Answer Mother Nature’s challenge

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Flood relief in Kelantan, December 2014: The poor bear the brunt of devastating floods caused by the wanton destruction of watershed areas due to state-sanctioned logging, poor planning and weak control of development. - Photograph: Hasnoor Hussain/Malaysian Insider

The root of the chain of events leading to today’s predicament can be traced back to our overzealous appetite for development in the form of forest clearings and loggings, says Henry Goh.

Flood relief in Kelantan, December 2014 - Photograph: Hasnoor Hussain/Malaysian Insider
Flood relief in Kelantan, December 2014 – Photograph: Hasnoor Hussain/Malaysian Insider

As Malaysia struggles to cope and manage its worst flooding disaster since 1972, it is heartening to see the spirit of volunteerism rise amongst Malaysians against the backdrop of the affected communities who are displaying immense resilience and courage in the midst of this unfortunate adversity.

We can all carry on arguing the cause of the floods in Pahang, Kelantan, Terengganu and Perak but the fact remains that this has become an all too common occurrence that is unacceptable by any account.

The root of the chain of events leading to today’s predicament can be traced back to our overzealous appetite for development in the form of forest clearings and loggings that runs contrary to the natural balance of nature and the environment.

For far too long, our lackadaisical approach to issues of illegal farm clearings and development in Cameron Highlands, the continued logging and forest clearing in many sensitive environmental areas and a myriad of activities have inevitably led us to where we are today.

It is our hope that finally some sense of urgency in the form of conservation and enforcement of our current laws be put as the top agenda on how Malaysia will strive in the future.

For now, the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) with its members in the four most affected states have already joined forces with the local authorities and other volunteer bodies to assist those affected. Our members of the MNS Pahang Branch, for example, have set up a donation scheme for members of the public to support in which aid received will go towards supporting primary and secondary school students and their families. For more information on how to donate, please visit the MNS facebook page.

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Henry Goh is President of the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS)

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