3 May 2008

Just thinking...

The weather these past few days has been unbelievably hot. I know - we're in Malaysia so what else is new, right? But its been unusually warm these last few days, and humid too. So much so I really wish we have air conditioning in Melati. So is that global warming or what! And talking of global warming, I don't think Malaysians in general care or are worried about it. People talk of food shortages everywhere in the world, increase in petrol prices and even increase in the prices of all food items - but here in Malaysia, in spite of the increase, people are still quite complacent about it. It's as if the food shortage does not touch us at all. The food crisis is really bad. Phillippines, India and Indonesia Egypt have it pretty bad but I know that many other countries are also suffering. Maybe we are being cushioned by our government - all those subsidies - so that's why many people are unaware or not really worried. Yes, the price of most food items have gone up, but basically we are still okay, in that we can still afford to buy food. Our staple rice is still available. So what do we care that other people are suffering? I blame the US of course - or they are mostly to be blamed. Of course we should also blame ourselves for not being self sufficient where food is concerned but when the US cut back its food export and used most of its grain to manufacture ethanol because of the oil crisis - this is the consequence.
Is the world headed for a food crisis? India, Mexico and Yemen have seen food riots this year. Argentines boycotted tomatoes during the country's recent presidential elections when the vegetable became more expensive than meat; and in Italy, shoppers organized a one-day boycott of pasta to protest rising prices. In Egypt too it was shown on BBC that even bread is in short supply. What more the poor Palestinians and Iraqis.
Food prices have gone up, not just here in Malaysia but globally and I think its going to stay up. What with the uncertain climatic changes everywhere, the oil price hike and war, I very much doubt that the price of food will change for the better anytime soon. In fact if we're not careful and plan ahead, we too might suffer a food shortage in the future.
Maybe we should start worrying - and agriculture should come back. We should encourage people to plant their own vegetables at least, like we used to do a long time ago.
In my own small way I am doing something - I'm planting some vegetables now - brinjals, chillies and pak choy. Well, every little helps, doesn't it?
Whether its global warming or the food crisis, its all the same to us Malaysians with our tidak apa attitude. Here in Melawati, huge trees are still being cut - and for what - just to build some houses up in the hills for some people who want to live higher up! Now the beautiful green Melawati Hill has become a real eye sore. Its bleeding red and bald to boot - thanks to some greedy developer who has no conscience! And along Jalan Genting Kelang they have cut down all the trees! When I first drove along that road two weeks ago I had a shock - it looked so bald without the big trees lining the road. I think we really should take a leaf out of Singapore's book- see how they maintain their lovely old trees and preserve it rather than get rid of it. And people everywhere in the world are talking about preserving the environment. Here we do just the opposite. And the irony of it is that they cut the trees during Earth Week. Sometimes I'm ashamed to be called Malaysian.

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