty-eight in Highland Towers. That is the price paid for digging at the hillsides of the Klang Valley over the years.

We heard it 15 years ago. We heard it through the years. We hear it now. We will hear more in the future.

In the past 24 hours, many have repeated what they said over the years.

Among them, environmentalist Gurmit Singh saying landslides were common occurrences in Malaysia and most of them could easily be avoided if engineers, architects, surveyors, developers and civil servants carried out their duties with care and responsibility.

He said following the Highlands Towers collapse, which took 48 lives in 1993, authorities had decided to bar hill slope development.

Meanwhile, local government expert and lawyer Derek Fernandez predicted many more landslides in the Klang Valley.

"Overdevelopment and the inability of the infrastructure to cater for environmental changes and gross neglect in providing proper drainage systems for the area are probable causes of the landslide," he said.

Predictably, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi ordered a stop to all hillside housing projects in the Bukit Antarabangsa area.

And Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has called on developers not to lobby or pressure the Government for any building permits for hillside development.

"Clearly, the lessons of the Highland Towers tragedy 15 years ago have not been learnt by anyone, least of all the various government agencies, whether at the federal, state or local government level," said DAP strongman Lim Kit Siang, who also predictably called for a Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate the latest landslide.

Everyone will wring their hands and lament the tragedy as the victims try to rebuild their lives from the rubble and mud of Bukit Antarabangsa while the others bury their dead extricated from the premature tomb of their once-standing hillside houses.

There will be soul-searching by all and sundry. There will be investigations and recommendations.

And promises of a safer future, better laws and definitely no more hillside developments.

And once all is said and done, the excavators and tractors now clearing the tonnes of earth, mud, rubble of brick and stone will finish their job in Bukit Antarabangsa.

Only to move on to another site and dig up new plots of hillside homes for those hankering for prized views of the Kuala Lumpur metropolis.

Despite all the deaths and destruction over the years, developers are still willing to profit from those willing to pay a price for priceless views in these exlcusive homes.

For them, death is just a possible cost. Tell that to the four who lost their lives, and their families who lost loved ones.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Pulau Payar Marine Park in Bolehland

In Bolehland, marine parks are places where marine biodiversity should be protected. True. Others like the forest, the jungle, the land flora and fauna are out of the objectives and need not be protected. True?

Please read the objectives spelled out on a poster at Pulau Payar Marine Park, Langkawi, Kedah.

To conserve and protect the biological diversity of the marine community and its habitats.
To upgrade and conserve the natural habitats of the endangered aquatics species.
To establish management zones for the conservation of aquatic flora and fauna.
To establish zones of recreational use consistent with its carrying capacity.
To manage and develop capacity building in public awareness programmes.

So, only aquatic flora and fauna to be protected. Trees can be chopped. Right?

Don’t they know that trees are part of the ecosystem? (And their vision is “To be recognised as the lead agency in the management of natural resources and the marine environment at par with those of the world”. World class agency? A joke indeed. )

Trees contributed leaves, dead wood, insects and other fauna which contributed to the sustainability of the marine life. It is part of the bigger ecosystem. Let me give an example (just on the dead leaves). Dead leaves fallen into the sea will be eaten up by minute planktons. Planktons are food for fish fry. Smaller fish eaten by bigger fish. And fish are food to survival of human race. Do you know why there were bumper harvest of fish and prawns after the tsunami? That was because trees and wood (from houses) were swept into the sea. Planktons flourished. And the bountiful harvest resulted.

So, why chopped trees in Marine Park?

In the name of building a huge billboard to show to the world that we are world class? Unfortunately, trees was blocking the huge billboard. So we must axe the trees (Photo above).

Trash-burning at shoreline. Will this affect the delicate coral reefs? Call this Marine Park? (Photo above)

And so when there were not enough food for the fish, fish have to go-begging. Or is this what we called "ecotourism"? (Photo above)

Environment scientists keep saying that you should not feed wildlife in the wild. I guess this only apply to those animals in the forest and jungle. Not for fish (in Pulau Payar Marine Park). Not for eagles (like the Langkawi eagle feeding tours). This is ecotourism from a faraway country called Bolehland (aka Bodohland).

Note: Pulau Payar Marine Park is between Langkawi Geopark and Penang lsland.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Dances with Dayaks

Azly Rahman Nov 24, 08

"We did not ask you white men to come here. The Great Spirit gave us this country as a home. You had yours. We did not interfere with you. The Great Spirit gave us plenty of land to live on, and buffalo, deer, antelope and other game. But you have come here, you are taking my land from me, you are killing off our game, so it is hard for us to live. Now, you tell us to work for a living, but the Great Spirit did not make us to work, but to live by hunting. You white men can work if you want to. We do not interfere with you, and again you say why do you not become civilized? We do not want your civilization! We would live as our fathers did, and their fathers before them." - Crazy Horse of the Sioux tribe

I was just thinking that of all the trails in this life there is one that matters most. It is the trail of a true human being - Kickin Bird, (quote from the movie Dances With Wolves)

The recent happenings in Sarawak interest me; something West Malaysians must learn from. A new era is dawning – of culture and consciousness in the face of state-sponsored corporate crony capitalism. The Sarawakians are dancing to reclaim ownership of their sacred land.

Eco-feminism and ecosophical thinking of Rachel Carson, Anais Nin, and even of the "Lakei Penan" or "Penan Man" Bruno Manser is resurfacing amongst the indigenous peoples of Sarawak and hopefully Sabah too. For too long, Mother Earth has been subjugated by those who do not understand what "development" means. For too long the Sarawakians and the Sabahans have been colonised by emperors in newer clothes who go into the land of the Orang Asal and install individuals, ideologies, and institutions alien to the natives and call it "progress". In the classic play "Kisah Perjuangan Suku Naga" (The Struggle of the Naga Tribe". The Javanese poet WS Rendra called these outsiders "ogres" from Tanah Seberang.

This brings us to the bigger and global question: are we environmentally doomed? Are we at the eleventh hour of total environmental destruction? How devastating has the impact of carbon dioxide emissions been? How serious is the depletion of the ozone layer? How much of the rainforests of the world have been destroyed? How fast are the polar ice caps melting, speeding up the looming disaster of Armageddon/ Qiamat of humankind? How many more frequent, major flash floods must we endure?

The Chinese philosopher and mystic Lao Tzu once said, 'Man should not have carved the stone' meaning man should not have invented things for, '... as Man began carving the stone, the process of destruction begins'. Light bulbs, automobiles, power-plants, factories, telephone lines, bombs and computers are inventions that have historically transformed nature. Human beings 'carve the stone' and build structures of power and wealth which transform or even rape Nature in the process.

Ancient philosophies and the teachings of 'revealed religion' (of the Judeo-Christian tradition) warned against the exploitation of the physical environment so that humanity would continue to be close to Nature and closer to the realisation of the Natural Self. Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, and probably the most extreme of all Hindu sects, Jainism, teach human beings to respect living things as part of the great chain of beings.

But Western scientific ideology has taught Man to be free from not only thinking about spirits and spirituality, nature and the natural self, religion and deep reflection, but has also 'enlightened' human beings into mastering Nature and using its resources for the 'progress' of mankind. Progress, measured linearly and scientifically, is then equated with 'civilisation'.

What price progress?

Civilisation carries with it the necessity for technological progress and more inventions. But if Nature is destroyed in the process of creating 'civilisations', what does being 'civilised' mean? Would 'going back to Nature' and 'destroying civilisations' be a better way to conceive the meaning of human progress? Must human beings de-evolve, de-urbanise, de-technologise and de-construct themselves in order to save Humanity from its environmental doom?

Industrialisation is a process of transforming nature to culture by the state's appropriation of natural resources. The resources are transformed into technology and techniques and applications derived from the use of science help fuel inventions. Inventions are products/artifacts of the activities of the human mind, activities that are fueled by the need to master man's destiny and the environment. But these inventions contain 'inert capital’ in them, transforming human labour into technologies.

Technologies are then used to further transform nature into culture. Culture in this sense means the culture that comes into being as a result of human beings' economic activities. Modern governments, such as those installed in Sabah and Sarawak, are the necessary evil – they use the state apparatuses and transform the environment by collaborating with powerful multinational corporations in speeding up the use of natural resources, leaving the land barren and human beings in famine and poverty-stricken. Enlightened citizens must collectively revolt against governments that systematically destroy the environment in the name of 'civilisation' and 'progress'.

Citizens must raise the consciousness on the power of these post-modern multinational corporation in that the power these primarily Western-industrialised corporations have are used to bring destruction to the peoples of this Earth as evident in the refusal of powerful nations to ratify the Kyoto Protocol and other global treaties that are enforced to save planet Earth.

Eco-philosophical thinking

Thinking of the Penans and of the blockades against logging, I think of a world inspired by ecological security as a paradigm of a post-global Depression Obamanomics era.

"Ecosophy" or the paradigm of thinking that synthesizes "ecological security" and "natural philosophy" ought to be explored if we are to honor Mother Earth and tame Father Hell. We need to engage in a form of thinking that takes preservation of the environment as a philosophy of development.

Amongst this is to "reuse" and not "recycle". Recycling takes a lot more energy. We need to explore what paradigm of thinking to "reuse" and what to avoid "recycling".

We should not even "recycle" politicians who are corrupted or has a record of destroying the environment. We should not even reuse them.

To engage in an "ecosophical" thinking means to go back to the drawing board of everything and rethink even the way we think. It is going even beyond metacognition; beyond even understanding the way we think about how we think about the world around us.

This might be a mentally paralysing notion even for the thinkers in our government ministries but it is worth exploring. "Ecosophy" takes into consideration not only the environment but the radical ideas about the self itself.

I believe the Orang Asli of Malaysia - the "un-modernized" Temuans, Senoi, Semang, Jakun, Sakai, etc. - can explain this idea of human development better than any expert in any international development bank or in the Ministry of the Environment. I believe too that the Orang Asal of Sabah and Sarawak, the different tribes of the Dayaks, can teach the modern "civilized" man how not to plunder and rape ancestral lands. I believe these natives can teach us in Putrajaya what "ecosophical" thinking means.

"Ecosopohy", independence, and freedom are not a slogans but an existential state of mind and a condition of 'lived democracy', one in which citizens are aware of how oppressive systems that destroys the environment are cultivated. From ecosophy we might learn how to "revilligize" and relearn what "kampong-ism" means, a form of economic thinking that values pastoralism.

Philosophy of "kampong-ism"

We must embrace pastoralism or what we may call "kampongism". For too long the word "kampong" has taken a wrong semiotic turn to connote "backwardness". For too long the word "progress" has been equated with development projects coming from the top and dictated by people who make decisions in four or five star hotels far away from the lives of the natives.

For too long "development" and "national progress" has become meaningless mantra shoved into the minds of the natives, be they of the Orang Asal or the Orang Asli. What interests these "ogres from tanah seberang" is logging and plundering at the expense of the lives of the natives. The history of the Penan for example is a classic example of an ongoing saga of the displacement of the natives under the shibboleth of developmentalism.

Kampong-ism brings the human mind away from complex theories, complex systems, competitive and cutthroat economic philosophies, and combative male-female relationships. Kampong-ism is driven by the philosophy of Eastern existentialism, sound metaphysical construct, harmonious conception of kinship, a good balance of patriarchy and matriarchy, and an economic production system based on the good old farming system that is not "bio- technologically" driven. It is not a philosophy that kow-tows to the dictates of Wall Street, World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund.

Kampong-ism is not race-based, ethnicity-based, gender-based, greed-based, sexual-preference- based or ideology-based philosophy of human liberation and organisation. It has the potential of reorganising societies based on the themes Rousseau, Reason, and Revolution in Human Consciousness. More than that it can be inspired by the philosophy of ecological sustainability and closeness to Nature as embodied by the Orang Asli and Orang Asal.

If there is a revolution of spiritual consciousness emerging out of the awakening of the Dayak Spirit, we in the "modern world plagued by the disease of corporate crony capitalism" ought to rejoice. We ought to learn what the new dance of the Dayaks mean. No longer will this dance be one exploited for Malaysia's tourist and hospitality industry to showcase "shallow and meaningless Malaysian multiculturalism", but a new dance for a new era grounded in Mother Earth, inspired by the Great Spirit of Dayak Awakening.

Will this dance with the Dayaks displace despotic regimes and dying demagogues? The answer lies in the way the dancers becoming the dance.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Monkey tales at the Johor state assembly

At a meeting been a YB and a chief monkey somewhere down below.

YB Parit Yaani (YB) : Chief Monkey, why do you harass our kampungs everyday?
Chief Monkey(CM) : Because economy bad. People are not feeding us anymore. It is difficult to find food in the jungle......
YB: Why difficult to find food in the jungle?
CM: You don't know meh? Didn't you see the timber trucks plying the road? They are logging and killing our food source so where got food left...
YB: Why don't you find other forest?
CM: But why? In the first place, we were taken here from Penang many years ago....and now you want us to move again?

Note: Monkeys "exported" from Penang have been a nuisance to many states all over Malaysia. Human blamed the monkeys. And monkeys blamed human. So who exactly to be blamed? Anyway it will be interesting to see politician negotiating with monkeys. Politician can talk monkey language now......another Malaysia Boleh! Read story below:-

November 24, 2008

JOHOR BARU: The Johor state assembly went into fits of laughter Monday as Ng See Tiong (BN-Parit Yaani) spoke at length about a monkey menace in his constituency.

Ng complained that thousands of “very smart” monkeys were harassing kampung (village) folk in Seri Mengkal, Parit Ismail and Kampung Baru Mukim 7.

“Some of these monkeys even break into houses, raid fridges and steal food,” he said, sending the assembly into roars of laughter.

He said at least 200-300 monkeys would surround their “targeted” house, with the “taiko” (big brother) monkey entering the house first followed by its supporters.

“The monkeys even steal chicken eggs, biscuits, and take milk from babies,” he said, adding that the problem had gotten worse over time as initially the monkeys only stole fruits and vegetables from plantations.

Ng, who was debating the state Budget, said that hundreds of families had their livelihoods affected as monkeys were “harvesting” their plantations on their behalf by eating the fruits.

He pointed out that the Wildlife Department (Perhilitan) had tried to shoot the monkeys, but had only managed to hit one or two of them as most of the primates escaped back into the jungle.

When Ng urged Perhilitan to come up with more effective solutions to overcome the problem, Speaker Datuk Ali Hassan interrupted to ask how Ng proposed to settle the problem.

“After this, I’m going to meet with the chief monkey to have a discussion,” he quipped, sending the assembly into another round of laughter.

When contacted after the assembly, Ng admitted that among the reasons for the monkey menace was because their natural habitat had been depleted from logging.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Bamboo Gardens - Blame Barisan Najis Please!

I was astonished and felt annoyed to read that the Bamboo Garden (Bambusetum) at the Botanic Gardens was blamed on Pakatan Government. Read here. How come people are so stupid? Pointing finger without knowing who is right and who is wrong? People are still blind. Now, even after they are no more in the Penang State Government, their "kentut" are still around. People are blaming the smelly shit from LGE. Please look at the proof below:

You can see this signboard inside the Coronation Camp, now called Bamboo Garden (Picture taken on 19 Nov 08)
Closeup above: Ground breaking was on 26th July 2007 by Teng Chang Yeow.

Above: Picture taken on 19 Nov 08. A bridge over Sg Air Terjun.

Above: Picture taken on 19 Nov 08. Muddy ground.

Above: Picture taken on 19 Nov 08. Nice path.

Above: Picture taken on 19 Nov 08. And the open space.
My Question: Why nobody protest about this Bamboo Garden last year??????? Why only now? What is your motive?
Another money making project by TCY here
You can read more of the wastages by Barisan Najis if you search in this blog. There are so so many.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Perhilitan uses Internet to stop wildlife trader

I think this could be my first time that I would like to commend the Wildlife Department in my blog for a job well done. Hope more such efforts be taken to protect our natural heritage. Congratulations to Perhilitan officers from Shah Alam and keep up the good work. Please ensure that the wildlife are release into the wild...and not auction off!


Friday November 21, 2008
Perhilitan uses Internet to stop wildlife trader

PETALING JAYA: Going where it has never gone before, the Wild-life and National Park Department (Perhilitan) trawled the Internet and struck pay dirt — it found a man offering to sell protected wildlife.

On Sunday, four Perhilitan officers from Shah Alam staked out the USJ toll plaza parking lot in Puchong.

The man was waiting for the “buyer” when they closed in on him.

When officers inspected his car, they found seven Ball pythons, four Burmese pythons, one Green Tree python, one Carpet python and two Blood pythons.

On Wednesday, Kee Song Yong, 28, was fined RM9,300 by a Petaling Jaya magistrate after pleading guilty to possession of five protected species of snakes.

Perhilitan legislation and enforcement division director Dr E. Sivanathan said there were blogs where people advertise the sale of wildlife.

“We are actively looking at this avenue now to catch these violaters,” he said yesterday.

While unable to put a value on the seized snakes, he said that several were definitely rare.

Earlier this month, Perhilitan seized several wildlife species and leather bags in three operations at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport and in Perak and Johor.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Petition to amend the Protection of Wild Life Act 1972

Since Malaysia loves to use ISA. Why not use it on smugglers? Smugglers are threat to national interest. Our natural heritage being destroyed. So ISA them, what say you Botak?
28th September 2008
Malaysian Nature Society
TRAFFIC Southeast Asia
Wildlife Conservation Society

Better Law for Wildlife in Malaysia
Petition to amend the Protection of Wild Life Act 1972

Petaling Jaya, Selangor – Today, the world celebrates International Tiger Day, a celebration of the tiger in its wilderness. While we celebrate its strength, beauty and perseverance, today also presents the ideal opportunity to mark our commitment to save the Malayan tiger

Currently, tigers and other wild animals in Peninsular Malaysia are protected by the Protection of Wild Life Act 1972. This 35-year-old law is severely outdated and riddled with loopholes.

There is a serious need for the Malaysian government to remedy the loopholes and beef up the law, as many species continue to be poached and illegally traded at alarming rates. Wildlife
offenders often escape arrest, prosecution and punishment.

We understand that the government is in the process of revising this law. However, we urge the government to seek public input in this process.

Examples of amendments needed; i)That all products containing or claiming it contains parts of totally protected species to be made illegal; ii) That mandatory jail sentences and stiffer fines
are imposed for serious wildlife offences.

Help us reach the target of 100,000 signatures for our Malayan tigers. Your voice to this petition will make a difference, for tigers and other wildlife in Peninsular Malaysia.

Sign this petition at

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A letter from the Sarawak forest

Sim Kwang Yang
Nov 15, 08

The sprawling impenetrable primary rain forests in Baram in northern Sarawak is certainly not the place to lose one’s way, if one happens to be travelling through them. Nevertheless, that was what Ismail Salleh 31, and Rano Sani 26, did - losing their way in the jungle - in late October.

They were among 50 surveyors carrying out demarcation work for a multi-billion ringgit inter-state 500km gas pipeline project from Kimanis near Kota Kinabalu in Sabah to Bintulu in Sarawak. Then they went missing on October 28. The police sent out search and rescue teams but they could not be found. They were in great peril.

Fortunately for our lost travellers, some Penans hunting and gathering in the jungle of Long Seridan found them and brought them to safety in their mountain settlement. For the Penans, the wild frightening jungle of Borneo is just like their backyard. They have been at the forefront of many such search and rescue missions in the past.

This story with a happy ending was reported in the Star on November 3 under the headline Penans decline reward. The Penans are a shy people; they would indeed never dream of getting a reward for doing what they see as a natural moral duty to help one another in the jungle in times of great peril. Being shy, they would shun all forms of public attention.

My question is this: when the Penans need help in their turn, how is the rest of Malaysia going to respond to them?

Recently, two letters found their way to my desk. I published the first one in another net portal The second letter is rather long, and so I have chosen to publish it below in my English translation of the original Bahasa Malaysia version.

The letter

The Letter is addressed to the the chairperson of Suhakam with a copy to the Ministry of Health. It was dated 9 September 2008. It goes as follows:

‘Dear Sir,

Re:A Penan patient untreated

We are writing this letter to complain about one Penan woman, J from Long B, 36 years of age, who had died due to bleeding from her private part after giving birth without getting proper attention from the Dresser (Medical Assistant) C.

Ms J had delivered her baby in November 2006. She was healthy after giving birth to her baby and there was no sign of sicknesses. Suddenly in the middle of December 2007, Ms J had found that her private part started bleeding like period, but the bleeding would not stop. She went to Long L clinic on the same month and her private part was washed and checked by a nurse named JA. After medical treatment, more blood came out from her private part in two weeks’ time. Two weeks after the treatment by the nurse, she felt very weak and almost fainted on the morning on 2 January 2008.

WKK (Village Health Committee member) Mr H went to Long L Clinic at 8.30am and met Dresser C. He told Dresser C to inform the doctor to send helicopter to save Ms J’s life because her private part kept bleeding and it was getting so bad that she could not move anymore. She couldn’t take the 40 minute boat trip from Long B to Long L because she was too weak.

Dresser C said “It is not easy to get a helicopter; it will cost us a lot of money. If the sickness is not serious, people will scold me. Just take her to Long L by today. I will go down to Marudi by today at 10.15 am by MAS”.

Mr H said “Ms J cannot reach Long L, and I was hoping you Dresser C to look after Ms J and give her some medicine while she is waiting for the helicopter”.

Dresser C said “Ms J’s husband didn’t take his wife to go down to Marudi while she was pregnant, as instructed by me, and so if she dies, perhaps that was his responsibility”.

Mr H, “Ms J did not have enough energy to go down in 2006. This sickness was not her choice either”.

Dresser C said the clinic phone was not working properly. Mr H was asking Dresser C to give him permission to use the phone at Long L’s School. He went to the said school. After that Mr H came back to meet Dresser C again just to inform him that the phone at the said school was working properly and the principal has approved its use, in accordance with Dresser CJ’s instruction.

Dresser CJ said, “I have no time and am too busy trying to go down to Marudi. If the bleeding has been going on for two weeks, usually there is no escaping death.”

Mr H said, “Ms J is still alive; she’s not dead yet. You have to try your best to treat her. She is a human being just like us”.

Dresser Charles said, “Perhaps, I might get the helicopter to Long L when I reach Marudi later, while you wait for it in Long B by tomorrow morning”.

Mr H heard from the nurse telling Dresser C that she couldn’t treat the said patient properly even if they take the said patient at Long L’s clinic. Then, Dresser C left for Marudi.

Mr H went back to Long L at 12.30 pm. Ms J couldn’t sit and talk anymore, but was still able to eat.

Finally, she died at 5.30 pm on 2 January 2008. There was no helicopter coming to Long L or Long B.

We hope there will be nobody who will not take care of the Penan people. We are not lying, if we say we do not have money to go to Marudi hospital for our medical care. We accept medical care and development with an open heart.

According to Mr H’s son, Dresser C even said to him “your father is not a good guy because he led people to mind the blockade to fight with the timber company. That makes it hard to have development in Long B.

Penan people are human too and their lives are as important as others. We disagreed with the timber’s company but agreed with the development that would provide us with the facilities such as medicine, education, clinic and MAS airport. Our land is our life.

H, Committee of Health Village, Long B

J J, Eldest son of J

The letter ends there.

Truth has to be told

I have no way of verifying the facts of the case, since the Penan complainants live in the deep jungle, and I, in KL. But I have verified with the person before whom the letter was written, and to whom the letter was entrusted. This witness is a long-time close friend whose integrity is unquestioned. Penans do not lie, except for those odd ones who have been bought by the timber companies or intimidated by the government.

I have hidden the identity of the medical offender in order not to cast aspersion on him unjustly. More importantly, I have hidden the identity of the Penan complainants to protect them from vindictive punitive actions by the local Little Napoleons. In the jungle of Sarawak, nobody can hear your scream when great harm descends upon you from behind trees. Bruno Manser found that out. And so have a few Penans in the past.

The story in the letter is told in typically Sarawak native fashion, long, winding, full of details, but forever respectful. You have to use your imagination to fill in the gap, for what is important is what is not said. You may even have to dig out the map of Sarawak to appreciate the vast expensive distances over very rough terrain that has to be travelled by the Penans between the places named in the letter.

The message conveyed in this long tale in the letter is an appeal for help. They do not need logging as their form of “development”, because logging destroys their heritage and their food source like wild game and wild sago. The forest to them is like the Giant supermarket to us, except that the forest never charges them any money. On the other hand, logging only produces fabulous wealth for the handful of politico-business elites.

The Penans do need development like schools, airports, and clinics, and infrastructure to get to their hospitals in the faraway major towns in northern Sarawak. For that, helicopters are a necessity.

I wonder whether this letter has reached the Ministry of Health or Suhakam. Frankly, I do not have much faith in either of these two agencies.

So I have decided to publish this letter on Malaysiakini. There must be some place where the Penans’ feeble and plaintive voices can be heard, so that the truth can be told.

The story told in the letter is also valuable, so that Penans’ suffering is given a human face and a name. Wherever they are, whatever their skin colour, ladies all over the world can feel the excruciating pain of the type of post-natal bleeding that attacked a fellow lady by the name of J. Perhaps, J did not have to die. As the letter writer H said so eloquently, J did not choose to get sick!

If you are lost in the wild dangerous jungle, you will jump for joy if you bump into some Penan hunters, and thank them as angels sent by God to rescue you. But what if the Penans sent out a letter for your help?

SIM KWANG YANG was Bandar Kuching MP from 1982-1995. He can be reached at

Friday, November 14, 2008

Peat Land vs Oil Palm

We know peat land is a sustainable reservoir of water body, home to rich biodiversity and a place to sustain the ecosystem. But wait, there is one spin politician in Sarawak who think from the arse, who claimed that oil palm was more sustainable than peat land. And now he is wasting tax money on his stupid claim.
We know, with oil palm, there are pesticides, there are fertilisers, there are erosions and he called that sustainable. Do you need pesticides, fertilisers and drainage in peat land? Such simple reasoning! Anything natural is always sustainable. Left alone they can sustain naturally. Anything man-made is not.
Generate credible scientific data? Bullshit. Generate wealth & greed would be a better reasoning.

Sarawak sets up peat R&D lab to back palm oil lobby
Friday November 14, 2008

KUCHING: The state government has set up the tropical peat research laboratory unit to counter anti-palm oil campaigns by western non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam said the NGOs claimed that planting of oil palm on tropical peat land was unsustainable as it would lead to higher greenhouse gas emissions.

“To counter the allegations, we need to generate credible scientific data in those areas,” he added.

Towards this end, Dr Chan, who is also state Minister for Modernisation of Agriculture, said the government set up the laboratory to gather relevant scientific and technical data related to the use of tropical peat land for palm oil cultivation.

“It will evaluate the influence of tropical peat structure and decomposition on peat subsidence dynamics and determine the nutrient dynamics of tropical peat land,” he said on Wednesday.

The unit recently organised an international seminar to update the recommended practices for oil palm cultivation.

Dr Chan said Sarawak has some 1.65mil hectares of peat land, representing 13% of the state, which the government planned to open up for oil palm cultivation.

On a plan to turn Sarawak into the country’s second rice bowl, Dr Chan said the Federal Government had allocated RM80mil this year to fund seven projects.

Of the amount, he said, RM47mil would be used by the Agriculture Department to carry out land levelling.

It will also provide mechanisation services and supply fertiliser, lime and pesticides.

The balance would be used by the Drainage and Irrigation Department to maintain drainage and irrigation facilities as well as develop farm infrastructure.

He said the state hoped to become self-sufficient in rice in four years’ time.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

RM3 million worth of wildlife seized in Bolehland

In 2004 he was fined RM7,500 for smuggling wildlife.
Today he was out on bail with only RM19,000.
By next February 20 (case mention), he could probably be fined around RM20,000.
No wonder this illegal smuggling will never cease.
If you are a business man, think of this logic. If you escape the smuggling, you make RM3 mil. If caught, you only pay a minimum in fine. Pay a few officers on the take and you still make alot. Probably you can still get back the "goods" as they will be auctioned out.
So tell me how can this illegal smuggling be stopped?
NO Way....unless the authorities are serious.
Read the story below......


November 12, 2008
About 7,000 monitor lizards saved from the cooking pot

KUALA LUMPUR: More than RM3mil worth of live and dead animals were seized when the Wildlife and National Parks Department raided two locations in Johor last week.

Among the animals were more than 7,000 clouded monitor lizards, 1,000 owls, pangolins, crested serpent eagles, pythons, mousedeer, Malayan porcupine, wild pigs and bear parts.

A 49-year-old man was charged in a magistrate’s court in Tangkak on Nov 7 and is out on a RM19,000 bail.

The black market value of the wildlife seized in Muar and Segamat, is believed to be more than RM3mil.

Director-general Datuk Abd Rasid Samsudin said that this was the second time the man was detained for a similar offence.

He was fined RM7,500 in 2004 for possessing 182 pangolins and 1.3kg of pangolin scales.

“The live and dead animal parts can be distributed for consumption as exotic dishes in restaurants, “ he told a press conference on Wednesday.

He said the dishes, cooked with herbs were widely popular among diners, especially men, and were often priced at RM300 per bowl.

To meet the demand, the protected animals are highly paid for by restaurants in Vietnam, Hong Kong and China.

Mohd Rasid said eight members of the Wildlife Crime Unit seized 13 species of protected wild animals at the man’s house during the first raid which was conducted in Muar on Nov 4 at about 8am.

The dead animals were in several freezers while the live animals were found in the backyard.

The team raided another location in Segamat three days later and found 7,093 live clouded monitor lizards kept in a holding centre.

“The monitor lizards, weighing approximately 35,000kg, can fetch between RM50 and RM80 per kilo in black market trade,” he said. The case is due for mention on Feb 20 next year.

Logging 'threatens Terengganu's endangered rhinos'

Yesterday was Perak. Today is Trengganu.

A mature timber tree is worth a minimum of RM10K (US$3.3K). No wonder you find every state Government is going for the kill. It doesn't matter about wildlife, water resources or even livelihood of people living on the fringes of the forest. Chop the trees - for the $. Nevermind about extinction of rare wildlife, polluted water, animal-human conflicts....afterall, the people who approved the project could be rewarded by "commission". This is the fact - the greedy fact. A norm.

It has always been a ploy to build a highway. Then, the timber. I was right when I sensed that the road from Gua Musang to Kenyir Dam has to do with timber. And it was so true now. Development and infrastructes are all bullshit. Timbers & logging are the main objective.


Nov 12, 08 6:34pm

Terengganu government is planning to log two forest reserves which is home to the critically endangered Sumatran rhinoceros and endangered Malayan tiger.

The proposed logging was revealed in a detailed environmental impact assessment (DEIA), which was recently made available for public viewing.

The DEIA, which is done by an independent agency, is the process of examining the environmental effects of the proposed plan to log of the forests.

Source: Malaysiakini

The study revealed that the state government has proposed to log 12,630 hectares of forest adjacent to the 6,130 hectares of forest reserve currently being cleared for the construction of two hydropower dams.

“The Tembat and Petuang Forest Reserves, which also act as a water catchment area for Tasik Kenyir, are currently being logged to build the Puah and Tembat dams,” said conservation group World Wildlife Fund in a press statement today.

It said that a survey conducted as part of the DEIA has revealed evidence of the presence of the elusive Sumatran rhinoceros within the Tembat Forest Reserve.

“Both the forest reserves are also habitat for other endangered wildlife, namely the Malayan tiger and Malayan tapir which are totally protected animals under the Protection of Wildlife Act 1972.”

The environmental impact assessment also exposed a shocking fact - that logging has already begun in the forest reserves despite that no approval has been given.

“Satellite images in the DEIA indicate that clear felling of the reservoir area and adjacent hills has begun since 2005-2006.

“According to the DEIA, the site of the catchment area has already experienced changes of between 25 and 30 percent and new logging tracks have already been constructed,” said WWF-Malaysia.

“There seems to be little regard for relevant laws and the DEIA process,” lamented WWF chief executive officer Dr Dionysius Sharma.

One-third of elephants to be forced out

According to the study, the logging will also affect the elephant population in the forests, where about one-third will be forced into nearby plantations, creating more human-elephant conflict.

“This will result in loss of revenue to plantation owners and property damages. In the long run, the government will incur higher cost for human-wildlife conflict management,” said Dionysius.

The DEIA also states that the high soil erosion and sedimentation as a result of the logging will affect fish biodiversity and spawning grounds.

“The Kelah fish population found in rivers there will undeniably decrease. Kelah has high conservation and commercial values,” said the WWF chief executive.

Dionysius also added that eco-tourism activities will be affected, translating to loss of revenue to the eco-tourism operators in the area.

The WWF has called on the state government to protect the two forest reserves by classifying them as wildlife sanctuaries under the National Forestry Act 1984 and gazetting them as water catchment forests.

“Logging or clear felling should not be allowed to take place at any time,” he said.

Lojing Highlands Case

November 12, 2008
Company charged with polluting Lojing Highlands

GUA MUSANG: An agriculture company was on Wednesday charged in the Sessions Court here with causing environmental pollution at Lojing Highlands in January last year.

Syarikat Liquid Gold Sdn Bhd, represented by its project manager Ainul Izmi, pleaded not guilty and claimed trial to the charge before judge Asmadi Hussin.

According to the charge sheet, the company, which has its headquarters in Kota Baru, was involved in activities to convert a land, covering 50 hectares or more, at the highlands for other purposes without obtaining prior approval or an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report from the director-general of Environment as required under Section 34A(6) of the Environmental Quality Act 1974.

The offence was alleged to have been committed at 2.30pm on Jan 29, 2007 at Lot Pt 5326, Lot Pt 5327 and Lot Pt 5328 in Lojing here.

If found guilty, the company owner is liable to a fine not exceeding RM100,000 or imprisonment of not more than five years or both.

Hearing has been fixed for Dec 17.

The company is the first to be charged by the Department of Environment for causing environmental pollution in Lojing.

Counsel Rozita Zahari represented the company while DOE prosecuting officer Mohd Ridhwan Ramli prosecuted. - Bernama

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Concern over logging plan

Just when the dust has just settled, another appeared. This time logging in Perak. Another environment concern to people of Perak. Wake up dear Pakatan Government of Perak!
Concern over logging plan
Tuesday November 11, 2008

IPOH: The Perak Environment Asso­ciation has opposed the selection of two forest reserves which were re­­cently opened for tender for logging.

Association president Abdul Rah­man Said Alli said logging in parts of the Pondok Tanjung and Kota Siam forest reserves would have dire consequences to the ecosystem.

According to a notice put up at the state Forestry Department, the two forest reserves were among 28 sites selected for open tender for logging, he said.

“The Pondok Tanjung reserve is a 5,000ha wetland in the Larut Matang and Selama districts that serves as a natural water catchment area for overflowing water from the Bukit Merah reservoir.

“Logging activities will destroy the land there and worsen the flooding problem in Bukit Merah and some areas in the Kerian district,” Abdul Rahman told a press conference here yesterday.

The forest reserve was home to a wide range of protected animal and plant species and was also a popular research site for Universiti Sains Malaysia, he said.

The Kota Siam Forest Reserve in Manjung district would also see the destruction of wildlife habitat if logging were to be conducted there.

“The 300ha forest reserve is like an island surrounded by oil palm estates and other plantations.

“If the wild animals’ habitat is destroyed, they would be forced to intrude into human settlements, cau­sing conflict between them,” he said.

Abdul Rahman pointed out that the Kota Siam reserve was one of the smaller forests gazetted by the Forestry Department and that there were many other more suitable sites for logging.

“We are not against logging and have no problems with the other sites but Pondok Tanjung and Kota Siam should be off the list (of 28 sites for tender),” said Abdul Rahman.

He said the association would write to Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jama­luddin for appropriate action to be taken.

Efforts to get confirmation from the Forestry Department about the matter proved futile.


EIA wanted on planned logging in Pondok Tanjung
Tuesday November 11, 2008

TAIPING: An environmental impact assessment (EIA) may be sought from the Department of Environment to protect river tributaries in Pondok Tanjung near here from indiscriminate logging activities.

Larut Matang and Selama district officer Datuk Mahmod Morsidi said this was the best option to protect these rivers -- that supply water to the Bukit Merah reservoir -- from active siltation.

He said the fear of active siltation was one of the reasons why no tin mining activities in Pondok Tanjung had been permitted.

Both logging and mining excavation permits had been sought in Pondok Tanjung, he told reporters after launching the national Coastal Rehabilitation Awareness Campaign 2008 at the Kuala Sepetang Eco-education centre near here on Tuesday.

However, following objections from various technical departments, no tin mining activities have been permitted there.

Mahmod said the Perak Government had approved about 600ha of land at three different locations in Pondok Tanjung for group agriculture schemes to provide more income to the local population.

To turn such sites into agriculture plots, trees must be felled, he said.

Mahmod said a choice would have to be made between allowing the three sites to remain as jungles, and allowing logging and converting them into agriculture schemes.

“Perhaps we may disallow jungle clearing activities at the hilly terrain there but allow logging at the lowland,” he said when commenting on an objection raised by the Perak Environment Association on Monday.

The association said that logging activities in Pondok Tanjung, a 5,000ha wetland that serves as a natural water catchment area for overflowing water from the Bukit Merah reservoir, would damage the land and worsen the flooding problem in Bukit Merah and in parts of Kerian district.

Forestry Department director-general Datuk Seri Azahar Muda, who was present at launch, said it was up to the Perak Government to act on the matter as logging activities came under its purview.

Once there is a request for an EIA, the state Forestry Department must study the matter and take into consideration the views of the community, said Azahar.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Plan to revive rivers on track

I don't have the confident that Sungai Pinang can be rehabilitated to Class 2 by 2015. I quote, Class 2 is clean enough for people to swim in it. No way. No way. Houses used the river as garbage dump. Raw kitchen wastes went straight into the drains and into the river. See for yourself my previous photo essay here. I hope the DID's officer is still around to swim at Sungai Pinang. I just want to see how he's going to swim.
I can't comment on Sungai Juru as I have not done any research on it. But I would think Sungai Juru could be possible due to the present of large area covered with water hyacinth and aquatic plants which acted as filter.
No way for Sungai Pinang unless they are going to put in education and more regulations.
Monday November 10, 2008

PENANG is confident of rehabilitating its former dead rivers — Sungai Pinang and Sungai Juru — from Class 5 to Class 2 by 2015.

Class 5 has been classified as the most polluted with no marine life while Class 2 is clean enough for people to swim in it.

State Drainage and Irrigation Department director (DID) Hanapi Mohamad Noor said both rivers had been under rehabilitation for the last 10 years. They were under Class 5 and are now at Class Three, a stage allowing fish to survive in the rivers.

“Apart from increasing enforcement against polluters as well as public awareness, the department spends about RM100,000 annually to clean up each river,” he said at an environment awareness programme opening at the Sungai Juru water catchment area in Butterworth recently.

Hanapi said the department was presently preparing a master plan to rehabilitate Sungai Juru at the cost of RM300mil.

He said, although Sungai Pinang’s RM450mil rehabilitation master plan was ready this year, it could not be implemented due to problems in relocating some 200 squatter houses in the area.

“We hope the state government will help settle the squatter problems soon so that we can go ahead with the Sungai Pinang rehabilitation master plan under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

“The Sungai Juru master plan affects a smaller number of squatters and we hope to carry it out under the 10th Malaysia Plan,” he said.

He noted the Class 2 status for both rivers could be achieved by 2015, if all recommendations in both master plans, which included the provision of recreational facilities near the riverside, could be fulfilled.

Hanapi also said the department would spend about RM1mil in the next two years to add 100 log booms to trap rubbish in major monsoon drains leading to Sungai Pinang, Sungai Juru and Sungai Prai.

Presently, he said, there were 150 log booms placed at major river mouths throughout the state.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Semi-nomadic tribe goes back into jungle after delivering lost surveyors

"...they should be given a banquet"?
C'mon, are they so cheap? Give them their basic need. The need to survive in the jungle. Give them the freedom to roam the jungle. Stop logging. Stop logging.
These are what they want!
Read the rest of the story below....
Monday November 3, 2008

MIRI: The group of Penans who rescued two surveyors lost in the deep jungles of Long Seridan in remote northern Sarawak have declined any reward for their heroic deed.

The Sarawak police are impressed by not just the bravery and kindness of the semi-nomadic Penans but also their humility.

So too is Ba’Kelalan state assemblyman Nelson Balang Rining, who stressed that the Penans had been at the forefront of many search and rescue missions in the jungles and mountains of Sarawak but had never asked for any reward or publicity.

Surveyors Ismail Salleh, 31, and Rano Sani, 26, went missing on Oct 28 while carrying out demarcation work for a multi-billion ringgit inter-state gas pipeline project between Sabah and Sarawak.

The two men were in a group of 50 surveyors that is handling the task of drawing up a land route to lay the 500km-long gas pipeline from Kimanis near Kota Kinabalu to Bintulu town, the gas capital of Sarawak.

The duo were found in a mountain village on Saturday afternoon following an aerial and ground search mission launched by the police.

They were rescued by a group of Penans, who were out hunting and gathering jungle produce, and escorted to the village.

Baram district police chief Deputy Supt Jonathan Jalin said he had spoken to the group of surveyors via satellite phone from Long Seridan yesterday.

“They are weak, but otherwise unhurt. They confirmed that it was the Penans who saved them, not any of our search parties.

“The group of Penans led them out from the jungle to a settlement after giving them food and water.

“My conversation with them was brief because of connection problems, but the surveyors said the Penans left them in the hands of the villagers and promptly went off into the jungle again.

“We (police) are trying to find out who these Penans are, and which settlement they are from. We must give them due credit,” he said.

Asked if the duo would be brought out for medical treatment, DSP Jalin said that they were still recuperating in the camp and did not seem to be in need of urgent medical help.

Long Seridan is located between Long Lellang and the Bario highlands. It is eight hours by land from here via Long Lama village.

Balang, whose constituency also covers Long Lellang, Bario and the area north of Long Seridan, said the Penans who rescued the duo should be given public recognition.

“It is the Penans’ nature to be helpful and yet shun publicity. They know the jungle like their backyard. They are capable of walking from Long Lellang to Bario non-stop,” he said.

Balang called on the police and the survey firm to try to trace the Penans who saved Ismail and Rano, saying that at the very least, they should be given a banquet.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sudden removal of herb garden heartless, says resident

Sudden removal of herb garden heartless, says resident
Friday, 24 October 2008

We received this email from Rafiz Mohyi Hapipi which he wrote to the Ang Mo Kio-Yio Chu Kang Town Council.
I am writing to express my deepest regret and unhappiness over the sudden destruction of the herb garden surrounding block 819 Yishun Street 81.

I have been a resident of this block and neighbourhod for the past 7 years. This was a peaceful and happy neighbourhood with a good mix of multi-cutural elderly, young adults and children. My two school-going children enjoy the company of Chinese and Indian friends as well as the care and concern of the eldery in the neighbourhood.

Since the day I moved into this neighbourhood, I have seen the elderly here tending to the herb garden that they have worked on for over twenty years. Others who retire later joined in and the herb garden became a regular routine activity that kept the elderly here active and cheerful. At the same time, while they were working on the garden or having their short rests in between, the elderly here lend their watchful eyes over the children. My own children grew up with their friendly smiles and hugs. They learnt the value of multiculturalism through experience away from force-fed curriculum of National Education taught in schools. My own parents who are themselves retirees, although not staying with me, frequented my place and enjoyed the company of people their age here.

The last few days have been traumatic for the elderly here. With much grieve they saw the herb garden that they have put their sweat and soul in for many years being destroyed heartlessly. I saw tears and heard voices of despair as some of the elderly tried to salvage whatever is left from the plants into pots. Some had given up. An elderly Chinese neighbour at the second floor shared with me, “Sudah Dua Puluh Satu Tahun saya jaga ini pokok. Ini bukan pokok bunga tapi semua ini pokok Ubat yang banyak gunanya. Siapa lagi yang tahu? Kita (orang tua) saja yang tahu. Saya sedih. Macam saya nak cakap suruh buang saja semua jadi saya tak nampak. Apa boleh buat? Diorang boleh buat apa diorang suka. Dua puluh satu tahun diorang takda peduli tapi sekarang semua buang.”

“It has been 21 years since I cared for these plants. These are not flowers but all these are herbs that have many uses. Who else would know (about the herbs)? Only us (the aged) would know. I’m sad. I feel like telling them to dispose of everything so that I can’t see (anything left behind - note: some small plant in pots were left behind). What can I do? They can do what they want. For 21 years nobody cared about this area and now every they dispose.”)

I personally share my tears and grieve with them. I find the whole episode appalling. It is an outright contradiction to the messages of Active Aging that have been sloganised over and over.

My own daughter who is only a kindergarten student was upset when she saw the workers grabbed and dumped the plants aside. I personally feel that the actions in this episode is a reflection of heartless and cold-hearted mechanical policies.

Twenty years of effort have been destroyed. The pride of the aged here has been badly hurt. This episode will definitely be part of my memory and the memory of my children as well as the children in this neighbourhood.
Please relay my message to the Town Council Advisor.

Thank You.

In Utmost Unhappiness,
Rafiz Mohyi Hapipi

Friday, October 24, 2008

Hill-cutting blamed for flash floods

Population is the root cause. Hill-cutting is to support the increasing population. Very interesting idea in the news below by former PBA engineer Kam U-Tee.
BTW, who shall we blame? Man for hill-cutting or God for population explosion?What is your comment?
Friday October 24, 2008

GEORGE TOWN: Hill-cutting and development of valleys on the island are the main cause of the recent flash floods in Ayer Itam and its surrounding areas.

Water resources expert Datuk Kam U-Tee said the floods were caused by conversion of the Paya Terubong and Bayan Baru valleys into “concrete aprons that do not retain water.”

“The water immediately flows into the streams causing flash floods even with moderate rainfall.

“Because of hill-cutting activities, the flowing water causes erosion of the slopes which carries mud and silt into the river beds,” said Kam, who was Penang Water Authority general manager for 17 years until he retired in 1990.

Dredging the river is not a permanent solution, he said, adding that the floods could not have been caused by water released from the nearby Air Itam Dam.

“In some countries, developers are required to include retention ponds and underground water tanks to allow release of water more evenly.

“Developers encroaching onto river flood plains, which are natural flood retention features, cause a faster flow but with reduced cross sections,” he said.

Last week, Sungai Air Itam overflowed its banks causing floods in surrounding areas including Air Putih, Hye Keat Estate and Taman Lumba Kuda.

It was described as among the worst floods in 20 years.

Kam said many did not realise that the dam comprised of less than one quarter of the total Sungai Air Itam catchment area.

Penang plans to introduce several flood-mitigation methods including retention ponds, bunds and higher dam walls.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Truth About Palm Oil

Have you watch the video above? Do you see any misleading information?

According to FOE (Friends of the Earth Europe), quote: Especially the final sentence "sustainably produced since 1917" is clearly misleading - the consumer is likely to take from the term that palm oil is produced without harming the environment in any way. The footage in the advertisement, by hinting that palm oil production does not harm trees or contribute to deforestation, also leads the consumer to use this definition of "sustainably produced".

Roadkills are common in areas near Oil Palm plantation

I have been travelling around Malaysia and these were the observation from the domino effect of the final objective - Oil Palm plantation.

First the highways. In the name of development of infrastructures for the rural areas. Government built them. Then secretly, timber was extracted. Then they planted rubber trees. And just as the price of palm oil escalated, they oil palmed them.

So you see, the council is actually "correct". They are replanting on "sustainable" land (from prevously rubber plantation). However, they didn't tell us that the land was previously rainforested!

Sparcely cultivated oil palm trees could not really sustain wifelife. Perhaps they can sustain the frogs, birds, butterflies and the ants (like whats being depicted in the video). Did the video show any larger animals? Larger wildlife will be of conflict with humans. Elephants destroying plantation. Tigers attacking plantation workers. Tapirs being hit by cars....or what we called "Roadkills".

Roadkills are happening everyday in areas where forests were being cut and in areas where oil palm trees were being planted. Nothing is spare - snakes, animals, reptiles, big and small are all victim of roadkills.

Is Oil Palm plantation sustainable? A gift from nature, a gift for live?

It should be "A gift to dead wildlife and lost of diversity".

Monday, October 06, 2008

Invasion of the predator fish

This blog has been championing the right of wildlife. Wildlife is best left in the wild. But when homospiens play GOD, the biodiversity is turned upside down. This is happening all over the world. Unless it affected us economically, nobody will think a hoot about this issue. Now it is affecting Malaysia. And now some people are waking up to this new menace - the predator fish! Our biodiversity of marine life could be heading for extinction! Welcome to Bolehland!
-------------------read story below-------------------
NST Online
By : Jennifer Gomez and Brenda Lim

An angling enthusiast with a peacock bass. The peacock bass and zebra cichlid (below) are causing havoc with riverine biodiversity in Perak and the Klang Valley. Photo courtesy of NST

KUALA LUMPUR: Local fish in ponds and rivers in Perak and the Klang Valley are in danger of being wiped out due to two highly aggressive predator fishes which are wreaking havoc in the waterways.

Environmentalists have raised the alarm that if the biological invasion by the carnivorous peacock bass and the zebra cichlid (both from the cichlid family) is not checked, it will cause havoc on biodiversity and the livelihood of riverine fishermen.

Where these two predator fish are found, they have moved to the top of the fish chain, even attacking the original "king" of Malaysian predator fish, the toman.

And that is why local fishermen are hauling in fewer toman, haruan, sebarau and udang galah.

These predator fish attack in groups and their prey are known to beach themselves in futile attempts to escape being eaten.

DHI Water and Environment Sdn Bhd environmental consultant Mohd Zambri Mohd Akhir is particularly concerned about the threat posed by the peacock bass.

"Now you can find these fish in Chenderoh, the most downstream dam in Perak. If it enters the other river systems in Malaysia that has unique local species, it is going to cause irreversible damage," warned Zambri.

He said the peacock bass was already robbing riverine fishermen of their livelihood as the problem had been around for nearly a decade.

"Fishermen in Batu Gajah and Tanjung Tualang are already facing this problem as their income has been steadily suffering over the years.

"The supply of udang galah is also greatly reduced, depriving fishermen of a decent income."

The peacock bass is from the Amazon in South America and can grow up to five kilogrammes. It breeds fast and protects its eggs and fry, giving it a high survival rate.

The zebra cichlid from Africa, however, only grows up to palm size, but is known for its notorious feeding habits.

Fisherman Ishanorzaman Jaimit from Kampung Gajah confirmed that there were many peacock bass in the mining ponds and rivers in Perak, but said that they only ate the small fish.

There is also increasing demand for the peacock bass. Fishermen get RM5 per kg for it, while the middlemen sell it for RM6.50 per kg.

The peacock bass is not usually available in restaurants but it is known to make it to the dinner tables of fishermen and anglers who catch it.

Vincent Chin, owner of the Malaysian Fishing Net website, however, insists that the peacock bass is a real threat.

"It was brought into the country as an aquarium fish more than 10 years ago. It is a real nuisance because it feeds on local fish. They are vicious and attack like a pack of wolves," he said.

Another riverine fisherman, Muhammad Isa, said the zebra cichlid, nicknamed ikan belang for its distinctive stripes, was a bigger threat.

"The zebra cichlid is a bigger threat to the local species than the peacock bass," he said.

"In rivers and ponds in my area, the peacock bass is noted for eating only the perimpin (freshwater version of the ikan bilis).

"The zebra cichlid, however, eats most fry. Even if we haul in these zebra cichlids, we do not eat them."


PREDATOR FISH: 'It got into rivers by accident'
NST Online

KUALA LUMPUR: How did the peacock bass get into our waters?

Nik Mohd Rahimi, who manages Fly Fishing and Lure Casting Centre in Taman Pertanian Bukit Cahaya in Shah Alam, said that it got into the Perak waterways by accident.

"Some breeders were keeping it in a pond, and one rainy season, the pond overflowed, and that's how it got into the river system."

Nik Mohd said there was once a demand for the peacock bass as an aquarium fish, but owners soon found them troublesome to be kept as pets.

"It would eat the whole time, resulting in a lot of waste. After some time, the owners got fed up of having to clean the aquarium all the time and just dumped them into the waterways, increasing their numbers in the rivers."

He said although the fish has yet to make its way to Malaysian dinner tables in a big way, anglers and diners in Batu Gajah were creating a demand for it.

"You can get it in Batu Gajah for RM5 to RM7 per kg," he said.

Nik Mohd said he did not like the taste of the fish when he first ate it in 2001 but had since developed an immense liking for it.

"About 10 years ago, when we first caught it, it was a few hours later before we took it to a restaurant to get it cooked.

"It was horrible because the flesh turns pinkish if you don't cook it immediately. However, the kids just loved it deep-fried and with soy sauce on it."

He said the bigger ones were best eaten steamed, but advised not to eat the skin as it had a very strong smell.

"The flesh is juicy and tender, like the cod fish. The bones and head are usually used as stock for Chinese herbal soups," Nik Mohd said..

In South America, it is a delicacy, where the fish is grilled with salt wrapped in banana leaf.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Perhilitan Confiscates Animals And Leather Bags

Does anyone know where do the confiscated wildlife final destination?
I have a dream that the wildlife will be sold back to the poacher.
Raids were always acted on ACTING ON TIP-OFF.
Imagine the wildlife species were found IN the WILDLIFE park. This is the place where Wildlife officers have easy access.
I have a dream that the custodians couldn't care about wildlife species.
And I have a dream they just pocketed...... (its only my dream ok).
Well, as a concerned public, you should do you part to provide more TIP-OFF on any illegal wildlife activities....SMS this number 019-3564194 and demand to know where the final destination of seized wildlife.
October 03, 2008

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 3 (Bernama) -- The Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) seized several wildlife species and leather bags in three operations on Monday and yesterday.

The department's law and enforcement divison chief, Dr E. Sivanathan said, the first raid was on a wildlife park in Perak on Monday.

Acting on a tip-off, seven members from the wildlife crime unit rushed to the park and seized an eagle-owl, five owls, a python and three cobras which were placed in several cages, he said.

"The park has no licence to breed or display the animals, which are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972," he told reporters at the Perhilitan office, here today.

In the second operation held on the same day, the Perhilitan enforcement unit at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) prevented an imported consignment from entering the country.

"We seized nine bags made from Yak leather from France. Yaks are an endangered species," he said.

He said further investigations would be conducted to identify those involved.

Meanwhile, Perhilitan had also confiscated a sack filled with 24 pythons from a man in an oil palm plantation around Tangkak in Johor, yesterday.

"The pythons are believed to be for sale in the black market," he said.

The suspect, however, managed to escape, he added.

Members of the public with information on crimes related to protected animals could contact Perhilitan or send a text message to 019-3564194.


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Scrap Sandakan coal power plant plan

Sep 30, 08

Following a state-sponsored study tour to coal-fired power plants (CPP) in Kuching, Johor Baru, Perak and Selangor, a Sabah-based Anti-CPP action committee has returned even more fired-up in its objections against the proposed CPP project in Sandakan.

The four-day trip, in which 43 representatives from the Anti-CPP action committee and several other business, government and political bodies took part, was reportedly supported by the Sabah government in order to provide a clearer picture of the pros and cons of CPPs.

Action committee chairperson Stephen Wong, however, said the Sep 8-12 junket had only bolstered their resolve to reject the proposed 300MW CPP for Sandakan.

“After our visit to various coal power plants namely Sejingkat in Kuching Sarawak, Tanjung Bin in Johor Baru, Manjung in Perak, and Kapar in Selangor, we have doubts on the justification and reasoning to build a coal power plant in Sandakan,” he said in a statement today.

The reasons

Wong, who is also secretary-general of the Sandakan Chinese Chamber of Commerce (SCCC), said the reasons the CPP project - which had originally been planned for Lahad Datu but was scrapped for public health and welfare and environmental reasons - should be rejected include:

- Coal is the dirtiest of all fossil fuels and coal dust will litter Sandakan and settle far and wide in the town and residential areas surrounding it;

- Large amount of heat will be released into the atmosphere when coal is burnt, therefore spelling the possibility of climate change for Sandakan in the form of hotter days in dry seasons and more rain in the wet seasons. This will have tremendous effect on our crop and forest habitats;

- Non-combustible substances produced when burning coal such as fly ash and bottom ash contain arsenic, will cause cancer in one out of 100 people who drink water containing just 50 parts of such ash per billion parts of water. The waste also contains lead, cadmium and other heavy metals, and trace amounts of uranium;

- When burnt, the resulting haze from the burnt coal’s production of fly ash can cause chronic bronchitis, aggravated asthma, lung cancer, heart attacks and premature death;

- Bituminous coal, in particular, contains mercury and, when burnt will be released into the atmosphere and contaminate fish and plants. Just 1/70th of a teaspoon deposited on a 25-acre lake is said to render the fish therein unsafe to eat;

- The burning of coal produces carbon dioxide (CO2), the primary cause of global warming and climate change. The proposed site is slated to produce 2,700,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, the equivalent of cutting down 121 million trees;

- Incomplete burning of coal will produce 720 tons of carbon monoxide (CO), which causes headaches and place additional stress on people with heart disease;

- The burning of coal will also release 10,000 tonnes of sulfur dioxide (SO2) per year, which causes acid rain and damages forests, lakes and buildings. Small airborne SO2 particles can penetrate into lungs;

- Even if SO2 is removed using the 'seawater desulfurization system', it will most probably be dumped into the sea. Both the marine life and fishermen of Sandakan Bay cannot afford to have toxic waste being poured into their waters;

- About 10,000 tonnes of nitrogen oxide (Nox) a year will also be produced by the burning of coal, which is the equivalent of that emitted by half-a-million late-model cars. NOx causes smog, leads to the incidence of lung inflamation, the burning of lung tissue and makes people more susceptible to respiratory illness;

- The large volumes of seawater used as coolant will be released into the shore environments, thereby increasing their temperatures;

- The injection of chlorine and dispersants into the intake seawater to prevent the growth of fouling organisms on the surface of the cooling systems will result in chlorination by-products which might potentially inhibit microbes that play ecologically important roles in coastal ecosystems.

State gov't's call

Reminding Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman that he had on April 2 said the Lahad Datu CPP proposal was scrapped so as not to "risk the welfare and health of the communities in the area as well as any adverse impact on the environment," Wong said it is for these same reasons that the proposed CPP for Sandakan be junked.

"Sandakan does not need the coal power plant as other means of electricity supply are available, such as gas, hydro, bio-mass, wind and solar (power).

"The present and future electricity grid system can be available to deliver electricity to Sandakan. Please keep Sandakan free from environmental pollution by adopting a green energy (policy)," he said.

The Sabah Department of Environment (DOE) was earlier reported to have said it would be the state government that would decide on the fate of the Sandakan CPP project.

Even if an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) approval was obtained, the project may not be implemented, said DOE's principal assistant director Sharifah Zakiah Syed Sahab earlier this month.