I remember when the first reality TV series, ‘Survivor’ took place in Pulau Sipadan, Borneo in the year 2000. The show was aired all over the world. We were proud of our country being displayed through television box sets in living rooms all around the world. Not long after that we also heard news on how magnificent and beautiful the island was. Praises upon praises were being mouthed on its splendor and magnificence.
Having said that, due to lack of awareness and perhaps ignorance, we took it for granted, at least I did at that time.
It would be safe to assume that Malaysians in general love nature, natural excursions and expeditions; mainly because we were raised in a nature rich environment and our activities were very closely related with nature and involved nature.
Whenever there was a need to getaway or when the hustle and bustle of the stressful city life has taken its toll; we were never short of places to visit. We possess legendary waterfalls, mesmerizing beaches, exciting mountains and activities ranging from hiking, camping, water rafting, diving, fishing, caving, trekking and many more.
Not wanting to leave out the rich flora and fauna in our country—we are also a region blessed with a rich and wonderful flora and fauna that encompasses various unique species of plants, and animals.
Needless to say, we have and will always be dependent on nature to survive. People visit places like waterfalls, mountains, forests, beaches etc to recuperate, recharge, immerse in its beauty as to gain tranquility, and to calm their minds.
Having said that, in reference to the second paragraph, today there are a few places that were once well known for its beautiful beaches, clean rivers and calming waterfalls; are in the present considered an eyesore and even harmful to human. Hence despite the irony, we now have people discouraging others from visiting these places; instead of reacting more positively or responsibly. Surely we have forgotten that we were the reason of this misfortune.
We, over the years have been visitors to these places and little by little polluted them and corrupted them by introducing trash and dirtying these beautiful places; in spite of being responsible in its rehabilitation we ignored them and have moved on to other ‘cleaner’ recreational spots. These places, today abandoned by most, reek of an unpleasant air, the beaches no longer clean, the corals diminishing and the water at the waterfalls are no longer safe to drink and in addition to that there are places infested with diseases such as malaria.
Sorry but I couldn’t help myself from drifting to another topic, today if we drive from one state to another we can observe how mountains are slowly being torn down, we could also monitor and compare how forests along the highways are being replaced by palm plantations. Ever since I was little and on every road trip, I would witness forests being cut off and mountains torn down; even till today it’s still ongoing! It then occurred to me that every single day there are trees cut down; mountains torn up while other places recreational spots are being trashed and polluted. If one were to observe one’s surrounding, he/she would’ve noticed it too, if he/she hasn’t already on the amount of corruption that is presently going on.
How can we, after being so dependent and after gaining so much from nature continue to pollute and corrupt it? And to what extent?
Furthermore it is understandable; nobody likes unclean or polluted places. Though we are still oblivious that we are the cause of this gradual calamity. We like going to untainted and beautiful places, we pleasure ourselves but in spite of being grateful we continue to corrupt and pollute these places too!
It would be helpful if people were to realize that if this continues all of these gems in our country would eventually be reduced to places unfit for visitors.
Educating oneself on the disaster of littering, knowing the consequences of littering and its effect towards Mother Nature should be a good enough reason for people to refrain from littering, yet sadly that too has failed to prevent people from littering.
One must realize on how much a person is dependent and how much humanity as a whole relies on nature. Whatever our methods maybe one would probably start caring and paying more attention when one has the passion and love for it. We hope people; especially Malaysian citizens will start to love their waterfalls, rivers, beaches, mountains and all these blessings we have been granted and heavily rely on.
Loads of gratitude and appreciations to Government bodies, ngo’s like Waterfall Survivors for trying to educate and instill the importance of Mother Nature to the public.
We are all part of nature, it should be our part to love, care and preserve our environment. Everyone should be a part of it.