April 25, 2009



The recent crackdowns on various bloggers, including RPK, the police report against commentators in Malaysia Today, the arrests of people holding anti-ISA vigils and numerous similar cases show how desperate the BN/UMNO regime is in their bid to stifle the freedom of expression.

In addition to making a mockery of the claim by the bn/umno regime that "Malaysia is a democracy", the crackdown shows that the BN/UMNO government's promise to "not censor the internet" was merely empty words, merely "saying the right thing" to attract foreign ICT
companies to invest in the multimedia super corridor (MSC).

The BN/UMNO government has exhausted its credibility, whatever it does, whatever reforms it may implement, is "too little too late".

The BN/UMNO crackdowns on freedom of expression only serve to demonstrate how important it is to completely oust BN/UMNO from the government.

The harder BN/UMNO pushes the rakyat, the harder the rakyat will push back.

Maybe we should all wear Tshirts with the inscription "Push Harder".


written by M. H. who blogs at Candlenut

All MP's, ADUN, Councillors who are representatives of the people should be made to take an oath where they promise never by their actions to harm the people they represent.

Some such people’s representatives have willingly lent their complete support to further environmental degradation in Selangor. This issue is clearly one created by a few interested parties to promote their commercial interests. It is especially troubling that they who are representatives of the living care more about profiting (or profiteering) from the lucrative business of death by deforestation & the conversion of the 56 ha forest to a 'fabulous' cemetery for all races.

If such a resource as this lowland dipterocarp forest which has been a working, living laboratory of natural resources for University Putra Malaysia and visiting researchers from all over the world can be so easily dismissed as being good only for a graveyard, then it an indictment of their lack of environmental awareness, their disregard for quality of life of their constituents and their own integrity. It also speaks volumes of the values of the civil servants involved in making those decisions.

The Ayer Hitam Forest is designated under the Sustainable Development Plan 2020 for Selangor as a "Sanctuary for Wildlife" and there is even a signboard designating it as “Hutan Simpanan Kekal”. A sanctuary is a sacred space, and in this case not one that can be replicated. More deforestation has taken place in Selangor and in the 2 Federal Territories associated with it namely KL& Putrajaya than anywhere else in Peninsular Malaysia.

When lungs (green or otherwise) are diseased and damaged, it compromises our ability to breathe. Is this then an insidious method of "taking our breath away"? The citizen's basic right to fresh air. There are to the best of my knowledge only 2 areas of semi dense lowland dipterocarp forest remaining in Selangor. This is one of them. Forests are nature’s air conditioners, regulating surrounding temperatures for comfort. Forests are nature’s repository of DNA (think food, fibre, furniture, medicines, oils, wildlife etc). They are nature’s reduction agent /absorbent of typhoons & storms. Forests are nature’s reservoirs and conservators and regenerators of water, soil and yet to be understood systems of energy and energy transformation.

By their actions, the former Selangor State Government have clearly assigned themselves to causing individual and collective harm to 2000 families (roughly 8,000 law abiding, tax paying citizens) whose wellbeing they are morally and legally bound to protect.

The then Puchong MP said that 'an amicable solution' could be found. This was a surprising turn around for the same man who on (Chinese Newspaper item & photo) gave his voice and support along with several other MCA colleagues to the 'project'. (This is the man whose name I have selectively forgotten- before our present hero YB Gobind Singh Deo)

If indeed it was their intention to 'do the best' for the people they represent, the residents as stakeholders ought to have been widely consulted. In the event, 2 households located closest to the perimeter fence were notified in writing.

25/2/06 the MP made a comment that only 2 households replied to a ‘letter’ they had sent to which a reply was required within one week. Why a letter, when you know full well they will be ignored. Why not face to face consultations?

"Work could start anytime", this is a statement that was quoted by one of the committee members as coming from a councillor. It could be true or it could be interpreted as a form of intimidation or a hint that once the "work" of clearing the forest begins it will effectively be fait accompli.

The MP said this project was planned in 2001. Whenever it was planned, it still does not make it right. The MP mentioned the possibility that the then MB (Khir Toyo, who else?) was "wrongly briefed".

How would the residents respond the MP said if the MB asked "Why are you so selfish?" Simple, if we really were selfish, we would try and sell up and leave even at a loss. On the contrary we are civic minded, law abiding, tax paying, loyal citizens and supportive members of a united community. If the well being of our families is likely to be harmed, if our community of 20,000 could be so disregarded by the very people who are responsible for our well being, and we respond, that is citizen participation in ensuring good governance, transparency &accountability.

In at least one other similar situation in the vicinity of KL, an urban island forest was deforested to extend an existing graveyard right up to the door step of a housing development. Residents protests fell on deaf ears, their properties dived in value. It was suggested that the Residents Association seek the assistance of Michael Chong of MCA. He in turn arranged for the residents to meet Tengku Adnan Mansor – then Minister in charge of Federal Territories, in the PM’s Dept. At the meeting, the residents were informed in a rude and cursory manner that the 'project would go on'.

At the meeting, the residents had presented them with a dossier on the economic, social and political impacts of the proposed graveyard as well as the problems they already encountered as a result of the deforestation of their green lung. They posed for a photograph of the handing over of the dossier at the request of MCA’s Michael Chong. The next day, the Malay Mail featured a report of the meeting between the residents association, Tengku Adnan Mansor and Michael Chong with a photograph & caption that the residents now were in complete approval of the graveyard project!

Apart from that S'gor already suffers from a shortage of water so much so water has to be diverted here from Pahang. Why from Pahang? Pahang still has large areas of forest which replenish and recharge our rivers, but for how much longer, is the question. Selangor on the other hand has deforested in favour of development. At the cost of the well being which the forests have provided for eons. Development has compromised the quality of the people’s food, water and air. The motives of those who take the lead in this kind of compromise ought to be tested by denying them these very essentials!

To understand more about this issue, please read this paper at THIS LINK. Thanks.

Thanks M.H. for sharing your article with us.