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Gunung Inas disaster prompts same old questions

Who benefits and profits from the clearings, unseen by the people?

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We’ve just witnessed the deluge that struck over a thousand families at Gunung Inas. 

And only recently, we witnessed the Gunung Jerai calamity. 

The photo above showing a part of Gunung Inas clearly attests to the all-too-similar rape of nature on a mega-scale and at a frantic pace all over the country, hidden from the public and media eye. 

When nature’s anger lashes out, we not only get a glimpse of our greed but are shocked to see how mountains and forests are fast disappearing.

The joke is the official answer dished out – “unusual rainfall in a very short time”. 

Nobody wants to be responsible and accountable. No answers are forthcoming about why so much forest and highland terrain was cleared with impunity. 

No one wants to explain how such vast forest-clearings have harmed the rich rainforests and the flora and fauna and destabilised the topography and the environment. 

No official custodians will tell you why they did not raise the alarm at the start of these raids on our pristine natural habitats. 

Surely large-scale land clearings (butchering, rather) could not have been completed in a matter of months. 

Who gave the permits? Who benefits and profits from the clearings, unseen by the people? 

Do the people not have the right to be informed of such mega-raping – which the government will claim is for ‘development’ – long before a plan is hatched and executed? 

Do the people not have the right to enjoy nature? Don’t they have a stake in protecting the country’s gifts of nature for eternity? 

READ MORE:  It's 'UndiBanjir'!

As climate change is here to stay, we will probably witness more disasters that will cost lives and displace huge villages. 

Giving out emergency relief aid or cash payments to placate the victims’ anger does not negate the people’s categorical right to answers for all these questions.

Either we all take collective responsibility and handcuff the grabbing, greedy hands involved or we surrender our fate to such ‘development’ that only makes millionaires of a handful.

AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
  1. Tegakkan maruah serta kualiti kehidupan rakyat
  2. Galakkan pembangunan saksama, lestari serta tangani krisis alam sekitar
  3. Raikan kerencaman dan keterangkuman
  4. Selamatkan demokrasi dan angkatkan keluhuran undang-undang
  5. Lawan rasuah dan kronisme
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The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

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11 Jul 2022 12.33pm

Slm Msia. We need … an independent statutory law review commission, answerable not to the executive but to parliament, a system enabling this check and balance, to be in place now. These problems impacting on the people directly are common today. Balanced civil service and political leadership can help in ensuring justice to the land, society, our progeny. How is such an governance system to come about. The ordinary people need to vote wisely, voice their needs and issues strongly and constantly, as by the law of the land.

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