• 19
  • May
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Malaysian Forests Better Off Destroyed…


David wrote:

Money vs. Life - The Cancer of Money-Begetting-More-Money at Any Cost

The problem is this: a predatory global financial system, driven by the single imperative of making ever more money for those who already have lots of it, is rapidly depleting the real capital - the human, social, natural, and even physical capital - on which our well-being depends . . . the money system becomes like a cancer that consumes its host and ultimately destroys itself.

During a visit to Malaysia some years ago I met the minister responsible for forestry. In explaining Malaysia’s forestry policy he observed that the country would be better off once its forests were cleared away and the money from the sale was stashed in banks earning interest. The financial returns would be greater. The image flashed through my mind of a barren and lifeless world populated only by banks with their computers faithfully and endlessly compounding the interest on the profits from timber sales.

This article is pretty old, but somehow I found it while surfing. I wonder if his Malaysian experience is real? Not too long ago, I think there was a Pahang guy who said it’s more profitable to hold on to our forests than to cut them down…


  • 25
  • Dec
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Taxed By the River


[pic source]

It marked out Kemaman as a distant place in my mind’s eye, with loopy roads and deep rivers in the shadow of a steep hill. It was, after all, nearly a hundred miles away from Kuala Trengganu. And then there was a town called Chukai shimmering in reflection in yet another body of water. Chukai was allegedly named after the tax (cukai) collectors that kept their post on the river banks, but Mother told us a different story. There was, in times past, she said, a crocodile in the Kemaman river and because of its habit of regularly snapping up local inhabitants for food the place came to be known as Chukai, i.e. the place where the crocodile exacted its toll.

When crocodiles no longer swam the river and drill platforms rose along the shore, the trunk road from Pahang through Kemaman was lit up in the nights by a tall gas flare that signalled that one was entering oil country. It seemed aeons ago now when Tuan Separd (Sheppard) left his local idyll to take up further posts in the rarefied air of Kuala Lumpur, and then staying on after Independence to become the first curator (I think) of the Muzim Negara before moving on to distinguish himself in other things, not as ‘M.C.ff’ but as Abdul Mubin Sheppard, writer, historian, socialite, Tan Sri, Dato’ and Haji.

Kemaman had its ways of luring people. As the historian Heusseler put it: “For bachelors who were not overly reliant on clubs and European society, it was a paradise of vast, empty beaches and tiny kampongs dreaming under a tropical sun, peopled by ra’ayat who were as attractive as they were shy and suspicious of outsiders.”

nicely written piece about Kemaman…


Some extra content from SARA!

Pictures [Malaysia]