But many Malaysians seem indifferent about the loss of our wildlife and forests, laments JD Lovrenciear.
A Sumatran Rhino died. Nobody is crying.
We are left with less than 50 tigers in the state forest of Perak. But nobody thinks this will rob them of their bread and butter.
That exactly is how indifferent Malaysians are when it comes to their care, concern and commitment for our fragile environment.
Did we not hear someone high up in power once saying we cannot be living on trees in response to activists who raised the alarm over the government’s policies that have robbed our forests and given us high economic returns?
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And did we not hear too that Malaysian forests are still intact and that deforestation allegations are not true because the green is still intact – with oil palm of course!
If indeed our forests are intact; if indeed our greening with these ‘economic wealth’ crops still constitutes a forest but only by a different name (‘plantations’), then why were we left with the last rhino, which has just died?
Why are we left with less than 50 tigers in just one state? And soon will we read that ‘Malaysia’ s last tiger dies’ too?
I wonder what other wildlife is going extinct. I wonder too how much of flora has vanished from our tiny land mass that is home to 30 million Malaysians?
How long can we remain indifferent? How long can we plod along seeking everything and anything just so that we have more bread, more butter and the unstoppable slabs and mortar to parade our ‘meteoric successes’?
At some point, it will be too late to pay any price to redeem our precious land.
The death of the last Sumatran rhino in Malaysia is a warning sign.
Yet who cares. “Life has to go on, man” seems to be the justification for the treacherous, plundering route that we have taken.