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Tasik Chini: How did it come to this?

No country can succeed if it loses its biosphere to greed and the exploitation by humans using the cover of ‘development’

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The deplorable state of Tasik (Lake) Chini, which now risks losing it pristine glory and heritage status, has been rightfully addressed by the Pahang Regent. 

The Regent reportedly ordered the Pahang government to act more aggressively in rehabilitating Tasik Chini to return to its former glory.

What was everyone doing all these decades so much so a moratorium had to be imposed by the state government for the lake area? 

What is spine-chilling is that even after the moratorium, there are still certain terminated mining leases that have yet to cease operations.

Doesn’t anyone have any respect for and fear of the law around the Tasik Chini vicinity? 

The Regent was spot on in declaring that the job of rehabilitating Tasik Chini must involve all parties. 

Yes indeed, the Pahang state government, the current miners and licensees, timber barons and poachers – all those guilty of ‘raping’ Tasik Chini – must give their commitment to make this rehabilitation effort a success.

Otherwise, it is back to square one several years down the road before yet another person has to raise yet another admonishment for the failures. 

In the first place, what took us so long to raise the alarm? What were all those custodians, vanguards and paid employees doing all these decades as the pristine lake was being raped and left to the elements? 

Perhaps the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission should step in to investigate the profiteering crooks and not claim that no report was lodged for it to take action. 

The mystery question is, how did we lose the ‘original purpose’ of this once glorious lake? 

The Regent’s admonishment that he did not want to see any more incidents such “as illegal entry into the forests, theft of forest products including timber logs, illegal hunting and prohibited catching of fish using bombs, poisons or electric shocks” suggests that laws were blatantly broken for decades leading to the desolate state of Tasik Chini today. 

Yet no one saw it right to enforce the rule of law all these years.  

Such environmental crimes must not be repeated anywhere else in Malaysia. 

Will the Pahang Regent’s clarion call wake up every state, as we all know from news reports that this sordid state of affairs is not an isolated incident or peculiar only to Pahang?

The Prince declared that “all parties regardless of status and position should respect and obey the law, whether they are royalty, honourable members, politicians, heads of department, civil servants or ordinary people”.

Will this truth sink in for the crooks and the negligent or will it be like water off a duck’s back yet again? 

For the past three decades, NGOs, civil society leaders, activists and environmentalist had harped ceaselessly at the way we were destroying our natural reserves, rainforests, rivers, flora and fauna. 

Today, hopefully, the Prince’s bold statement will make an immediate difference all across the nation. 

No country can succeed if it loses its biosphere to greed and the exploitation by humans using the cover of ‘development’. 

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.

AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
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3 Aug 2022 11.32pm

Never been to Tasik Cini but have heard of its beauty decades ago. My tears flow watching the above video. Is there one that shows of its pristine version for comparison? Hopefully it will get some sense of the horror to those greedy mindset.

There is also another case in Seremban of a convent school in the middle of the town. Don’t know what you would call it. A lake it is not because it is so deep it is danger. Now it looks more a reminder to those who greed has been washed away. Have they learnt anything?

Is Malaysia administration one of the worst in the world? Can we create laws that won’t change in the blink of an eye or overnight just to feed the monstrous greed of some egos? Do we have any laws without loopholes?

3 Aug 2022 3.58pm

… could this be a sandiwara or … wayangkulit, after the devastation done is obvious to all, especially Unesco…

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