In New Zealand, the Maori people believe and live by the philosophy that if you heal the land, the people will heal.
In Malaysia’s maddening rage to plunder its pristine mountains, hills, lakes, rivers and valleys, we have left behind untold scares that will take thousands of years to heal or perhaps never.
We have repeatedly shown our gross disregard for the blessings of nature – all in the name of making money.
The politically correct terminology for this is “development” and “progress”.
The latest expose of the quest to mine for minerals in the Tasik Chini vicinity adds to the long list.
From the rape of our ancient virgin forests to the elimination of caves – you name it and we have desecrated the environment throughout Malaysia.
The arguments postulated will always be the same. It is all for economic development, they will say. But we all can guess who the real and ultimate beneficiaries are.
They will even promise that the ecology will be returned unharmed. And we have to believe it, mind you; otherwise, we would be deemed anti-development or anti-establishment or even biadab (uncouth).
Anyway, it may not be fashionable to follow the Maoris. After all, for many of us in Malaysia, the economy (read, making money) comes first.
If we can even take the ancestral lands of our own indigenous people and deny them their rights, why should we believe in the philosophy of ‘heal the land and the land will heal the people’?
There will come a time when future generations will weep over the irreparable damage caused by their predecessors.
But do we really care?